Possibility Warrior

Lighting The Way Forward

You Are Not Your Feelings


For most of my life I’ve defined myself by my feelings. If I feel sad, I am sad.  If I feel frustrated, I am frustrated.  If I feel apathetic, I am apathetic. If I feel lonely, I am alone.

My mother used to tell me:  This Too Shall Pass.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized she’s right about all things passing.  But far from being comforting, this has led to an identity crisis.  If I am defined by my emotions and my feelings are always changing, then Who Am I?!

I am all that has happened and will happen to and through me, and what I choose to make of my circumstances in each moment.

Who I am is up to me.  Who you are is up to you.  We not only get to decide, but we get to decide in each moment.

That’s kind of a lot of work, deciding who you are each moment.  This is where (good) habits come into play.  I want my life to be centered in gratitude, so I have a Gratitude Practice in the hopes that I will train myself to come back to gratitude more readily more frequently.  I want to remember that my feelings don’t define who I am, so I have a new Mantra:  I Am Not My Feelings.

When I remember that I Am Not My Feelings, then I remember that my feelings are just Waves — they come, they go, and I can ride them out knowing they will pass.

If they are going to pass anyway, perhaps I can help them along their way?  Encourage them to move along a bit faster?  Maybe by not indulging them, coddling them close to my chest, ruminating on them endlessly — wallowing, you might call it. Maybe by envisioning what I will be like shortly, once these current feelings have passed. Maybe by taking some actions sooner, that I would take once the feelings have passed.

Easier said than done, but practice makes habit.


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