Nothing lasts forever, including our feelings. Thinking about that logically, it is very obvious. But, on an emotional level, we often lose sight of this. In the moment, we are consumed by the feeling and it causes us so many problems. We say and do things that we may come to regret later. We make rushed, poor decisions. And the aversion to the emotions we are experiencing only add to the suffering.
When we take the time to slow down and observe our feelings in the moment, we create a space between them and our consciousness. Viewing our emotions from this perspective is like being a third party and we realize we are not the emotion, we are separate from it and it is only temporary. If you work on tuning into your feelings throughout the day, you will see how our emotions shift, sometimes within a matter of minutes, but that they never last. If we can bring this idea of impermanence into our awareness, it will serve us immeasurably every time we feel anxiety, anger, sadness or other negative emotions creeping in. The feelings may not go away right away, but we will not react to them as strongly and we will be able to handle them better. Eventually, we will notice they may not stick around as long.
This awareness can prevent you from reacting inappropriately or creating more problems for yourself. For example, let's say you cannot stand a particular person on your spouse's side of the family, but you only see her once a year when she comes to stay at your house for the week. Even if your whole body is overcome with loathing anytime you are near her, the awareness that the feeling will probably go away once you are no longer interacting with her and the fact that you only need to put up with her for a few days out of 365, can help you from blowing up, which will probably only end up making you feel worse than better and cause problems with your spouse.
The next time you feel negative emotions rising up in you, try to remember this idea of impermanence. This too shall pass.
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