Our thoughts are light, speedy, aimless things. Most of the time they are like arrows shot with no target in sight, fired by an inexperienced shooter.
Our thoughts originate from a culmination of our sensory perceptions. Everything we hear, see, touch, taste is translated into a thought and documented for a brief moment. Thoughts can be more than just observations though. They can take on a certain tone too. It is complex, but for simplicities sake lets say they can be “positive” or “negative”.
Our thoughts change super fast, like rapid fire. One day someone says something good to you and your thoughts are pleasant. The very next day, the same person says something bad to you, and your thoughts become awful for the rest of the day.
Our thoughts change rapidly for two reasons. Firstly, because our sensory environment changes constantly. Secondly, because we lack the inner mastery to control our thoughts.
Feelings originate from a cumulation of our thoughts. Feelings take time to build and to change direction. They usually just get heavier and heavier until they can feel overwhelming.
Feelings are thick, heavy, gooey, sticky things. They move like molasses, slow and sticky.
It takes time to gather. It can be difficult to redirect your feelings, to simply turn a switch and decide to “feel differently about someone or something”. They are a powerful force, pushing in the direction that you spilled it.
A negative feeling about a person is built up of numerous thoughts about that person. By that point you are already quite deep. Even if you start thinking good thoughts about them, it will take time before you start to really and genuinely feel different about them. Because our feelings have a certain lag time.If we start thinking bad thoughts about someone today, after some time, eventually our feelings will also start to change towards them.
That’s why you can’t have negative thoughts about someone and feel good towards them. You can’t feel negatively about someone and act normally around them.
Our feelings tend to influence the way we act.
Having a pleasant experience of life
If we want to have a pleasant experience of life that means that our actions in this life have to yield pleasant results. They have to uplift our life and the life of others.
Our feelings need to be pleasant. They should invoke peace and optimism within us. If we feel anything other than that, if we feel restless, angry, bitter, sadness – all of these things will make life unpleasant and at times even unbearable, for us.
And for this to happen our thoughts should also be consistently pleasant to create these feelings. But this takes a certain degree of mastery.
We need to learn how to change our feelings.
How to change your feelings
1. Ask yourself “Who am I in this situation?”
In all areas of our life, we can ask ourself this simple question. Who am I in this situation? What are my responsibilities, what are my duties here?
What would the wisest, most loving, most peaceful, most intelligent and kindest version of yourself do in this situation? How would he/she behave?
Do your best to do just that.
In the great epic dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna seeks Krishna’s guidance on how to establish his dharma in life. He seeks Krishna’s counsel on how he should live this life, how he should act.
Krishna. at one point tells him “Arjuna, you do not know how to act because you do not know who you are.”
I find this such a profound message. And I this applies to many of us, certainly myself. That’s why we keep learning, keep trying to understand how to live a happy life – because we don’t know who we are yet. As soon as we understand this concept, all other things become superfluous.
But for now….I think we are at least moving in the right direction!
So, it’s simple. Decide WHO you are, WHO you want to be, and act accordingly.
2. Keep thinking deeply about your actions, and soon your feelings will follow.
New age books like “The secret” talk a lot about changing your thoughts to change your feelings and thus to change your life.
But anyone who has had to tried to lift a heavy feeling about life, anyone who has tried to change their thoughts about a dismal day is really, really tough. Perhaps after a certain level of self-mastery we will be able to do that, but for now, it’s pretty hard! Suppose you are having the worst most heartbroken day of your life, and you try to control just one thought, to transform it into something positive – in reality I think it’s quite rarely successful.
Instead, I think a good place to begin is to start big. To start by looking at your actions. How you act is easier to control than your thoughts (initially). After some time, after a period of consistently acting from your soul consciousness, your feelings begin to follow. Slowly, though. But they will change. As I said, feelings take a long time to change direction. Once your feelings start moving in a consistent direction that you want to move in, so will your thoughts, gradually.
Imagine the incredible power that is in having your deeds, feelings and thoughts all moving in the same direction?
This is integrity.
And imagine the magnificent power that is in having your deeds, feelings and thoughts all moving in the direction that you want them to move in?
This is Freedom.