What Do You Feel?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what you’re feeling?  Not how you’re feeling, but what you’re feeling?

If you’re like me, you probably never stopped, as an adult, to question the labels you gave certain feelings as a child.  Tonight, I had a major realization, that somehow, as a child, I mislabeled the combination of desire and anxiety as FEAR, then I cleverly disguised fear as ‘aversion’, or the opposite of desire!

I spent my entire life believing that there wasn’t anything I wanted to do!  I thought I lacked desire, but the truth is, I didn’t understand that the feelings I was having… THAT’S WHAT MEANINGFUL DESIRE FEELS LIKE!  The meaningful desires, the important desires, they’re SUPPOSED to be a little scary, a little challenging… they’re supposed to make you GROW!

If you haven’t done it yet, pick a few things you’ve said ‘I wish I could do that’ about, and really examine why you haven’t done it already.  Mine was dancing.  I’ve always looked with longing at dancers.  Envious of their grace and beauty, I never tried, because I held a deep-rooted belief that I wasn’t graceful and I wasn’t beautiful, and I was afraid to fail.  I was insecure, and that insecurity blinded me to the fact that there was true desire beneath the fear.

I’ve told the Universe that I’m ready.  I’m ready to feel the fear, and do it anyway, and the Universe is taking me at my word.  It’s letting me know all the things I desire, and letting me see that Fear + Excitement = Desire, and Fear + Dread = Aversion, and I should chase desire, and work on my aversions.

I realized what true love actually FEELS like… and it feels like coming home, but better.  It feels like complete acceptance.  All my life, I’d been searching for love, but I had no idea what I was trying to find, because I’d never felt it before.  There were several times in my life that I was loved, truly loved, but because I didn’t know what I was looking for, I didn’t recognize it and appreciate it when I found it.

Check in with your feelings, friends… your brain is a highly skilled manipulator, and it knows you better than you know yourself, and it will lie to you in a heartbeat if it thinks it is for your own good… and it’s not always interpreting the circumstances correctly.  Examine your emotions, double-check the definitions of your feelings… is it really anger, or is it fear?  Is it really fear, or is it excitement?

Think of one thing that you want to do that you never tried, and really ask yourself why you never even gave it a chance?  Dancing?  Irish Folk Dancing?  Horseback riding?  If you felt afraid, what’s stopped you from facing your fears?  Have you ever stopped to ask yourself if facing the fear is worth having the experience?  Somewhere along the line, some of us were taught that fear was a stop sign, instead of what it really is- an alert system.  It alerts us to things we should pay attention to.  Not just the bad things, but the things that will challenge us, the things that will delight us, the things that will make us feel ALIVE… ‘fear’ is nothing more than intensely focused desire.  If you’re getting attacked, you have a very intense desire for safety, or to be away, or to survive.  If you’re about to perform, it’s simply an intense desire to perform well.  Fear is simply the label we’ve all put on the intense desire to feel safe… but some of us have umbrella’d all intense desire under the ‘fear’ label, and have no idea that they’re misinterpreting intense desire (to do, have or be something), intense excitement, even intense sexual desire, as fear.  Or the emotion (desire, excitement, lust) is so strong it triggers a fear response within them.

Is there anything you’ve encountered in your life that you didn’t do out of fear (shyness, insecurity, fear of failure, fear of success) that you may possibly have mistaken the feeling of intense desire or intense excitement as ‘fear’, and allowed that to stop you from ever trying it?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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11 thoughts on “What Do You Feel?

  1. Fear is a huge factor in not doing something. What will people think of me? Will I be able to afford it? Should I do this or not? When I had to decide to put my life on hold to take care of mum, I had to ask myself if this was right. Not just if I thought it was right, but what was deep inside me. Yes, I let others take care of mum for me for a bit, but in the long run, I decided to come home. There are other things which have been stopped by fear or perhaps it wasn’t the time to pursue that particular thing. I missed a birding class in college because it wasn’t in my major. If I get the chance in the future, I’m going to seriously look into it. I didn’t take a couples dance class because my spouse didn’t want to and I thought I shouldn’t go alone. I didn’t learn to weld because my family said it would be too dangerous (they may be right, I’m not really good with fire). I always listen to what other tell me and forget to listen to myself. Listen to yourself. THAT is the most important part.

