- Thoughts for inspired living

January 7, 2015

This means . . .

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:29 am

C786998 mDid you ever notice when you get an emotional feeling, you attach meaning to it?

We all get emotional over something and then we ascribe a reason to the feeling. The shorthand we use in these situations is: “This means that.”

My experience is when we equate an emotional this with that, we go on a downward spiral towards drama. Our transport vehicle is the “woe is me” wagon.

The next time you get emotional (yes, there will be a next time), stop and notice the sensations in your body that go along with the emotion. The sensations will register somewhere, usually along the front half of your body from your head to your bowels. For example, we can all relate to a lump in our throat, a gurgling in our stomach, a flushed feeling in our face, etc.

The trick to avoid the ensuing drama is to notice the sensations that go along with the emotion. That puts your attention on the sensations rather than having it go into “this means that” mode.

“This” rarely ever means “that.” I’m reminded of one of my favorite observances I learned from Dr. Robert Anthony. He said, “You’re rarely upset for the reason you think.”

It’s the thinking about the sensations that has them catch fire and start to burn out of control. If you begin noticing the sensations without ascribing meaning, you prevent “this” from becoming “that” and you won’t cause a 4-alarm blaze.

Get in the habit of exploring the sensations that go along with an emotion. That means to actually feel them, not equate them. Feeling is an in-body experience; equating is a long head trip elsewhere.

The sensations want to be noticed. That’s why they acted up in the first place. They want you to pay attention to them, not judge them. By paying attention, we let them have their “say,” allowing them to more quickly go on their merry way.

Application of this strategy turns “I’m sad because” into just “I’m sad.” There is no meaning attached to “I’m sad,” just the opportunity to feel the sensations that go along with sad.

Once you begin to extrapolate meaning, you guarantee that you will be mean to yourself and insure that heartburn won’t be far behind.

Jump off the meaning wagon and you’ll stop the never ending “tit for tat” that goes along with “this means that.”

All the best,


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