Emotional Centering

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  • Thinking takes us outside of ourselves – it ‘leads us on’ by promising us something useful, but what it actually does is to pull us further and further away from what really matters.
  • What ‘really matters’ is for us to be in touch with ourselves – in touch with how we really are, not with what our thinking about ourselves says we are.
  • When we get pulled out of ourselves we lose touch with what is really happening and instead we have to make do with a lot of guesses and hypotheses about what is happening. We end up as a result ‘manic but coreless’ – we end up frantic and ungrounded, always living outside of our centre, cut off from our actual emotional core.
  • Thought keeps telling us stuff to do, but we never get any actual satisfaction from doing it – even when we can manage to do it. More often, we can’t do what thought says we should do and so we end up feeling even worse than we were before. Instead of delivering something useful to us thought makes us suffer even more.
  • Doing what our thinking wants us to do cannot help us because our thinking is disconnected. The thinking is disconnected and the ‘doing’ is also disconnected…
  • The reason the thinking and the doing are disconnected is (and therefore counter-productive) because there is no one there at the centre of all the activity. There is no actual ‘being’ to direct the ‘doing’, only a frantic sort of an absence. There is a painful ‘hollowness’, around which there is a constant flurry or storm of agitation.
  • The ship is without a captain and so it only goes around and around in circles. It is only a matter of time before it gets driven by the ocean’s currents onto the rocks.
  • Without ‘being’ (i.e. actual presence) all doing is both useless and pointless. If I am not in touch with myself, all of my purposeful activity is going to be frantic, desperate, and ineffective. If I am not in touch with myself, my activity is going to be worse than ineffective – it is going to create problems rather than solve them.
  • The cure for this distressing and distressed state is always the same – the only thing that can ever genuinely help is for me to come back to myself, for me to reconnect with myself. The only thing that can ever help is for me to sink back into the true emotional core of how I really am.
  • The way to do this is simply to notice how I actually feel, which has nothing whatsoever to do with my thinking process. My thinking process is driven by an automatic reflex of trying to run away from how I feel.
  • My thinking process is all about stubborn, unreflective resistance – that is the true motivation for my frantic thinking.
  • What I do therefore is to take a minute or two to tune into myself and notice what is going on with me. I notice the fact that I am running away from how I feel and noticing this allows me to relax long enough to actually see how I feel.
  • Instead of fighting against how I feel I surrender to it, I unconditionally accept – even if only for a moment or two – how I feel as being ‘the truth’. I allow myself to acknowledge this as being the truth of how I am.
  • Surrendering to the truth is the truly courageous thing – fighting or resisting truth is only denial, and denial is only ‘postponing the inevitable’.
  • It doesn’t matter how I am, the important thing is to see how I am. In other words, it doesn’t matter how I think I should feel, but how I actually do feel.
  • Reality is the important thing here. The truth is the important thing, not what I want, not what my thinking tells me is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
  • What changes through this unconditional acceptance of how I feel is my relationship with the truth of my situation. I am now honouring the truth of how I feel rather than dismissing it, or running away from it, or trying frantically to change it.
  • Having a relationship with how I actually feel is what brings me back to myself.
  • My relationship to the truth of how I am is the key to everything – if I resist this truth then I am driven progressively further out of myself and further into frantic thinking and doing. I am driven further and further into denial, into ‘compulsivity’.
  • If I gently acknowledge this truth then I come back into myself, and find myself being present in myself. Instead of cultivating yet more futile, frantic self-defeating, suffering-producing doing, I am cultivating ‘being’. Being is a state of freedom, disconnected doing (i.e. doing without a core of being) is compulsion, or ‘unfree action’.
  • All I need to do to come back to my own centre (and regain being) is to remember to notice how I actually feel, underneath the constant turmoil and agitation of my thinking. When I do this I come out of the narrow claustrophobic compartment of my head, and into the totality of myself, which is always a place of peace, no matter what emotions I might be experiencing.
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