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    1. You are absolutely correct, friend… but do you know WHY you are correct? Because we each were born with our own guidance system, custom tailored to who we are, and who we desire to become, and when we eschew our own guidance system for the guidance systems of others (parents, spouse, children, society, bosses, etc), that’s when we get confused, insecure, afraid… we ask other people what we ought to (or SHOULD… there’s that word, again!) do, and they have no choice but to answer us according to THEIR guidance system… which isn’t intended for YOU!

      Maybe someone forgot to tell you this… but you’re ALLOWED to ask YOURSELF the right thing to do, and it doesn’t have to match what ANYONE else believes is best for you, because they can’t know your path, only you can know your path… fear doesn’t equal things we MUST avoid… it just equals things we should focus on. Danger is only one reason to focus on something, and we often forget that. Intense desire also prompts intense focus, and the uninformed don’t realize that intense desire feels a LOT like fear!

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  2. Yes!! Fear is nothing but a catalyst – unfortunately I wasn’t aware of this fact until a few years ago, and so shied away from many opportunities due to fear. I mistakenly took the fear as a sign that I shouldn’t do it, that I’d fail. I love that you liken fear as intense desire! Puts such a spin on it all when I look back as many of those instances I truly desired, on a deeeeeep soul level, to experience them. As always, Amanda, such a brilliant post!

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    1. Thank you Kayla… this post is another one of those that I can’t take credit for… because the Universe inspired that one. I had to reread it when I finished writing, because I had no idea what it said, lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my goodness. This changes EVERYTHING. I’ve come to a bit of a lull in my self discovery lately. I keep looking for my passion in the safe things.

    There is one endeavor that always comes to mind, but is immediately chased away by imaginary embarrassment and humiliation scenarios. I have zero excuse for not pursuing it in terms of schedule, only in fear.

    How do you know for sure?

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    1. Will it cause damage to you, either emotionally, physically, or financially?
      Will it damage anyone else in the aforementioned ways?
      If the answer to both questions is ‘No’, then there is no reason NOT to, other than lack of desire.

      Unfortunately, no one knows just how much desire is ‘enough’ to make something worth trying at least once except you.

      If you’re asking in what way I personally make the determination between whether something is Fear + Desire or Fear + Aversion, then the answer is most often, where I feel it in my body when I think about doing ‘the thing’. Basically, I figured out that the things I’d been labelling as ‘fear’ and shying away from were most often Fear + X… X being whatever other feeling the fear was ‘wrapped around’. Now that I know how it works, I identify the ‘deeper’ feeling, behind the fear, and decide whether I should act on it or not, by whether the feeling I felt WITH the fear is a feeling I wish to pursue. So, Fear + Desire would be a ‘Yes’, whereas Fear + Embarassment will be a ‘No’. (Unless it’s Fear + Embarassment + Desire… in which case it’s ‘No’, unless there’s more Desire than both Fear and Embarassment combined).

      I hope that made sense. Sometimes translating things from a vibration into words is… awkward.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s really where my “learning curve” is right now. Building up enough trust in my “gut” to not let that undirected fear make my decisions for me. Forcing myself is never the answer, but that’s what the “shamer” in me always wants to do – to prove I’m not a slave to fear.

        Taking the fear out of the equation and asking myself whether there’s desire in the mix, or simply shame — that will help a LOT.

        Translating / putting words to feelings is difficult for me. Working on that too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah… the translation… that can be difficult, because it’s so personalized to our own experiences. It can be difficult to ‘sift’ through the feelings (both physical AND emotional) and determine what’s ‘right’. It’s taken a lifetime of trial and error for me, and I’m STILL learning, obviously.

        You’ll get this, Lundie!

        It helps, if you ‘test’ yourself on little things. I do all sorts of things to ‘test’ my intuition. The other day, I sent memes to every woman on my messenger list. I made it my purpose to send each individual the meme which ‘spoke’ to me for them, and sometimes, I have no idea why THAT one says ‘pick ME’, lol. I judge my ‘success’ by how many ‘I needed this right now’ or ‘I love this’ responses I get. 🙂

        Little things like that, which are harmless if you make a mistake, and uplift others when you’re right are wonderful ways to ‘hone’ your intuition.

        Hopefully that makes sense 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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