Where do we place the blame for our pain from the past?
Good question huh? When we are feeling the pain from our past we so want to blame it on something other than ourselves and nurture the fantasy of our wrong-doer to plot out and imagine revenge. We want our pain to go away so we try to look for a place to put it that will make us feel better. However, many times we just act right out! We embrace that ugly feeling, project it on others, and let it run amuk! Sound like something you have experienced? I certainly have.
This year I learned about the “Noticer” – a supra-awareness that if we practice it through concentration, will become our internal guide to the reality of our feelings. The noticer is engaged when I, through my own thinking, imagine myself outside of myself, observing and “noticing” what I am feeling. I continue to learn about and experiment with this process and its benefits, I wanted to share a few ideas with you so you can try it out for yourself – let me introduce you to the Noticer –
When we experience our emotions, we immediately identify with them and believe they are true. But when the “Noticer” (that godlike voice within us) is engaged and we allow ourselves to get outside what our feelings are and what we are thinking to NOTICE them and put them into perspective, three things happen:
1- the Noticer helps us to see that the feelings are not the truth
2- I can identify with those feelings to help me see that they are not true
3- I see that the feelings come from the past and put them into historical perspective
When I use the noticer to discover the source of my feelings it allows me to understand and realize that there is no solution for these past feelings I am grappling with, only compassionate awareness. When I have compassionate awareness I can place my feelings into their historical perspective, realizing that’s it! The sadness, the loneliness, the withdrawal, self loathing, the anger, or any other painful emotion is replaying an emotion from the past. When I engage the noticer it helps me to have a space of freedom from the struggle and the pain of what I am feeling. When I am suffering through painful emotions from the past, I am really putting myself into a situation where I plead for a solution; but there is no solution for the past, only compassionate awareness.
When you are sitting by the pool, driving to work, walking through the park or laying on your bed and you are whining and crying, moaning and groaning over what you are feeling, you are pleading for a solution – you want to know why! I totally understand. We want to lay blame on our pain and find out why we are hurting so it will stop, right? We want a solution for it, and we want it now. BUT we must realize that the painful emotion(s) we are feeling is pain from the past, and we are dealing with the helplessness of it. There is nothing that we can do with the pain from the past but to feel it, we must learn to take the sense of blame out of it. We can only feel it now, identify that it is pain from the past, and realize that the only solution is to put it in it’s historical context with compassionate awareness – the only awareness that makes sense from the past when we were helpless.
When I am angry I mistake it for a present reality when in fact it is only a memory, a pain from the past that I am having to deal with now. (Have you ever heard of getting your buttons pushed?) I must learn to practice the noticer and realize that there is nothing I can do with my feelings and emotions except to place them in their historical perspective and embrace them with compassionate awareness.
Here is an illustration that might help explain what I am saying: Remember when you were in college and you were taking a test or studying and looking for answers to the questions? You were waiting for that answer to come to your mind. You would get outside your circumstance of where you were and go to the equation or problem that needed an answer and review in your mind the information around the subject. You most likely would use your concentration and be quiet so you could hear the answer in your mind. Maybe you would ask a question and be very still and quiet so you could hear the answer. Sometimes you would get a feeling about it, “a hunch”, and then follow the feeling to see where it would take you and what you would understand from it. This is similar to (according to my present understanding) having supra awareness outside of our own self (engaging the noticer). It is being aware of that voice within us – the collectiveness of our spirit, soul, body and mind that is the god in us – and listening to the voice that is bringing us into all truth and wholeness. Engaging the noticer helps us to see the realty of our feelings, identify with them, then place them in their correct historical perspective.
Love and hugs for a great weekend!