When Emotions Transform
During my morning routine today, I felt sadness well up when looking at a picture of my kids.
In the picture, my arms are around the kids and the three of us are standing in Rocky Mountain National Park on a beautiful day. Seeing these two precious humans, I felt fear of losing them and regret for times when I’ve been a crappy father. The fear and regret became sadness.
Allowing myself to fully feel emotions is part of my morning routine, so I let myself completely feel the sadness. I felt it in my shoulders, in my stomach, as a weight in my arms, and as a hollowness in my chest. I also had thoughts - memories and imaginings of the future - meandering through my mind, but I focused on the sensations in my body and let the thoughts keep meandering on their own.
In allowing myself to fully feel the sadness this morning, I was able to clearly see what caused it - fearful and regretful thinking - and then get in touch with what underlies that fear and regret: my love for my kids.
It’s because I care about these little guys that I fear losing them. It’s because I want them to have a great experience of life that I regret when I’ve been a crappy dad.
Fear is based on thinking about the future. Regret is based on thinking about the past. Sadness and love are felt when we get present to something in the here and now.
The sadness, the fear, and the regret transformed into love. I only had to feel into the sensations of the emotion; I didn't have to actively think about it. That's how insight works - it usually doesn't come from our conscious thinking. It usually comes from someplace else in our mind, and we only need to give it room to arise.
The meditation portion of my morning routine ends with some gratitude. This morning, I feel very grateful for the opportunity to live with and grow from having these two amazing little people in my life. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to feel, whether it’s sadness, fear, regret, or love. What a gift to be able to feel anything at all.
And I’m grateful to have learned to allow myself to feel emotions, to allow and let loose the thinking wrapped up in them, and to see what new insights arise to connect and awaken me to the life and love around and within me.
Thanks so much for reading. ❤️