When we look into the above words they probably represent some of the greatest confusions we face on an ongoing basis in our lives. As an infant and very young child we operate nearly exclusively at a feeling level, our minds are still developing to have the capacity to comprehend or articulate what these feelings are actually about. In other words we simply feel a sensory reaction to what is either touching us, being witnessed or creating discomfort in our bodies. As we get a bit older, as a young child, we start to develop our emotional body, we are able to connect better with how these feelings are affecting us and thus we start to express them – emotionally. We start to do this by expressing these feelings, we articulate them through our body language, a complex factors of internal chemical reactions in our body or we demonstrate them verbally.
This evolvement is closely followed by developing ideas and concepts – these are our thoughts. Our thoughts can be very subjective; at a younger age they are often based upon what we see our peers expressing, but initially more so from our parents or caregivers. As our exposure to the world opens up then our thoughts are even more influenced by social media, news, fashion, cultural behaviour and the movies or books we read. We start to align or believe these thoughts that are forming, and thus they are further strengthened and can easily become very rigid personalities. Problems can arise when we only view life through the prism of our beliefs – we all have them – but considered solely in isolation they can cause us to develop a very narrow view point and prevent us from recognising our more primitive functions. These are the core innate feelings we have, that alert us to a deeper connection to our true sense of balance and well being.
When we can connect to our core feelings, and express them emotionally, then we are able to release any tension we may be holding. We also allow ourselves to be recognised by others , and hopefully receive the support we are attempting to receive.
It is quite evident that the nurture and support we get in our developing childhood is critical to develop and mature the three elements of feelings, emotions and thoughts. At the extreme end of the scale of suppressed or corrupted development, we start to create very strong thoughts to validate the unexpressed feelings that we have not been able to assimilate as we matured into an adult. Then we either express uncontrolled emotions or we internalise them completely. If left unattended we build a fortress to protect ourselves from the hurt and pain that never got acknowledged earlier in life, or we justify these hurts by viewing life though this prism and see life outside ourselves as dangerous or unable to understand us.
None of this has to define us. It is part of being a developing human. With love and care we recognise a better pathway. Sometimes good or bad fortune overcomes us and shows us where we have erred and we open up to a better balance, attitude or way of behaving. And if none of the above happens we can start to apply ourselves to a more connected and conscious way of living. This can be through self help literature or online seminars, the company of wise souls who inadvertently show us another way of being, or we access professional help to gently expose what we have not been able to recognise.
In this way a whole new world opens up to us – sometimes beyond what we even knew could exist!