feeling arises from thought. that's all that means.
You feel what you think. Feeling comes from thought. And that's all that means.
It's funny: when I first heard this 6 years ago I got it. Immediately. And just as immediately felt the relief in it. "You mean that text I just got didn't make me mad? My THOUGHTS about the text created my madness? AWESOME!!!"
I was so captivated by the knowing that whatever I was feeling in any moment was not coming from anything outside of me. It was coming from withIN me (or...as I see it now...THROUGH me, but that's another post).
That didn't - and still doesn't! - make it EASY to see in every moment. But the simplicity of it continues to ring true.
Sometimes, though, when I share this understanding with others I face a lot of resistance and push back. As if it's somehow unwelcome news or that it MEANS more than what I'm saying: feeling is thought. Thought is feeling. Feeling is thought in the moment and thought comes from within us.
(Oh how I wish I could MAKE you feel something - I'd take all of your worries away and fill you with joy!)
You don't feel what someone else says or does. You don't feel the words of an email. You don't feel your bank account. What happened 3 years ago doesn't make you feel something today.
You feel your thinking about those things.
It doesn't mean that what the other person does was the right thing. It doesn't mean that your thoughts are good or bad.
It doesn't mean that your feelings aren't valid. Your feelings ARE valid, real, something to notice and experience. Feelings == Life.
It doesn't mean you should be able to control your thoughts or magically stop thinking them.
It simply means that the feeling you're experiencing in any moment is because of the thoughts coming through your mind in that moment.
It doesn't mean that the event that happened didn't happen. Or that it was okay. Or that you should just forget.
It doesn't mean your partner should or should not have done that thing.
It means that your feeling in any moment is a reflection of what you're thinking in any moment. And that's it.
In one moment you experience profound grief over the recent loss of your friend. That grief is real. And in the next moment you feel joy when remembering that crazy trip you took together when you were 18. That joy is also real. It's the thinking that is fleeting.
Later that day you walk in the woods and remember your friend and take a deep breath and feel full of love and peace and gratitude as the tears stream down your cheeks.
And in yet another moment you momentarily drop to a feeling of neutral okay-ness while you focus on backing out of the driveway safely and all of your thinking settles down for those two seconds of distraction.
The loss of the friend doesn't cause the feeling. It's the thinking in the moment that creates the feelings. And thinking changes.
That doesn't mean that your grief is bad or it's good. Feeling is life.
It doesn't mean you should be able to control it. Thoughts flow like the weather and the weather is not yours to wrangle.
It just means that feeling is created out of thought. It's all an inside job. And, as I have experienced it, that might be the most difficult - and the most beautiful - understanding we can uncover.