We do everything because of how we feel. When I say everything, I literally mean E V E R Y T H I N G. Although most of us are actually super disconnected to how we feel. In fact, we have been taught since a very early age that feeling is not a safe thing to do. This comes in the the form of phrases such as, "you must eat all the food on your plate" or "push through the pain" or when you fell down and got hurt and your caretaker said "it's okay, you're okay, stop crying" or maybe it was "I don't care if you're not tired, it's bed time so go to sleep." You get the point. It's been a constant bombardment of messages teaching you to not feel, or that what you were feeling was wrong. So naturally most of us tend to shy away from feelings and ignore them as much as possible. Some of those may have been physical sensation feelings and some might be emotional feelings. Either way, it's created a disconnect within yourself and therefore less ability to connect with others.
It is RARE to find a person that did not receive messages like this. These messages are constantly reinforced in our society as well. It is seen and expressed in sports with the mentality of no pain no gain. It's in front of us with advertisements with the underlying message that we should feel guilty for eating certain foods. Another big message is the importance of our looks, with the value being on what we appear to be and not who we actually are perpetuating our desires to develop our outer self more than our inner self. This incessant overload happens on a range from subliminal to very overtly and has become the norm.
So what am I getting to here? The bottom line is the disconnect we have within our selves, YET as humans we are driven to take actions based on our FEELINGS. And that my friends can be a confusing space to navigate. We might not know why but we find that at the end of our day we spend a lot of time shopping online, or we are in the habit of having a casual drink each evening, or we cannot image starting our day without Starbucks, or we look forward to binge watching Netflix. Perhaps it's about noticing these things, and why we are really choosing to do them.
Do you notice that all of those things are E X T E R N A L to change how we feel I N T E R N A L L Y? As a culture we try so hard to change how we feel and experience life by external forces. This could come in the form of getting value and worth from the friends you have, boyfriend or husband, from using a substance like coffee or alcohol to change how you feel, or even by eating a food you crave, maybe it's online shopping when you're stressed out, or Netflix for hours on the weekends or evenings. It's not being connected to what is inside and certainly not knowing how to change it from the inside out rather than outside in.
Here's the thing - the mass majority of us do this. It propels our economy forward through capitalism and imprisons us to think there is something more that we need (outside of us) when really we have most of what we need ... inside of us. We have this amazing mechanism called a body that constantly scans our environment, works to keep us in a homeostatic place, and a heart that is filled with more intelligence and wisdom than we may realize. And best of all, we have a sense of joy within us. All of us have that. We might not be connected to it though because we might have given our power away to searching for joy outside of us rather than within us. Trust me though, you have joy, inside of YOU.
When we begin to learn to connect within, to our little voice, to our feelings, to our sensations, we can begin to radiate that joy. We feel it deeply within ourselves, filling us up and then we express our overflow into the world. And like the quote by Howard Thurman goes “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”