For Thanksgiving, John and I spent the day at Divine Play putting in kitchen cabinetry and butcher block. I approached this project with some fear and anxiety. A year ago, when we built Divine Play together, we fought with horrible intensity.
Since then, John and I have learned that our feelings are not a reflection of where we are in our relationship.
Part of the human design is that feelings rise and fall in response to thinking. What this means is no one can do anything to make us feel. It also means that feelings pass, like the weather and there is nothing we need to do.
With a new understanding of the thought-feeling system, John and I have stopped holding each other responsible when bad feelings arise.
So this year, I could see that my feelings shifted as my thinking did. At first I felt anxious, “John and I fought so many times while constructing Divine Play a year ago, what would happen now?” Later I felt excited, “Wow, look at what we are doing!” At one point I sobbed, “No one invited us to Thanksgiving, what is wrong with me? Why am I so unlovable?”
So many thoughts went through my mind that I could not track them all. My feelings, rising and falling with my thinking, were consistent in their brevity.
With insight into the thinking-feeling system, feelings become a personal feedback system. They show what is happening with thinking, not what is happening out there. I didn’t know about my thinking-feeling system a year ago. I thought John’s anger during the construction process was my fault. I thought I had to fix it, or at least find out what it was about.
The result of the day is that John and I did not fight, and we really enjoyed ourselves. I credit the beauty of the day to our understanding of where feelings actually come from. It is not that we did not feel the same feelings as we did last year, it is that we knew they were coming from our thinking and were not the fault of the other person. When feelings are ours alone, everyone can relax. There is nothing about us that is wrong, and nothing that needs fixing.
Would you like to experience more ease with your relationship? If so, I would like to support you in your endeavor. Write me with your questions.
Love Jeanne Catherine