We Are Not Our Feelings

Hiking in the clouds – Mont Blanc, June 2018

In the heat of the moment, feelings can consume our reality in a way that is felt in the body, mind, heart, and spirit. It’s an all-encompassing and powerful experience. It’s one that leaves us with little ability to see anything beyond it.

But as we know, feelings change.

Eventually, they shift and let up, and the clouds of their perception clear and settle in the background. But while in the storm, it can be very easy to believe that feeling is our true reality. It can be easy to feel that we ourselves, are that feeling. 

But as much as we are not our thoughts or behaviors, we are also not our feelings.

We are not our fear, our grief, or our anger, and we are not the limiting beliefs that lead us to those feelings. This concept is a little harder to grasp due to the all-encompassing nature of feelings. 

But if we can remain anchored to the truth of a much bigger reality of being, we can ride any storm that comes our way. One powerful way to do so is to make conscious the reality of our multiplicity.

Multiplicity recognizes that our psyche is made up of different parts (feelings, thoughts, beliefs, behavior patterns or somatic sensations), sometimes called subpersonalities.

At the center of that is our Self/soul/essence/spirit, which works in collaboration with those various aspects. Multiplicity brings back the colors of the rainbow, it widens the spectrum of who we are.

The benefit of seeing ourselves, others, and our world as complex and made of many parts is immense.

It means that when we are immersed in a feeling, that feeling does not represent us as a whole and gives room for the complexity of who we are, as well as our impermanent nature. It honors our rich human makeup and experience and releases simplistic deductions and projections based from a singular aspect of ourselves.

When we can separate who we are from our feelings, we give freedom and room for our humanness. Our humanness being perfectly imperfect, forever in motion, complex and authentic. 

And if we are not our feelings, it means that others aren’t as well. It can be a strong source of solace to remember multiplicity when our loved ones are blended with a feeling so powerful, it has us painfully doubting our deeper understanding of someone. An understanding that is created from a felt sense of wholeness beyond one single world, feeling, time, or part.

So as much as we have feelings, they are only one aspect of who we, and others are. 

What aspects of your identification are built from a single emotion? What parts of you would be illuminated by releasing it?

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