However, once he learned to just observe his feelings and emotions separated from who he is, it has become much easier for him to ride the wave instead of getting knocked out by it. It took him a little practice and some reminders from me, but he is able to cope on his own now with the help of journaling. And that is huge for him. A simple question has not only kept him in business, but also allowed him to thrive emotionally.
Am I the feeling or that which is aware of the feeling?Here’s the question to consider asking yourself: “Am I the feeling or that which is aware of the feeling?”
This one question dissipates the basis of negative feelings. You are that which is aware of the feeling. If you are sad, you are not the sadness. You are aware of your sadness. You are not depressed, but that which is aware of your depressed mood. Often, I hear in my practice, “I am depressed” or “I am anxious.” With this statement, you identify yourself with what you are feeling. I help my clients separate their feelings from who they are. For many, that is their first time separating themselves from the feeling itself.
This separation allows you to create distance from your feeling, which is what you really want. Having that space gives you an opportunity to empathetically and unconditionally observe your feelings, and that observation helps you process and live through the feelings instead of being caught up in them.
If you are depressed, for example, try saying, “I am experiencing sadness or depression” or “I feel depressed.” Try not to say, “I am depressed.” That identifies you as depression. That speaks to your psyche very differently. Most often, we label ourselves with emotional and psychological symptoms. But we don’t identify as physical symptoms. Have you ever identified yourself as a headache, stomachache or cancer? Of course not. You would just say, “I have a headache. I have a stomachache. I have cancer.” Then why label yourself with the emotional and psychological symptoms you experience?