You’ve heard it said, I’m sure, that no one can hurt your feelings unless you let them. This may sound like a load of shit when you are actually in the throes of emotional pain, but ask yourself this: If I suddenly lost my memory of everything, would I still be “hurting” or in pain? The obvious answer to this is no. Why? Because this “pain” that you “feel” is a fiction created by your brain. It only has as much power as your brain is giving it.
“Oh,” I hear you say, “but Jon, it feels real.” Yes, it does and this is the problem. We think that feelings are things. They are not. They are potential things but they are not in and of themselves things. If someone cuts me off in traffic and I feel anger and want to smash into them with my own car this is “potential” but it is only the action of the body that creates the thing or in this case a physical manifestation of the feeling. So, how to deal with such things? We need to ask ourselves two questions.
First, why am I motivated towards any feeling at all regarding a perceived offense? If someone tells you that you have weird scales and a silly fluffy tail, are you inclined to take them seriously? Are you going to be offended by their statements? It’s doubtful. Most likely you will look at them as if they had a few screws loose, because what they just said has no indicators that are tuned into your actual reality at all.
But, if they say (for women), “Your ass looks fat,” and being like many woman, you already have an issue with how you perceive your own ass, then you are going to react. You see, what they have done was simply externalize you own internal issue for you to look at. If you have no issues with the size of your ass you might simply say, “Yeah, I have a juicy fat ass baby. What of it?” or “Don’t you wish you could have some of this.” Just winging it here…:)
For men, it might be something like, “You’re such a cheap skate,” at which time the man will go out of his way to make sure he buys anyone in the near vicinity a drink, just to show what a generous guy he really is, masking the fact that he does in fact think himself cheap and has not come to accept that aspect of himself yet.
Second, why do we assume we should have other than what actually is? If someone cuts you off and you get upset, isn’t it because you think you should have been in front or they should have noticed you and moved aside? Is you getting to your destination fast so much more important than them getting to their destination fast? Maybe if you’re trying to get someone to the hospital, otherwise, not likely. But you see, this is how the ego works. IT is more important than anything! We, meaning our ego selves, don’t want to be put out or hindered by other egos because, from our ego’s perspective, we are more important than they are. Our egos come up with all kinds of justifications why this is the case. The problem with this line of thinking is that their egos are doing the exact same thing. You see the endless loop of potential dysfunction and conflict here, I assume.
Consider the man racing to get his wife to the hospital. Does he have time to have an emotional reaction to what he may consider inconsiderate drivers? He would be a fool to assume that anyone else on the road had any clue what was going on for him, wouldn’t he? He races up on you and your ego says “who is this fool and what does he think he’s doing driving so aggressive against me?” You see, WE are just as clueless, as he would be assuming we should all just get out of the way because he’s doing something important. It’s when we start thinking outside the parameters of our actual perceptual abilities and then making judgements and adopting behaviors about these thoughts that we get into trouble.
So what to do?
What we first have to cultivate, through practice, is a sense that there is no ultimate “I” that exists anyway. Our sense of “I” is a tenuously strung together mash up of information loosely gathered and data halfway remembered we’ve been programmed with directly or by default since we were born. We take for granted that our “I” is fixed in time and space and, even though it is actually constantly shifting, we consider it stable. Why? It’s because it is our awareness that is always looking in the first place, but we miss that bit. Our ego co-ops that awareness and pretends that it is its own awareness–a bit like a parasite. In fact, parasites are a good analogy for the ego. I’m not damming the ego here. Parasites have their function in the grand scheme of life, too, but it is for us to use our ego as a tool and not be used by our egos to satisfy its never ending hunger for more.
Remember, the thing you identify as you can easily be destroyed through a blow to the head or even some smaller injury that chips away at just a small part of your perceived identity. Hell is when this ego sense is so locked in and identified with that, once it really is time to go, it cannot face the truth of oblivion. Perhaps it is so stuck that it energetically imprints itself upon the material world in the form of a lost soul or spirit. Ultimately, though, even in this form it will have to surrender and come to realize the truth of its existence: that it was never meant to be a permanent fixture and that its source is the source of all things. For it to find peace, the river must always find its way back to the sea.
We need to cultivate an understanding that our physical ability to perceive is limited by our five senses and that this is further narrowed by the filter that is our ego. Once we can gain some perspective on these things, we can begin to catch our egos before they take us on a trip. We can bear witness to this flow of self-identified thoughts that isolate us from the collective in a way that will ultimately keep us ever from experiencing a true connection with life as it is, and the subsequent stress and strife we feel from creating a misalignment between what is and what you think ought to be.
It’s enough to chew on for now I think. Try it out in your daily life. When someone is condescending or mean towards you, before you react in any way, even in the passive, shelve-it-and-stew-about-it-later kind of way, just let it flow through you. Observe like a watchful scientist what your mind wants to do with this information they just gave you. If you feel an energetic charge look at it and ask, “ what is this feeling and from where does it emanate?”
You’ll soon see that what they have effectively done is revealed to you your own insecurities and that now you have something to work on for yourself. They have shown you what needs to be cleared out or dealt with and for that they should be thanked. When your energy clears around the issue you will likely find that their energy will seem to change as well. Even if it doesn’t, you will brush them aside with no more emotion than you would brush away flies hovering around your dinner plate at summer pic-nic.
Obviously this is specific to so-called emotional bullying. If things move to a physical form this takes us to another topic which I will discuss in another article. In the meantime, see how you do with an exploration of you own emotions and how you can make yourself emotionally bulletproof.
As always please share your thought and share this article with others who may be dealing with this themselves.