Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine Ė What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group Ė Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowleyís Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
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
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,921
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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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