I can’t possibly know or hope to control how others feel, and I certainly cannot live my life according to how I perceive others may feel. It’s simply too hypothetical. All I can do is live my life how I want to live it. I am not a callous person and I take no pleasure in hurting anybody, so there’s nothing I need to do except live my life. If people have a problem with who I am and what I do, then it truly is their problem. I can’t help them, and I would not be doing myself any justice if I altered my life’s plans because I thought they might be better off.
I have spent too much time and energy worrying about other people’s perceived sadness. We all have to suffer our periods of sadness and dejection – that’s the nature of our universe. I can improve my life immediately by releasing responsibility for other people’s feelings. Even if people hurt, it’s okay. All I can do is control the things I can control and allow the rest to flow through my life as naturally as possible – and IT WORKS. Is all this just reverse abandonment? Do I feel bad about abandoning people because I know what it feels like to be abandoned?
One thing I did notice at the weekend is how effective it is to just feel. When someone is talking to me there is a temptation to analyse their words. Instead of doing this, however I simply listened to them and noted my feelings. I was drawn into an analysis of my feelings but with practice this can be curbed, leaving the pure feeling which I can act on accordingly. If I feel tension then I can raise it. The chances are the tension is not mine, but once it has been brought up, it can be dealt with appropriately.
The benefits of feeling, as opposed to analysing, are threefold. Firstly, it makes it much easier to listen. Listening is a definite skill which needs to be practiced and to analyse the words of another not only complicates the art of listening, it interferes with it. There is no need to analyse the words because the feelings reveal all. Any analysis should come after and in connection with the feelings.
Secondly, the feelings are the most effective form of internal communication. I f I want to know my own opinion of, for example, a piece of art, then all I need to do is to discover how it makes me feel. If I can verbalise those feelings then I have an opinion. It is the same with listening. If somebody is telling me something, I do not need to analyse their words. I simply need to feel the emotions those words cause me to experience. Then I have the truth.
Thirdly, I can conserve precious energy. Effective listening can be hard work and it takes effort. If, in addition, I subject the words and thoughts of another to analysis I am employing further reserves of energy which I can ill afford to do. The process of listening automatically causes me to experience feelings and it is those feelings which tell me what I need to know. Furthermore, analysis can cause unnecessary complications. To ignore my emotions in favour of an ego-based analysis is to discount the discernment of my own feelings.