Journey To Freedom
by Tracy Barker

Tracy is an amateur spiritual writer who recently started submitting articles to my web site. She has also been editing some of the articles from other new writers for these pages. Like the rest of us, she has taken the next step out of the box and is finding out about her true nature through her own writing.





Featured Article

Feelings Verses Emotions

What's the difference I asked myself, Is there really a difference?

The dictionary describes a feeling as a conscious awareness of an emotional sensation. It can be felt by touch, a physical sensation, an opinion or a notion, readiness to feel sympathy or compassion. To Feel is to assert one's influence. It is a response to stimuli.

An emotion is described as a strong mental or instinctive feeling, such as fear of love, agitation, it is even described as a disturbance of the mind.

What I have come to understand for myself is that feelings are very necessary in my life, they are what let us know that we are fully alive, they empower us! A feeling is of the heart, it is an instinct, it is not something you can choose to put in words, and is only expressed through emotions. Emotions are a reaction to a feeling, they are the output of our feeling, our reaction to our feeling........., but on the other hand they can become an exaggeration of the feeling.
There are two ways of reacting to a feeling - we can react in a way that has nothing to do with the feeling but is a past emotive experience, which comes across as extreme over feeling, or we can have a feeling or experience and can honestly express that feeling exactly as it should be.

My emotional susceptibilities have kept me caught up in situations past, present or future and I have often missed out on living in the moment. Emotions are merely perceptions that create the illusions and ongoing situations I sometimes despair in.

My question to myself was. Can we react to feelings without become controlled by emotions?
When do emotions become an exaggeration of a feeling? I based my opinion on what I have learned from within and from outside material. As I said earlier our emotional reactions are sometimes based on previous emotional experiences. Every feeling we experience brings up an emotion for us. Our emotional responses are in some cases learned reactions. "Marcel Prust"

If some-one insults, rejects, or sends a negative or positive stimuli to us that creates a feeling in us, we go back to the original first and other past experience of a similar situation and remember the pain/joy it caused us, therefore experiencing the emotion in the past and present simultaneously increasing it's power over us. The difficulty lies in honoring the feeling and reacting in the moment without taking back or experiencing baggage from the past.

A very basic example

Someone in traffic accidentally pulls out in front of you and you have to break suddenly. The initial feeling is fright and the immediate reaction is to pull the breaks. The emotion is fear. You reacted to your feelings and felt the emotions, when the emotion kicked in, you consciously/subconsciously remembered the last time this happened and immediately felt the anger you experienced at that time. Fear and anger combined motivates you to pull up along side of the vehicle that has just cut across you and you wind down the window and scream blue murder at the inconsiderate driver.

Ironically, If the driver had acknowledged his/her mistake, you probably would have let it go and not reacted, but because you have been ignored, treated like you were invisible only added to your emotional frustration, (maybe you were ignored as a child or teenager).

All this combined caused you to react in the way you did. Thankfully there are no Right or Wrong answers or reactions, we all react. These situations are only opportunities to connect more deeply with yourself and others.
Feelings and emotions are a good way to examine baggage or perceptions that we hold on to, that often we are not aware of, and neither can be ignored or be repressed, they must be honored. They give opportunity for reflection and self growth, we can quietly sit with ourselves and ask when did I last feel like that and what did it bring up for me so that we are more aware of ourselves.

Feelings and Emotions are the essence of what makes us Alive, Spiritual and Human, suffering.

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...more articles by Tracy Barker
Open Up to the Suffering (Part Three) 
(giving the wound some air)

Often the suffering we feel is hard to pin down. We just feel a little off, and disturbed, but donít know why. This comes from our tendency to push suffering away, and avoid it. This however limits our ability to overcome it, or be truly released from it...

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What was I most afraid of? My biggest fear was Change, changing who I am now and letting go of my comfort Zones. John put his thoughts in words with such elegance...