Five Virtues and Feeling Fully

Our emotions indicate our alignment with our inner being.  When we feel good, we’re thinking or doing something right (we’re in alignment).  When we feel bad, we’re thinking or doing something wrong (we’re out of alignment).

Is this absolute?  Is happy always good, is angry always worse, and is sad always even worse? Is not our awareness of our emotional state, and our will to act in accordance with our understanding of it, more important than the simple pleasure-or-pain reaction of the flesh to inner alignment, which emotion is?

Sometimes negative emotion is appropriate to a situation, and anger or grief is the correct response, in the moment—but not forever. It’s appropriate, then, to feel emotion completely and express it to its completion, at which time the emotional state automatically returns to its “normal,” default positive state.

That is how to feel good, and how to be in alignment with one’s inner being:express the negative emotions as the experiences that conjure them are encountered.

We are a storehouse of past experience, and we continually encounter present experiences that “activate” parts of our being that carry the impression of those past experiences. Much of our “job” here—much of our purpose as currently-living human beings—is to discharge this burden of negative imprints so that we don’t pass them on to others through the process of harm.

Harm and its negative effects are like a cancer that has infected the human species, and which it is our purpose to find and eradicate within ourselves. This takes much strengthawarenesscourage, insight, and honesty to accomplish. The better we live these five “virtues,” the more we come into alignment with Who We Really Are, and the more we are (and do) “good” in the world:

Strength is the willingness and ability to endure unpleasantness.

Awareness is breadth and depth of knowledge, consciousness, and understanding.

Courage is the willingness and ability to endure fear.

Insight is inner awareness.

Honesty is the willingness to accept reality, rather than overlooking, ignoring, or lying about it.

It seems that the best way to feel better is to feel what you are feeling, fully; to accept that you feel that way; to understand that it’s okay to feel it in this moment; and to express (and thereby release) the negative emotions that present experience arouses from the inner impressions of past experience.

And what could feel better than feeling how you really feel, instead of covering it up?

(written in 2009)

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