Today was a hard day. A huge reminder about why it's important to learn how to understand and observe our emotions and thoughts rather than be consumed by them. I grew up in Cairns and unfortunately have known a number of people (>10) who have taken their own lives - far too many. I think having been surrounded by this has left me to question life, a lot! When there is no one to blame, no accidents, no warning and sometimes completely out of the blue, it's really hard to wrap your head around what has happened or why someone would do it. I have always been quite inquisitive but since I was a teenager I've really wondered what life is all about, what the point is etc, perhaps more than some? I'm not sure. I think we're all pretty clueless and curious about it all.
I would often have long chats with my parents, especially just after losing a friend (or even a friend of a friend or perhaps someone I didn't know at all - it's no easier). This following example is one I scribbled down whilst chatting to Dad on the phone after losing another beautiful person from Cairns (I'm sure I have the original somewhere but I whipped this up whilst sitting in bed a few minutes ago). I think this was the first time I understood the difference between an emotion and state of being. Happiness is an emotion but I believe being peaceful and truly joyful about life regardless of what is thrown at you, can be a state of living. We just need to learn how to deal with the emotions.
We judge our lives and tend to place our emotions and experiences in either the top half or the bottom half. Regardless of what we are feeling the horizontal line represents peace. Our natural state of being, peaceful. PEACE, FULL.
Now we can add our emotions to the graph of life. Similar to a heartbeat. Very up and down. They peak at either end of the spectrum. We know what complete happiness feels like, even if it's fleeting. We know what sadness feels like and some of us understand what depression feels like (usually when the heartbeat line has spent a lot of time in the bottom half).
Emotions are part of being HUMAN. We ALL feel them! Every, single, day.
What we FEEL, is NOT who we are. But sometimes it's so hard to fathom that because we get so caught up in our thoughts.
Our emotions can be all over the place, but they're just emotions, we aren't all over the place - we just choose to attach ourselves to it. There is consciousness and there is ego. The ego is the head STUFF. If you struggle separating them (which I struggle with every day, it takes A LOT of practice), think about HEART and HEAD. Heart is consciousness. Head is the emotions and thoughts. Obviously we are both, but our true nature comes from the heart, the consciousness, that part that simply 'is'. No judgement, it just is. It's a peaceful place.
I screen captured the first pages of these chapters from The Untethered Soul and sent them to a friend tonight. If you need to know more about all of the head stuff and 'what is life' related questions, I highly recommend this book - The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. Download the audiobook or eBook or grab a paper copy. It is such an easy read and straight forward to understand, puts things simply and answers a lot of questions. You'll be having plenty of 'ah-ha!' moments.
I'll leave it at that today. Please know that emotions are like that heart beat line. We have good days and bad days but it really comes down to perception. If we wanted to, we could enjoy every day regardless of what happens in life.
It's something I struggle with so much and I hope that by me sharing what I go through and how I try to manage it can help at least one other person. If it can, I think that's worthy of being shared. And to be honest there are over 7 BILLION of us. There are billions of people that wonder 'WHY ARE WE HERE!?', 'WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE!?' and we all struggle. We just need to acknowledge that and do the best we can to help each other through... because life is beautiful and amazing and we all deserve to enjoy this experience.
Lots of love,