I wrote about fear the other day, but I really didn’t give it justice, so I’m going to try again. I’m going to focus on fear but this is true for all emotions, the ones we like as well as the ones we think of as bad or dark or negative. (You may want to check out the Fear blog from a few days ago)
As humans we are wired to have all the emotions, we are also wired to become aware of ourselves as boundless. What does that mean? When we know ourselves as boundless there are no boundaries or limits to our sense of self. If we feel into or look for where we end and where what seems to be outside of us begins, we can’t find the membrane that separates. There is no border, no edge between the self and the world.
So how is fear experienced from this perspective? For me fear is experienced without a container, as if it is on the inside and outside at the same time. More accurately, it is as if there is no inside or outside. There is also no label for it. Fear is a movement of energy arising in an uncontained field.
I only know this because I was able to give fear room to take over, without resisting, controlling, judging, or rejecting. When an emotion can be felt completely, totally, without holding back, and yet with full awareness, it transcends the limited labels within which it has been packaged. That is what labels do; they put things in boxes, contain and limit them. Once this happens we can’t feel them fully, and they remain personal human feelings. While there is nothing wrong with personal human emotions, that is just a small piece of what they are. Emotions are more than personal reactions, and we are more than separate human beings.
When we can stop struggling with emotions they become boundless movements of energy, and we become the boundless field in which they occur. As humans we suffer our emotions, as the boundless we are free and emotions can be unnamed qualities swirling through.
We are so silly; a wondrous movement energy arises and we label it, and then judge it and ourselves for having it. We get tighter and contract around it, which contains it, and prevents it from flowing through. With the labeling and the contraction come stories and more meaning. Silly because if we only knew how miraculous and alive this human existence can be when there are no restrictions we would stop judging and rejecting. But we can’t help ourselves, holding tight and learning to let go is a natural part of being human.
How do we get from the personal contracted state of emotional experience with stories and meaning? Our stories always have past or future justifications. First we may have to investigate the justification and see if we know it to be true now. Then, it may be necessary to inquire into when the belief or story began. Depending on how tightly we are holding on to our beliefs about the stories of the emotion we may have to do more or less psychological unpacking. (See end of Fear blog)
When there is an emotion we haven’t been as familiar with as others, we may be shocked when we have our first big experience of this emotion. This in itself may cause us to contract and make up stories. This is what happened to me when fear showed up recently. Like I said at the beginning, we are wired to feel all emotions, and when they can all flow through without restrictions we are freer. If any emotion is missing the human experience is not complete and we experience ourselves as less than what we are.
The point of inquiry is to make room around our stories and emotions, which loosens the boundaries of our sense of self, until we know ourselves as boundless. This does not mean that we don’t experience emotions; it just means that they flow through undisturbed, fully, completely, and leave no residue.