Feelings and Thinking

by johnandterri

Terri Hiking to Carrion de Los Condes

“Our feelings come from our thinking in the moment.”  Brooke Bishop

Walking is a great way to take time to really think as I have mentioned in previous blog articles. It gives us time to process and digest our thoughts a bit more. Both Terri and I got a lot of great time to do this on our Camino. For Terri this was one of her favorite parts of the long walk. Time to really think.

We really do need this in our lives, I believe. Our lives are very fast paced these days and there seems to be so little time to really take time to think more deeply.

The quote at the top of this blog article is from a blog titled “Your Thinking Creates Your Feeling”. It gets into the issue of feelings and how easy it is for us to attribute our feelings to something other than our thinking in the moment. Feelings are like “emotional weather” inside us. Like the weather, the only helpful thing to do is to describe it and accept it. Feelings need not run our lives.

This got me back to the importance of thinking as it relates to feelings. I am going to provide a personal example that came to mind when I was preparing to write this blog. It is in regard to my feelings and behavior during driving.

I have to admit that in my “younger days” I let my feelings of anger and sometimes rage get to me when I was driving. There were some serious “emotional weather storms” that happened while I was driving and I was very aggressive with my driving in return as a result. I am very embarrassed to even recall some of my behavior during these times.

My feelings of anger and frustration was driven by my thinking at the moment, yet something happened to me over time and I changed my thinking and as a result my feelings of anger and frustration at other drivers went away. It is one of those areas of my life I am so thankful I was able to change. It is not good to live like that. It is not a peaceful way to live not to mention dangerous. I transformed my thinking as I reflected on this part of my life and realized I did not want to live like that.

Over time (a lot of time), I gradually became a very patient driver that is not easily provoked any longer by rude and inconsiderate drivers. I changed my thinking and now those feelings I had no longer rule over me. I am at peace driving. It has also helped that I have a very logical mind that now looks at driving from a scientific perspective and I drive now to protect and keep me and those in the car as safe as possible (e.g. I believe leaving a large distance between myself and the car in front of me is the most important safety precaution one can take for safety).

One can change. One can take control as the emotional weather inside us changes. We can use those times to recognize those feeling that we don’t like rising and to call it into question. Use those sad feelings as a trigger to think more deeply and to express them to others. To use those moments as a time to recognize our feelings and decide if that is the way we want to live our life.

If we want to live a more peace-filled life we can but we need to work at it.

Blessings and all good,

John

Photograph of the Month

Salt Creek Beach Art

This image was created this week from a summer family vacation to the Olympic Peninsula. We went to Salt Creek Campground on the Strait of Juan de Fuca out of Port Angeles. The beach there is an amazing collection of tide pools but due to my physical limitation on walking on uneven surfaces, I spent the time ambling along the shoreline where the beach debris was collecting. I knew when I took the photos in this area it would a rich trove of images for some special post processing. I am very pleased on how this image turned out!

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