When thoughts tell me to “be calm and breathe”, when my emotionally suppressed little boy cries in pain, and when the voice of spirit nudges me towards leaving a relationship.
Think, Thank, Thunk
Listening to your thoughts, emotions and spirit, all at the same time, leads to confusion. Better to act as if these are three separate worlds. Because they are.
Clarity requires identifying and listening to one voice at a time.
The majority of your thinking is not actually “thinking”. The constant chatter of a noisy mind is the unresolved work of a non-verbal feeling world bubbling to the surface. Especially as men, we tend to ignore our feelings and trust our thoughts.
But repetitive thoughts are more like the off-gassing (you know, farts) of suppressed emotions. You can’t trust the random chatter in your head.
Real thinking is a creative act. Repetitive thoughts are reactive chatter.
“Thinking” is the only domain within which many of us learned how to become successful. The public education system is all about getting the right answer, thinking in the right way and ignoring the impulse of the body to get up and play. These days, little boys who don’t sit in their chairs at school, preferring to run around and play, are given drugs for “attention deficit.”
Your emotional world is communicated in the language of feelings. You can’t trust your thoughts about your feelings; that leads to confusion. You can only feel your feelings.
You can trust your emotions. But you had better know that the agenda of the emotional world is to heal old baggage.
Your emotions won’t direct you in a straight line through your work day. Getting things done is in the domain of thinking.
The deep, emotional body is poorly known by most men. Growing up as a boy, the single best icon of manhood for me was Clint Eastwood’s lone gunslinger cowboy of 1970’s movies. “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” informed the way that I would completely suppress my little boy and shut down my emotional side as a teenager.
The lone gunslinger does not feel. Anything. The only thing that he can trust is his own wits, courage and willingness to kill.
But, for sure, deep down there is still a suppressed little boy wanting to be heard.
The “knowing” that comes with spirit has nothing to do with your thoughts.
Intuition is access to spirit. Some call this the higher mind or the collective consciousness. Albert Einstein was in the domain of spirit, not thinking, when he was handed the formula “E=mc²”.
Have you ever made a last minute decision to change your plans based upon a voice or an intuition? How about send a text to your lover at the same moment that she is sending a text to you? Funny how a book or a blog post will show up at just the moment that you need to read it.
Have you ever felt the feelings of your lover from 1000 miles away? Have you ever “seen” the future before it happened?
Spirit is easy to see with a flock of starlings flying around in the air as a unified mass twisting and turning into complex shapes that can only be described by a computer and calculus equations. Youtube “murmuration” for an incredible show. Or else see it by clicking here.
It is obvious that each bird is not thinking for themselves. Among the hundreds or thousands of them moving in unison, only spirit is doing the “thinking”. Each bird is guided to move left, right, up or down in just the right way to serve the entire flock.
Human beings also have direct access to the voice of spirit. Human beings think and act from the collective consciousness of the tribe.
The evolved man listens to all of the voices within himself. One at a time.
It is good to know when my thoughts are telling me to “be calm and breathe”, when my emotionally suppressed little boy is crying in pain, and when the voice of spirit is nudging me towards leaving a relationship. These are three distinct voices coming from three different places.
Distinguishing between the three separate voices is powerful. That awareness can change everything.
Don’t let the chatter of thoughts distract you from feeling deeply into your own non-verbal emotional body. Don’t let the “reason” of your thinking talk you out of listening for the quiet whisper of spirit.
Best that we develop a strong, familiar relationship with each of the three different domains. Best to know who is doing the speaking when we are either listening or suppressing.
As an illustration, imagine that your lover is doing that thing again which drives you absolutely crazy. Not crazy as in “I love you” but crazy as in “I want to kill you.”
A real example: a previous girlfriend would refuse to talk about how we were shutting down around each other. Using each other to hide out in life. Using each other like alcohol or a bong hit to numb out and to not be really honest with each other. Using each other to play small.
I didn’t want the world that my girlfriend and I were creating together. But I was addicted to the love. It was easy to see her part in it but not so easy for me to see how I was showing up.
It appeared to me that my girlfriend didn’t want to talk. She would just blow me off, change the topic or tell me that I was always bringing up the past. My not so imaginary girlfriend was unwilling to talk about a deep wall between us, an ultimate deal breaker.
I dealt with that lack of communication by becoming increasingly numb and non-communicative myself. Eventually I left the relationship.
Use my story to uncover the three domains that inform your own choices in life.
In the heat of the girlfriend drama, what was going on inside of me?
First of all, I was having a lot of chatter in my head. I would be telling myself to breathe, be calm and to try to talk it through with her.
The chatter in my head would also be telling me that this situation was hopeless. My chatter would tell me to just stop trying to talk it through. I might think about going for a run on the beach. I might think about having a bong hit.
At the thinking level, my thoughts might include positive affirmations. I might repeat some sage coaching advice. I might think about how attracted I was. Or I might be telling myself to “fuck that bitch!”
At the thinking level, I would be telling my friends all about what was wrong with her.
In addition, I was feeling a lot of deep emotions. There was a sensation of turmoil in my stomach and lungs.
There were body sensations going on that I would ignore in favor of keeping my attention on the mind chatter in my head. But at the emotional level, if I could really look deeply, there would be a wounded little boy just over four years old feeling disconnected from his mother.
The wounded four year old boy was wanting to connect with his mother. But she would be busy taking care of his infant sister, his two year brother and a much older step son. She would be in a bad marriage.
The mother of the wounded four year old boy would be wiped out, exhausted and not available for real connection and conversation with the boy. The wounded little boy would be feeling isolated, hopeless and unable to connect with the woman in his life.
At the emotional level, the purpose of my current love relationship would have been to work out the old emotional trauma of the wounded little boy. My emotional world would have wanted to use my girlfriend to heal unresolved emotions from my childhood. My emotional self would have picked just the right woman to play the part.
There was also a third voice. At the level of a spirit, there was a quiet whisper. I would hear this quiet whisper in my ears. It would sound like my voice but it was clearly not me doing the speaking. The knowing of the quiet whisper would say “do not linger.”
I would “know” that the quiet whisper was nudging me to end the relationship with my girlfriend and move on. “Do not linger.” That is all that the quiet whisper of spirit would say. But I knew everything that was meant by it.
Admittedly, it took some time for me to do what I knew.
Spirit would also have wanted for me to heal. But at the level of spirit, the agenda is much bigger than just myself. Spirit was using me for her healing also.
If I looked closely, I could view myself as being in three different domains all at the same time.
There is power in separating out the three voices. There is power in knowing that the chatter of the mind is only one voice and not necessarily the best.
There is power in knowing that you can listen and learn from your emotional body, not by thinking about it but, by feeling it.
For sure, there is power in opening yourself up to the knowing of the quiet whisper of the spirit.
Think, feel and know. Identify each voice and listen to them one at a time.
This article previously appeared on Teddy’s Blog.
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Feature Photo: @boetter/Flickr