Who am I?
As I become more aware of these thought forms and just notice them without judgment -- which does a great deal to defuse their magical power over me -- I find myself able to do that with the more visceral emotions. I notice that this surprises me somehow.
I'm seeing that there was this acceptance that unhelpful thoughts made stories and these stories were unquestioned lies given the status of Truth in my unconscious mind. Easy enough to drop these thoughts, then, right? Yes!
But there was still a belief, or a holding on to, the reality of feelings. All feelings were happening to 'me.' There was no separation between me and my feelings like there was between me and my thoughts. Feelings were closer to home. They had some special status.
And then I had the thought ...
"Wait, only the Truth is true, so what I'm feeling is basically a perceptual lie/error, too. (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know the world, my body, the trees and rocks etc are an illusion). But in fact, maybe I can't really be having this feeling at all...not in Truth. But then again, since I am, or seem to be, then I am...but I don't have to make a big deal about it."
And somehow this simple, practically-too-obvious thought made a shift happen. I think it's because I am like the fish becoming aware of water. I am not my feelings....they are another form of story that keeps me magnetized to my identity.
Byron Katie asks us, "who would you be without your story?" I wonder, "who am I without my feelings?" When I can really hold that, Laura suddenly feels like a very mushy concept. But in a good way.
But let's not go overboard now, I caution myself and any reader, and start denying those feelings that we only started acknowledging with years of mind-watching practice! No, no, no...this is not denial. I am the princess and I must not rest while I feel that pea under my mattress...I need to dig up it up, whatever it takes. I need to stalk my behavior, my motives, my thoughts, my moods, looking for clues that something unconscious and stinking is stirring, like an old dead fish in the back seat.
But after we do that a few hundred (or thousand) times, the Witness Awareness isn't blocked out of our minds like it used to be. It's like a door has been cracked open, and I can step through it where ever I seem to be and look from a new lit up space. I know at a deep level that the feeling doesn't exist separate from the guilty past or fearful future. So there's this Trust or conviction, and I can say from an authentic place, "This hurts so who I Am is not really feeling it! Only this idea of who I am is...and I will sit with THAT for a bit."
Everything gets very spacey...unsolid...slippery then. Like the structures that held the sand together to LOOK like a castle have been peeled away, and now the little grains that make up the world I see are like fluid.
My ego identity is a package deal, and I will never convince the Laura Story that the world isn't solid and that she's not real and important. (I have years of trying to no avail under my belt as proof. I still need to breathe every few seconds even after countless hours saying, "I am not a body, I am free.") Yet, while I'm not making her a big deal in my awareness (hell, if all her thoughts and feelings are perceptual errors, what's left to focus on with any great seriousness?), she's automatically beginning to pale a little...become translucent, transparent.
And if I ever do become awake/enlightened in this or some other lifetime, my guess is that for a seeming while, I will still have dishes to wash, kids to care for, and stuff that other people call "problems" to attend to. But maybe everything will be like the One Moment in which I see that it's all a perceptual lie, a big fat mirage. It/life seems to loom out there on the horizon so tempting, but it ain't goin' nowhere, and it ain't comin' closer, or getting prettier or more spiritual.
And then I can just not make it a big deal.