In a previous posts I discussed the role emotions play in our well-being. And in another post, we looked at how we find ourselves through our passion. In this post, I would like to connect the two posts and look at the importance of awareness of our emotions play in helping us find our passion in life.
Each one of us has come here with a unique blueprint. In the entire history of Homo Sapiens there has been nobody like us. Some people estimate that there have been about 108 billion ‘modern’ Homo Sapiens (PBS) over the last 50,000 years. Just pause and reflect on this. In the last 50,000 years there has not been a single person like us. This is astonishing and underlines the enormous diversity and creativity of the universe. This uniqueness is built into the fabric of our cosmos. And when we are true to ourselves, we fulfill why we are here – to manifest a unique aspect of this creation. Finding our passion, means connecting to this uniqueness in us.
But what keeps us away from this uniqueness? Social constructs and mental conditioning. This goes way back into our early childhood and continues into today. We are constantly influenced by social forces – families, friends, media and so on. Influence in itself isn’t bad. In fact it is inevitable. However, when this influence begins to carry us away from our core (what the Hindus call Dharma), then we begin to walk around carrying a borrowed identity. This is the core problem. And is the beginning of all misery in life. Misery is mainly because of non-alignment to ourselves.
Some people notice this and begin to rebel. They rebel against their family, the society, the political establishment and so on. They live in a constant “No”. This teen-like behavior seems to give us power, but actually has the opposite effect. Most rebels are very easy to anger. They are one word or statement away from rising as fast a volcano. Such people usually have a strong sense that they have been deprived of something and therefore they need to fight for it. Rebels therefore primarily derive their identity from being against something. And so, are trapped in the same social construct. They are simply against something instead of being for the same thing. We need to rise above rebelliousness in order to discover our uniqueness.
And this is precisely where connecting to ourselves becomes critical. How can we discard all the veils of society and connect to this universal uniqueness in us? The secret lies in joy. What activity brings us joy? This is very difficult to identify, because we have lost sight of what true joy is. Most of us confuse excitement with joy as I discussed in an earlier post. In simple terms excitement is “Oh my god AMAZING”, joy is a subtle undercurrent of expansion in our minds accompanied by peace and satisfaction. If you are restless, know this isn’t joy. Joy is the deep feeling of connection we get when we are watching the sunset by the ocean or just watching the rain patter against the windows. This depth characterizes joy.
This means that we need to know what joy is and how it feels. This requires emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence simply means awareness of the emotions. Awareness of all emotions. Do we know how joy feels? Do we know how sadness feels? Can we sense how hurt and pain feel within us? This is crucial and I can’t say it in any stronger words. Perceiving emotions – no matter how painful they are – is critical to develop sensitivity or awareness in life. And it is this sensitivity to ourselves, that helps us discover that which moves us at our core. It is through self-awareness that we become aware of this uniqueness of our existence.
Many people run away or shut away emotions. This makes them either withdrawn from society or makes them purely functional. People who withdraw from society are running away from their own feelings – they become introverted. People who shut off their feelings and get on with life are also running away from themselves – but they become extroverted. Awareness transcends both these modulations. The lack of awareness, makes people functional – like a spanner, a machine, a rock, a stone. Highly useful, very utilitarian but useless to create joy, peace and love in this world. How can we be ambassadors of love, peace and joy if we withdraw or become merely functional? This is impossible.
In order to discover our passion, our uniqueness, we need to develop sensitivity. First to our own emotions and feelings and then to others around us. This is the greatest benediction on this planet. The greatest blessing on this planet is when we find who we truly are. And until then, the journey continues.