When we are mentally suffering, we are usually left to the mercy of our thoughts and emotions. Most people don’t understand the origin of their suffering and thus conclude that they don’t have any choice but to suffer.
Why we can’t see that we do have a choice?
Since we have a habit of remembering and recognizing everything, we apply this habit to our emotions also. Which enables us to remember emotions and to get used to those memories. Since everything, that is remembered from previous experiences considered familiar, even bad emotions become trustworthy because we get used to them because they don’t pose an existential threat to us.
When we begin to trust the emotions that feel bad, we unconsciously agree to whatever they represent. As a result, we no longer dispute their meaning and only express our dissatisfaction towards how they feel.
The fact that you recognize emotions from memory doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them. We suffer because we agree with our emotions and the truth they represent and then we try to ignore that truth by running away from how we feel.
The stories your emotions are telling you might not be in your favor, you might want to reinspect them, especially if they don’t feel good.
Most people don’t ever doubt their emotional stories and therefore end up feeling the dreadful emotions those stories represent. However, even if you are aware of your stories you might still find yourself sinking into your emotions simply because they feel familiar and trustworthy to you.
It is odd, but even the most uncomfortable emotions such as depression are perceived as reliable just because they are familiar.
So how can you trust your emotions?
- Recognize the story your emotions are telling you about you.
- Recognize how you label yourself as a result of that story. (worthless, unlovable, coward, weak, ugly)
- Are you “empowered” or are you worried/ limited/afraid by how you label yourself?
Understand that no story/label or emotion can ever describe or define who you are or what you are capable of. Only your agreement to your stories makes you believe that you are less than what you want to be.
Emotions and labels you put on yourself represent stories that make us forget about our true identity, our natural state of being. Emotions stand on their own like different characters who we choose to play, to identify with. Some of those characters are anxious and depressed, others are blissful and happy.
The emotions we experience are the emotions of the character we identify with. We see ourselves and the world through that character’s points of views and perspectives.
Just like an actor that gets emotional and carried away when playing a role, because he can forget about his own identity for a few minutes and take on a new one.
The minute you recognize that some emotional experiences are not benefitting you, all you have to do, to get out of character is to realize that you chose to agree to some truth that feels like you feel. And as long as you find it important to hold on to the truth that represents your emotion, you will not be able to break from that emotion or “to break from character.” It is totally up to you to wear, toss, or fix the character you are playing.