2009-08-07 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

We can change ourselves. Life is about flow, like a river constantly moving, where nothing stays the same. It is made up of a little of this and a little of that. We have an intellectual and an emotional side. We can bring in our intellect when we have to fix a broken device, but it is not important when we want to relax and feel the warmth of the sun on us at the beach. Our own emotions fill us with information about ourselves and our perceptions and feelings. We need to feel so we can react appropriately. When we embark on a project, it is important to have the thought backed up with the emotion behind it to carry it through. Our thoughts point the direction, while our emotions give us the power to carry our project through to completion.

Our spirit when it is in balance can control both our thoughts and emotions. We can be filled up with a beautiful peaceful feeling, and then watch various thoughts come and go through our minds. We can observe and evaluate them, but we must realize that our thoughts are not ourselves. They are like birds that fly in and out of a cave. Some can stay while others leave, and above all else, they can be changed.

If we are obsessing about the unknown, for example, we can say to ourselves, "I will only think of this for five minutes a day, and tell myself that I am acting silly." If I repeat this often enough, I can change the way I handle the unknown. We are not our thoughts.

With our emotions, we can get so caught up that we lose control. We need to detach and step back and decide that this is how we feel and then let it go. Once we recognize how we feel, it is no longer necessary to keep the emotion going on and on inside of us. We can restore the peace and balance remembering which emotion was triggered and then choosing which action is necessary. The thought associated with it will be put aside when it comes in, and we choose to not pay attention to it. The more peaceful the spirit, the more there is a balance between the intellect and the emotions.

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