How Do You Feel?
Updated: Aug 19
We tend to live our lives externally, defining ourselves by our circumstances, our possessions, our social status and by what people think of us. External stimuli are often the only way we can be sure that we're alive. How curious that we don't look within ourselves for that confirmation.
Our society, our technology and the importance we place on the opinions of others have tricked us into thinking that we are getting a better idea of who we are but in reality, we are getting more and more distanced from ourselves. We don't really understand ourselves anymore because we don't want to, or don't feel able to spend the time being curious. It's too time-consuming and in some cases, it's understandably too much to bear. Whatever the reason, we figure out the fastest, most efficient and least painful way of feeling 'good' and we do that instead.
Even when we do feel, we don't spend any time with our emotions. They are either sent directly outwards towards other people in the form of, for example, blame or anger or they are subdued with external stimuli like alcohol, food and social media.
But what if we did spend some time looking within? Not to assign blame or to berate or to invite melancholy, but to be compassionate with ourselves for how we are feeling, and to be curious about why we are feeling that way. We have lost touch with how to feel and so feeling anything can be overwhelming for many of us. Turn your gaze briefly within and make contact with your emotions. The more time you spend with them and the more curious you get, the longer you'll be able to stay in contact with yourself. You'll become familiar with how it actually feels to feel and the spectre you've long-feared will start to dissipate. The desire to find something outside of yourself that will confirm your existence will come instead from within - leaving you more whole, more connected and ultimately more you. If you find it difficult to connect with your emotions or if doing so causes distress then I would encourage you to find a counsellor who can help support you with this.
About the author Greg James is a counsellor with a desire to see people set free from the patterns of the past. Trained integratively, Greg is able to tailor his approach to the individual needs of clients and strongly believes that our lived experience has a profound effect on our present-day living. He works out of offices in Devizes & Chippenham as well as online. www.gregjames.co.uk