emotions goals living loss love objectivism philosophy psychology values

Learn to Experience Your Emotions

A few days ago, I was reminded of something in my personal life that brought about a sense of sadness. I recognized that there was a feeling there that came knocking on the proverbial door that is my awareness. So I sat down and spent some time meditating on it and experiencing the sensation that arose. I noticed the qualities of the sadness that came through – the pulsating heat that blew through my fingers, the tingling sensations in my chest, the movement of an energy throughout my head. It was quite the sensation, really.

And then just like that, it left as soon as it arrived, and I went to experience a different sensation, that being peace.

The example above is what I mean when I write that one ought to learn how to experience their emotions rather than just feel and analyze them. One of the big errors that many people do is that they endlessly look through their minds with questions such as “where does that feeling come from?” and “what’s the cause of this, why am I feeling this way?”. All of these seem logical, but their inherent purpose is to eliminate the cause of the emotion that has arisen, and therein lies the problem.

Emotions are not for elimination, they are for experiencing. It is through the experiential aspect and letting in of the emotion that one becomes capable of letting it go. Through the experiencing, the mind brings forth the reasons why it’s felt naturally. There’s no pressure to eliminate anything – it’s just a sensation, and that sensation is the message itself.

Think of it this way. The emotions are the messengers. They knock on your door, and if you ignore it or try to eliminate it, it comes back later but with an even louder knock. By giving it permission to enter and give you whatever message it intends to give you, it completes its purpose and leaves as soon as it arises.

Through this kind of process, an interesting result arises: you start to enjoy your emotional spectrum far more – including the “negative” ones – solely because of the richness of them. Being mindful of the sensations throughout your being allows you to notice subtleties about yourself in ways you did not notice before. You also start to recognize the sensations as they are. A sensation of sadness isn’t bad – it just is, and the feelings it gives you are exactly as they ought to be. They deliver a certain message that had a cause – and through the noticing of it in the way I describe, you change how you react to it. Through this, you find peace.

The unfortunate reality is that in most societies we’ve been conditioned to believe that there are certain emotions which are to be avoided, while pleasurable sensations are to be pursued. I have explained in the past why pleasure and pain aren’t good/bad, and this write up goes into how to examine your being in a way that helps you see your experience as it is, objectively, rather than with a fine tooth pick.

You can’t run away from your experience, and everyone can attest to that. So instead of ignoring the knock, invite your emotional experience in and let it deliver whatever message it needs – perhaps through that, you’ll find the peace, insight and understanding you’ve been searching for.

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