Detaching from our emotional beliefs

Burden- noun. the main theme or gist of a speech, book, or argument. synonym-message

The focus of this reading today is how emotional beliefs keep us closed minded. They are our emotional wounds. Most of us are unaware of these past preferences that imprison us. They are our invisible barriers that lock us up from exploring the infinite world. The world provides us with unlimited possibilities and potential yet we are fixated on our preferences. This closed-mindedness robs us from opportunities and experiences. That's why the only emotion we need to focus on to open us.. is Love.

The sufi poet Rumi best described it,

“Love is the bridge between you and everything.”

Long ago…...

My stomach grumbled ferociously, warning me that the beast within was ready for its meal. Across the street, my eyes halted on the restaurant sign with the red-headed girl with freckles and pigtails. My cousin and I agreed that chicken nuggets and Biggie fries with BBQ sauce from Wendy’s was going to be our feast for today. Little did I know that this day was the moment I sealed off a part of myself and would carry it with me for years.

My cousin and I hopped off our bikes and went inside to grab a quick bite to eat. We placed our order and sat down waiting for our food to be called. We couldn’t help notice a gentleman going table to table. We didn’t think anything of it and just sat there watching him. Some of the patrons would shake their heads declining while others would pull spare change out of their pocket to give to him. After a round of asking, he sat down towards the rear of the restaurant.

Got no Love for ya

One of the patrons decided to surprise him. He had a couple of burgers on a tray and placed it in front of the homeless man. That’s when the man started making a commotion. He started shouting. I couldn’t really hear what he was muttering and mumbling but at this point he had the whole restaurant’s attention. With great displeasure, the man swept his arm across the table while many of us watched in shock as the burgers fell to the floor. I couldn’t believe it. He had the audacity to behave so ungratefully. I was completely disheartened and disgusted.

I thought to myself what an ungrateful P.O.S. The man was still mumbling crap but in the end he made it crystal clear AND WE ALL heard him. He muttered “why didn’t he just give me the damn money.”

This happened when I was a teenager. I could still remember the guy’s face with his mustache and greyed hair. That experience was ingrained in my mind and I never forgot. From that moment, I saw how ungrateful and selfish that man was and formed a false premise that all homeless people were selfish liars. They will say anything to get money.

From then on, it was rare for me to give to a homeless person. Every time one would ask me for change, without hesitation I “denied” or blatantly ignored them. It was cold, but I struggled to show any compassion towards them. I would pick and choose who I wanted to give money to when I was approached.

But things happen for a reason. You don’t know why at the time because of emotional attachments. When we experience events in our life typically it falls into the categories of desirable or undesirable. If it tips the scale to the less desirable, you will mostly distance yourself from similar situations in the future.

I know this was an emotional wound from my errors in judgements that I carried with me into adulthood. Now, I am learning to live more from the level of the heart. I know it sounds mushy but the only way to truly live life really is THROUGH Love and WITH Love.

Life becomes much more seamless as you learn to open yourself. Every moment, situation or interaction is an opportunity to gain insight into yourself. When you start acknowledging this, you are able to move through life without impulses.

These impulses in actuality are emotional attachments that we have bound to a past experience. Because of an occurrence in the past, we make judgments about what is happening at the present moment with the reaction of the past. This is how the ego operates because it is trying to protect itself. These are your burdens of the past which is just a message to correct your mind and your heart.

With mindfulness, reflections and a bunch of letting go, my message was delivered and made itself clear to me. While I was walking my dogs at the park, I was approached by a homeless man. We made small talk and then I took another lap. On my second lap, the man asked if I could grab him some burgers. He was trying to pull money out of his pocket, but I declined. I told him to put it away and I let him know that his meal was on me.

My final lesson

I returned with the two cheeseburgers, iced tea and a bottle of water as a bonus since the scorching heat was going to be at its peak later that day.

As I repeated what I had gotten for him and handed everything off he asked, “What else did you get me, got more”? Rather than feeling offended or appalled from his remark, I smiled.

I replied back with, “I do have one more thing.” I extended my hand and shook his. He thanked me and I told him we are all here to help one another and told him to take care of himself.

It took me many years to let go of the fallacy that all homeless people are ungrateful..

So…this week’s Daily Tactic is to observe yourself. Be aware of your negative emotional responses. These are indicators that you have an underlying emotional belief buried deep. This exercise requires you to view yourself from a perspective as if you were watching yourself standing slightly above. A third person perspective. This practice is called self-observation which is one of the fundamental basics to mindfulness.

This allows you to view things from a distance and not be emotionally immersed. Then you will begin to notice all your little resistances. Those are little messages telling you what you need to work on. I invite you to try this practice for at least one day. If you can do one day, try two and so on….

Here’s the bottom line…

If you are looking to change….you have to start by changing the way you look at things.

As always, big, big thank yous to everybody for reading my ramblings.

Nick

These are my thoughts and things that have helped me along this trek. These became my Mindful Tactics and Fuel for My Thoughts.