Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichťs
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Feelings Know How To Do Their Jobs
Article ID: 12593
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Posted: December 7th. 2008
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Feelings are within us for a reason. They are the barometers of our spiritual condition. They let us know what our next course of action can be. It took me a long time, a very long time, probably many, many lifetimes to figure this out. Since I was having so much trouble and repeating similar patterns over these many lifetimes, I guess I decided that this time was the time to be done with that particular issue. So I came back as an out of control alcoholic.
In my recovery program we have many sayings, petit bon mot, that help us remember what we are trying to do. Stay sober. The one that Iím thinking about today is H.A.L.T. Never get too hungry, too angry, too lonely, too tired. Iím thinking of it because a family member asked me if I had any advice for them regarding the recent relapse of a mutual loved one. That was what I had.
Iím also thinking of it because Iíve been mulling over this post for a little while now. And when I typed lonely in my email to them, it struck me how I want to write this.
When I got sober I discovered a few things: I let my feelings run me and I had very few that I was accessing. Anger, frustration, sadness, and occasionally happiness or love. But mostly I lived in a cauldron of confusion that would burst out into rage or, occasionally, love. I pretty much had to be drunk to experience love and joy and then best not get too drunk or that would change quickly.
Holy Smokes! That sure is leaving out a lot of the emotions available to us. Yes, they gave us this little emotion face map:
Over the years I have done a lot of work on my Self. Iíve found my full range of emotions. Most of the time I use them appropriately. That map, while slightly trite, stayed with me. I discovered that there are more feelings than are on that map. That they donít always look like the map. And that all of them are okay.
There was a time when I put feelings into one of two columns. Good Feelings and Bad Feelings. Joy, love, compassion were good feelings. Anger, sadness, depression were bad feelings. And to be avoided. I spent some of my time in recovery feeling guilty for having bad feelings. Intellectually I knew that there is no such thing as a good or bad emotion but it took awhile for that to travel to my inner most knowing Self.
I donít remember what day it was but I remember distinctly when I discovered that I had had probably 20 feelings, all different, all in one day. And that none of them took over the day. In the old days, all it took was one frustrating thing to ruin the entire day no matter how good it had been up to that moment. Broken shoelace? Disaster. Missed the bus? Catastrophe.
Boyfriend left me? End of the world (Well, that can still feel like the end of the world for a few days) .
Itís just not like that now. I spoke the other day of being a beholder in my own life. A witness, an observer. Most of the time that is how it is for me. I notice that Iím having a feeling. I take a look at it. I decide if any action needs to be taken and I either take the action or move on so that the next feeling can come in.
So, when I say, ďIím lonely, Ē or ďIím angry, Ē it doesnít mean that this is my overriding emotion for the day or the week or the year. It doesnít mean it is the only thing going on with me. It means that right now, in this space in time, Iím having feelings of loneliness. That will change, very rapidly most of the time. What it does NOT mean is that I shouldnít have it or that I must change it. NOW.
It also does NOT mean that I havenít done the work or that Iím not over a relationship. It just means that, right now, during the lusty month of May, Iím feeling a bit single. And itís not really what Iím looking for. It does NOT mean that I think I need a man to be happy. (Although I do know that I want a deep and meaningful sexual relationship with a man.) It just means that Iím human and some close intimate companionship right about now would be most awesome. And strange as this may seem, Iím overjoyed that I can feel an emotion such as loneliness, acknowledge it and what it means, allow myself to feel it fully, and then move on.
Alcoholics drink over their emotions when they are not in recovery. Itís what we do. We really donít need a good reason; the sun setting will do just fine. But it was our feelings that many times sent us running to the nearest liquor store or bar. A quote from the book ďAlcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from AlcoholismĒ by AA Services (fondly referred to as The Big Book) :
ďIt is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worthwhile. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die. If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.Ē
I canít afford to live in the spiritual wasteland. I refuse to buy property there. I donít pitch the tent. I see a feeling that might tip me and say, ďThanks for the information, Ē and keep on walking.
This feels great to me. It feels like a major accomplishment.
When I say Iím lonely or angry or hungry or joyful itís just information. It isnít my address. I get the impression from things said to me that most folks expect that if I say it that Iíve moved in, 20 boxes and a mattress. They feel compelled to give advice. To make it better. To say there, there now. Really, it isnít necessary. At any given moment, no matter what the feeling of the moment is, Iím fundamentally A-okay and exactly where Iím supposed to be. My emotions and my interpretation of their purpose and my next task are totally appropriate. Overall? Iím happy. Joyous. And FREE. No matter what else is going on.
And just in case you wondering, YES, I think this is magic. This is the epitome of magic. To know, to will, to dare, to keep silent. Well, maybe not that last one so much. But to change your world through concentrated intent. To live oneself into a new way of thinking rather than think oneself into a new way of living.
That is magic.
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