March 26 – Feeling Your Feelings – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“The fastest way to freedom is to feel your feelings.” Gita Bellin

This sounds pretty simple, but though its easy to know you have feelings, easy to know their weight and agitation and suddenness of mood, it is another, more subtle matter to feel them – that is, to let them penetrate your being the way wind snaps through a flag.

This is necessary because if we don’t feel our feelings all the way through, they never leave us, and then we do all kinds of unusual things to get out from under them. This is the case of many an addiction.

I’ve diverted myself many times by becoming involved in what surrounds my pain or sadness, while never feeling the thing itself. So when someone asks me how I feel, I wind up retelling the circumstance of the pain, but not feeling it. Or strategizing what to do next, but not feeling it. Or anticipating reactions, but not feeling what is mine to feel. Or swimming in the anger of injustice, but not diving through the wound.

Though we fear it, feeling our feelings is the only clear and direct way to free our hearts of pain.


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