Friday, November 9, 2018

Moon River

I was writing while listening to instrumental music when Moon River came on and it brought me back to a time when I felt safe and loved and had never known sadness, cruelty, evil or hardship. It brought me to a time when my parents, my younger sister and I would go away for weekends at the beach. My dad would drive at night on our way there and he and my mom would listen to a Johnny Mathis eight-track tape. I was a child. No care in the world. And here I am remembering that time with tears streaming down my face and my chest rising and falling with nostalgia.

What a pain of a feeling. My knee-jerk reaction is to change the music and think of something else. But we really don't overcome feelings by ignoring them. We have to feel and so here I am acknowledging my sadness for a time gone by. Nostalgia is an awful feeling. I'd rather let it go, but here I am, holding it, understanding it, breathing it. What is this feeling telling me? In time, I will know and then I'll release it. Until then, I'm feeling it.

The delicate thing about this is that while we mindfully hold our feelings, we shouldn't act on them. We let them teach us about ourselves, about our perceptions, about our relationship to our circumstances and to others, and about our states of mind, but we don't act based on those feelings. Acknowledging and allowing our feelings without reacting to them can help us grow and can strengthen us, and can help us change or release our feelings.

Today is a good day to mindfully feel what we feel, fully acknowledging whatever it is we are feeling. Fully feel and not form a thought about it. Name, but not label. Realize but not judge. Let it be, let it pass, with reverence for our experience. Let's learn from our sadness, anger, jealousy, boredom, fear, dissatisfaction, nervousness, joy, excitement, and hopefulness. Let us today let our feelings guide us into a wiser and stronger version of ourselves.
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