The Truth about you is what you feel. So don’t ‘Whack a Mole’.

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Feelings are a curious thing. We can’t see them, but we definitely experience them.

They play themselves out in the theatre of our bodies. When we are happy or joyful our energy comes up. When we feel anxious our  hearts pound, and we experience a shortening of our breath. When we are depressed we can become fatigued, we can sleep too much or too little.

From our bodies the feelings spill out into our behaviour, initiating or inhibiting action. They activate a sequence of typical behaviours that helps us to deal with people and the world. When we are anxious we avoid, when we are depressed we shut down, when we are angry then we fight.

In so many ways, we humans are animals “driving under the influence” of our emotions.

We deal with them in various and sometimes odd ways.

There are many of us who rip into the way we feel. We tell ourselves “you shouldn’t feel that, that is stupid”, and we then suppress the feeling. Let’s call this strategy the “Whack a mole” strategy.

Whack a Mole is a game that you may have played at a carnival. In the game you have a hammer, and you stand over (say) five holes out of which pop the heads of moles. When they pop up, your job is to hit the mole on the head with your hammer. The more quickly and more effectively you do this, the more points you get. If you manage to hit every single mole as soon as it comes up, you will no doubt have a high score. Many of us play a game of ‘Whack a Mole’ with our feelings – they pop up and we smash them down sending them back to where they came from.

So here is the rub. If we play ‘Whack a Mole’ with our feelings, we will never really know what we’re actually going through. Our feelings are the prism through which we discover the reality of what is on our Hearts. We can’t know what is on our Hearts if we fail to give our feelings due consideration. Playing ‘Whack a Mole’ with respect to our feelings leads to Heart level neglect. Heart level neglect leads to the triggering of typical physical symptoms and behaviours further down the track. These symptoms and behaviours become automated because our feelings have been suppressed. If we don’t turn towards our feelings, we never resolve the feelings, we only leave the the symptoms and the behaviours ready to be activated again in the future. We become powerless to the feelings, driven by them and, ironically, indefinitely sensitive to them.

The Heart speaks to us emotionally. To turn towards our feelings, and be curious about them is not an indulgence, it is the most uniquely human opportunity we have. No other species can consciously look inward and discover a hidden reality that is true of ourselves. To “be on the inside of a door that you’d only seen from the outside” as Lewis said. Other species can’t do it, but we can. If we choose to.

If you choose not to, then that may be fine for you. But if you play ‘Whack a Mole’ with the feelings of your partner, children and friends you run a huge risk. Because feelings are so closely approximated to the Heart; because feelings are the language of the Self; the person whose feelings you whack, are not likely to conclude that you don’t care about their feelings, they are likely to conclude that you “don’t care about……. me”.

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