Sunday, June 24, 2012

Part 1 - I Am Not What I Think Nor What I Feel

Do you have to be a steamroller or a Sherman tank to be really honest?
Following last week’s message, “Are Being Right, Being Happy, And Being Involved All In Conflict With Each Other?” [Msg-3-June-2012], I received a question from another subscriber: “You said you share of yourself honestly. I do not think you were talking about debating ideas or explaining certain concepts. Am I correct? If so, what do you mean by being honest?”
You are correct. I am not talking about sharing cerebral ideas or concepts. What do I mean by being completely honest? Good question!
I have known many people, especially in work situations, that seemingly are not very happy and content. They appear to be very angry, frustrated, wanting to get ahead, or fearful of being at fault. They use a Neanderthal’s club, beating anyone and everyone over the head, all under the auspices of “I’m just being honest – after all tough love can be painful at times.” That’s baloney! To be honest doesn’t mean I have to be as tactless or forceful as a Sherman tank. There is no “rule” that says you cannot be honest with gentleness or respect. Honesty with gentleness is getting a little closer to what I mean by honesty, but it still is in the realm of sharing ideas and concepts. It is an incomplete description of honesty.
The real answer? It is very close to the meaning of what AA calls “Walking the Talk.”
It has taken me a long time to learn that I am not what I think. I am also sure that this learning process will continue until I am no longer in my body. I am not what I think. But if I’m not what I think, then who am I?
Also, I am not what I feel. Feelings aren’t reality. They are not things. They are simply feelings. I am learning to pay attention to my feelings, not as some sort of “Truth,” but as a clue. To use an analogy, if my body is a car and “I” am the owner/driver, then my feelings are dashboard indicators. Am I running too hot? Too low on gas? Are the tires inflated properly? Is the battery being charged okay?  Am I speeding?
My feelings can be a clue that my body needs some food, water, rest, or quiet. My feelings also can be a clue that my ego perception of the world has completely taken over my life at this instant. Am I angry, frustrated, aggravated, retaliatory, judgmental, or critical? That’s not the external stimulus at fault. That’s only my perception of that stimulus. Since my body cannot distinguish between actual or neutral events, my perception of those events, or some other total fantasy I concoct, it reacts equally to everything I think, perceive, and feel. I can drive my body into the ground if I don’t watch out. Trust me, it has happened many times. So, I am not what I feel. But if I’m not what I feel, then who am I?
Continued in Part 2 - I Am Not What I Think Nor What I Feel
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