Your daughter has just said something hurtful to you. Immediately you recognize the stinging sensation in your chest and angry thoughts arise in your mind. You take a deep breath, observe the feelings and thoughts cascade through you, and then drift away again.
4. Realize That Thoughts And Feelings Are Not “You”
Most of us tend to have an unspoken assumption that we are our thoughts and feelings. Einstein called this an “optical illusion” of consciousness. Searching your darkness and allowing your pain to arise is about recognizing that all thoughts and feelings are transient. All of your thoughts and feelings are not you, but instead are spontaneous surges of energy. If you could really control your thoughts and feelings, wouldn’t you always choose to be happy and loving? The fact is that we can’t control the thoughts in our heads. Seeing the essential impersonal nature of thoughts and feelings helps us to become witnesses rather than puppets of our inner landscapes. Understanding that you have no control over thoughts is not about living in denial, but taking responsibility for your happiness by learning how to create more inner space. This inner space will reveal to you your true nature beyond thought and form.
Search your darkness, and you will discover your light again. Search your darkness, allow it, and hold it in awareness, and you will see that pain isn’t the problem, resisting and reacting to it, is.
“I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” — F. Herbert