A couple of friends started up a “memories” group for my old hometown high school. I mean, who could resist that? It has been fun seeing and thinking about people I haven’t seen or thought of for over 50 years, but something else was happening inside me.
With some casual searching, I was able to find my high school yearbook, and realized that I never had bought one at the time, nor was I interested. My senior year of high school was fraught with emotional intensity, raging hormones, and rebellion, so the last thing I wanted was to remember it.
As I scrolled through the pages, I found out pictures of me were featured prominently in the various sections: Speaker’s Club president, Thespian (I played Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman”), various choirs, the school newspaper, Commencement speaker, and even the radio internship I did. Yikes! I was busy! And, you know, all I remember from all that was how unhappy and depressed I was. Now, 50 years later, I see I was having the time of my life, was in love a few times, was “being a voice” in the community, and living a pretty vibrant life.
One picture was of me at the Senior Prom with my girlfriend at the time, dancing. I kind of remember it, but the look on my face sent me right into the feelings I was having. There was affection, humor, grace, and fun, and suddenly a floodgate of awareness opened and I saw how I had placed a big boulder of conclusions about high school that blocked most of my feelings and memories of the experience. I was so intent on defining myself as a maligned malcontent, that I literally blanked out the feelings of my experiences.
I woke up the next day having spent most of the night “running through” other times in my life that were supposedly difficult, and I realized I had done the same thing for them, too. No wonder life seems so short–I was blocking out big sections of it!
Last year, my brother had sent me some VHS videos to convert to digital formats, and one of them was about a visit my wife at the time and I had made to my brother’s house in the Los Angeles Area. I did not remember any of it. All I remembered of that general time period was how unhappy I was, and how badly I wanted out of my marriage. I figured out I had cancelled out all my other experiences and feelings in favor of my feeling of unhappiness.
I did slowly recover some of those memories, but my state of mind wasn’t allowing me to feel my life, and this brings me to my point (finally)…
With all the turmoil lately with pandemics, riots and fake news, it’s easy to draw a quick conclusion, and then rapidly find evidence to support that conclusion, at the expense of really seeing and feeling what is actually going on.
The feelings we have about an issue are very often driven by our past experiences that in turn frame that issue within a very narrow aperture of awareness. We see pictures of events and adopt other people’s interpretations of those pictures, depending on how we want to feel about what is happening.
A friend of mine made a great point: “Everything is conspiratorial when it comes to controlling the narrative. The real conspiracy is diverting your attention from what you are actually seeing and feeling.”
Buzz words and memes are carefully constructed by social manipulators to create emotional narratives that try to hook us into negative feelings and memories. When, instead, a few minutes of stepping back allows us to experience the feelings of all sides, and then put things in the positive context we would like for our own life experience.
If things seem hopeless, then you can be sure someone is benefiting from that hopelessness. If you’re angry, someone is using that anger for their purposes.
That anger and hopelessness only hooks in when it matches a narrative we already have about our life or life in general. We chose to decide things were a certain way, and here is the direct evidence proving how right we are. As my mentor said recently, “Being right is a false flag operation. What is actually going on is to misdirect you from your own gut.”
If we’re not willing to really feel into both sides of a conflict, there can never be resolution. Our feelings create our thoughts, and our thoughts create our life. We choose how we feel about something, and if it seems like we didn’t choose, then someone is controlling the narrative other than you.
So throw off the bonds of rightness and wrongness. Feel all the feels. Feel the way things really are. Everyone’s right in some way, or there would be no conflict. If all feelings are valid, then the true Big Picture reveals itself, and the love that was always trying to get through can find a place in our hearts.
From the quantum perspective, all points of consciousness are connected. We have the ability to feel the feelings of others, and in so doing, we come to understand our place in the world and how love is driving us all forward toward a greater life.
So… Feel ALL the feels!