I have feelings. They are not easily hurt but they have been bruised too many times to count. They have learned to guard themselves. They have been taught that loving someone doesn’t solve all problems. They have been shown that vulnerability often leads to fear, loss, pain, lies, abuse and betrayal. That 100% trust is naive. That the bad people of the world look, talk and act the same as the good people…until they don’t. They know how to imitate functioning well even when they aren’t. My feelings know that sometimes ‘fake it til you make it’ is the mantra to have and sometimes detachment is the key to contentment.
My feelings are also resilient. They have come to know that despite the bad in the world, there are MANY shining moments that are good – some are even GREAT. They know that everyone else struggles, that they have their pain too, and that they are not alone, that LOTS of others have feelings exactly like them. They know that they cannot guard ALL the time. Nor should they.
They have come to believe that people who make mistakes can sometimes (if they want to) learn, grow and change, and my feelings know that if they reach out again for love, for safety, for joy that they are willing to risk the fear, the loss and the grief that will surely and inevitably come. They have learned to look inward and forgive ME for giving them air, despite my fear and the hurt that comes with being out there in the world, AND for stifling them sometimes because of my fear. How they long for expression. They know it’s all worth putting themselves out there because otherwise they cease to exist. And that simply is not an option. Because they DO exist.
But I am more than my feelings. My feelings do NOT define my substance nor my edges. They are part of me, but are not the entirety of me. I am the observer of my feelings, of my experiences, and I am not merely a reaction. I can move OUT of reaction now that I have the tools.
I am also sparkling thought and generous knowledge and practical reason. I am free-flowing spirit and clever mind and supple body. I am a vessel forged by evolution. I am the creator of my boundaries and the manifestor of my reality. I am myself, separate from my feelings, and I am able to respond to my experience with intention and action in integrity, while taming the wild stallion of my emotions. I thank my feelings for giving me their gifts and I hold a space for them to exist. And though I listen to them, and thank them for all they give me, I do not always heed their call.
I HAVE feelings but I am NOT my feelings.