The Psychology Of Feelings: Why Are You So Afraid Of Your Feelings?

Why do we so often run from our feelings? Why do we try to avoid certain feelings, and then attempt to hold onto others? Why are feelings so misunderstood?

As a life coach, I see that many people do not understand feelings. Most people are attempting to hold onto a feeling because it feels good, even though they have no understanding of why it feels good. Some are afraid of their feelings, spending a lifetime trying to run away from them.You cannot do either of these things. 

Feelings are nothing to fear, they are simply to be understood, accepted, and honored. Feelings are magnificent, and add to the deliciousness of life; some are sweet, savory, bitter, even bittersweet. When combined, you have a satisfied palette. Feelings are also part of the orchestra of life. Feelings, like an orchestra, have high notes, low notes, sharps, flats, and crescendos, and this is what makes an orchestra beautiful. Think for a moment how tedious it would be to listen to an orchestra playing only one or two notes. It would also be a very boring life with only one or two feelings throughout a whole lifetime. 

Feelings tell us about ourselves, and about our judgments and perception of what is happening around us, and to us, at any given point. Feelings tell us about our desires, our wants, and whether those desires and wants are being met or not. For example, when you are experiencing happiness, your want, your desire is being met. When you are sad or angry, your desire is not being met. Think about that for a moment; your feelings tell you about your desires, and whether that desire is being met. 

Yes, it is all about YOUR desires. You are the one creating your feelings. It is your mind, your thoughts that are creating the feelings you experience. Yes, feelings are self inflicted, self induced. The thought that you are having may be focused on someone or something else, but ultimately, it is YOUR thought about it. Your feelings are occurring because of your thought processes, irrelevant of the subject matter. Once you begin to truly see that, you no longer can blame someone else for making you feel a certain way. 

Feelings come in many degrees and intensities, but there are only five feelings: Fear, Love, Anger, Sadness or Happiness. Yes, each of these five feelings have many degrees or intensities, and we give those degrees different names. Those different names are considered our emotions. Emotions are subcategories; our interpretation or judgment of these five feelings. This is significant to know because when we focus on the emotion, we never truly get to the real, base feeling. This is not beneficial. Again, feelings are to be understood, accepted, and honored, and when we spin off-course focusing on the emotion, we never get to the understanding, accepting, or honoring of the base feeling. Sometimes we label or group more than one emotion together, and that too deters you from honoring the base feeling. Ask yourself, “What exactly am I feeling? Am I feeling fear, love, anger, sadness or happiness?” Keep dissecting the emotion until you can decipher exactly what it is that you are feeling. Then you can begin the process of understanding why you are feeling that way. Once understood, then you can begin to accept that you are the one that is creating it, and then you can begin to honor it.

Feelings are transient; they come and go. It may not look as such, especially when the mind is on an incessant loop about something. During those times, the feelings may appear to become more intense, but again, it is your mind that is creating those feelings. Yes, feelings change as your thoughts change. There is a school of thought that teaches, ‘change your thoughts, and your feelings will change.’ There is validity, and liberation, to this approach, but not total freedom in it. Yes, liberation is a temporary freedom, but not the long lasting freedom that comes from being a master of the mind. True mastery comes from seeing the mind, observing the mind, and not buying into the stories, labels, or judgments that the mind is giving the situation or moment. A master of the mind sees the chaotic nature of the mind. The master knows that they do not have control over the conditioned, thinking mind. Yes, the master can direct his mind, and  will up to a point, but at some point, the master knows to disengage from the mind, and let the incessant loop play itself out, and not buy into it while it is doing so. 

The master of the mind knows the difference between having a thought arise, and thinking about the thought that has just arisen. You cannot stop a thought from happening, but you sure do not have to think about that thought; you can just let it be. This is not to say that arising thoughts don’t create feelings, because they do, but the chances of that thought building momentum and intensifying the feelings are greatly diminished simply because you are not focusing on or participating with that arising thought. Vipassana meditation is the best tool or technique that can help you with this. Vipassana meditation will show you how to observe the mind, to observe the thought, and observe the feeling that the thought is creating. Once you learn and practice it during your meditation time, it is much easier to do so when you are not meditating, when you are moving through life. I know sometimes it seems more like you are being dragged through life, but that is because of your reaction to life. The key is learning how to respond to life, and that includes responding to your feelings, rather than reacting to them. As you become more practiced at observing the thoughts that pass through the mind, you also become more practiced at observing the feelings. Observing the feelings will then allow you to stop running from them, and then to understand, accept, and honor it, the thoughts that are creating it, and the situation at hand. 

Running from your feelings is futile, simply because you cannot run away from yourself, and you are the one that is creating the feelings that are being felt. Rather than running from, or trying to hold onto, begin to allow the fleeting feeling to be felt, understood, and then honored. Once you do that, you will begin to truly taste the deliciousness of life, and you will begin to enjoy the orchestra.

Vedam Clementi is a Spiritual Teacher, Life Coach, Meditation Coach, Author, and Lecturer. A full recovery from paralysis using spiritual concepts, meditation, and natural healthcare led to Vedam’s spiritual awakening and desire to share what he has learned. Vedam has taught fellow souls for over a decade to leave the past behind, plant seeds for their desired tomorrow, and to be present in each moment as they move through life. Vedam has a unique way of uniting psychological and spiritual tools that support the individual to relate to themselves, others, and life in a new way: openly, lovingly, and authentically.

www.vedamclementi.com

www.loveliveandlaugh.com

www.facebook.com/vedam.clementi

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Comment by Vedam Clementi on August 12, 2013 at 8:33am

Thank you Trevor! 

Comment by Trevor Taylor on August 11, 2013 at 12:33pm

Hi Vedam - scheduled for one of the September multi-media editions

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