As I do at the beginning of each call, I asked my client, “What would be great to get out of our time together today?”
She said, “I would love to figure out how to get my husband to change. He is stressed out so much of the time. I am chomping at the bit for him to get help.”
I asked, “Why do you want that?”
She replied, “Well, then I could be happier and more relaxed. I could feel more at peace.”
GOD, do I know this one….
For so much of my life, it looked like other people had to be a certain way for me to be happy.
It really looked like I was at the mercy of others’ feelings and emotions. Sometimes it still looks that way, but not as much.
I am really beginning to see that I am not experiencing others’ emotions. I am experiencing my thinking about their emotions. Yes, I do feel other people's energy. But then, what I am feeling is actually the result of my thinking about their energy.
One time, a friend and colleague Julie Stuart and I got into an argument about this. Julie is also a Three Principles practitioner. Of the two of us, she saw first that at any moment we are, all of us, only experiencing our thinking. Applying the principles to emotions goes like this: Anytime someone around us is upset, stressed or angry, we notice that this is happening, and then we experience our thinking about their upset, stress, or anger.
At that moment, I was adamant that Julie was wrong. I believed that I was purely experiencing their emotions. My thinking about their emotions was not relevant.
How this played out in my life, for example: I used to get really upset when my daughter was sad or angry. I would do anything to help her get out of her experience. I really wanted to be helpful. What was actually going on for me was that I hated feeling sad or angry, so if she felt sad or angry, I felt like I needed to make those feelings stop for her.
Now that I really understand that we are all only experiencing our thinking at any moment, and that emotions are merely the feeling of the thinking moving through our systems, emotions are no big deal to me. I don’t hate them. I don’t need to stop other people from having them. There is nothing to do about them other than notice them (in ourselves and others) and let them pass. Kind of like clouds in the sky.
I can now be present to my daughter’s upsets, and love her through them. I can be at peace while she is not feeling peaceful; be with her, and let her have her experience. I can feel my love for her and not have to help her.
I have come to see that underneath all of my thinking, there exists an energy that is peaceful and always present. This energy is quiet, kind, wise, knowing, generous, and is Love. I don’t have to do anything to be this way or get here. This state of pure love is who I am. This energy is in every human, too. It is what we are all made from.
Knowing this, I don’t have to try to change my thinking. I simply look for the peaceful feeling. Because I see this truth about our nature as humans, I am able to experience greater peace with whoever I am with, however they are. I know they are ok.
If you have someone in your life you wish you could “help” so that you can experience greater peace, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.