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Being human: understanding our emotions.

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Like all of life, we humans are a paradox. We are both human (with a physical body, senses, thoughts, beliefs, emotions), as well as spiritual energy or life-force. This energy has been called many things: energy body, soul, awareness, atman, universal intelligence, Mind.

We experience both at the same time. We flow in and out of feeling our human-ness and also our larger sense of Self.

We experience our human-ness and our divinity through the universal power, or energy, of Thought. For example we experience our more personal thinking (which makes us feel our more human side – such as judgement, compassion, anger, love, habitual thought, busy mind etc.) and also our wisdom, or insight-based thinking, that can remind us of our larger Self. In reality it is one energy expressing in different ways.


As humans one of the main areas we tend to get caught up in, confused by and unsure of ourselves is with our emotions. We innocently believe that we ARE the emotions we experience e.g. I am a sad person; I am an angry person; a depressed person. We may also believe that we need to do something to fix them and/or ourselves. If we believe that our emotions come from things we experience in the outside world, then we will keep trying to control life, and others in order to feel good. I spent a good part of my life being afraid of what I felt or might feel. As I began to understand, and see for myself, that it is my thinking in the moment that creates, or brings feelings with it, rather than the outside world, this changed.

For example: I saw that my reaction to certain behaviours in my son seemed to create completely different emotions in me, depending on the day. If he’s not listening, sometimes I react with anger (preceded by lots of angry thoughts!) other times with patience and love.

If the behaviour was the same in him, but my reaction was different then I understood it had everything to do with my thought in the moment (or state of mind) and nothing to do with him! How freeing this was.

Our experience of everything, including our emotions, is created via thought in the moment, not by the outside world directly. When I saw that my experience of life and myself comes from the thinking I have about it, rather than life itself,it made less sense to try to change it, control it, believe it or mess about in it. What a relief!

I also used to be afraid of what I felt because it looked to me that I could get stuck in one emotion, and that I had to do something to change those emotions I didn’t enjoy. One day I spent the day impartially observing my emotions and I really saw how they came and went, moved all by themselves. I saw the fluctuations in my mood, my thinking and that without me having to interfere they shifted and changed all by themselves. Another job off my to-do list!

Here’s the nub of it: emotions are safe, can’t hurt us or permanently harm us. They don’t say anything about the sort of person we truly are. They may be uncomfortable to experience at times but they are like the weather passing through the sky. The sky is untouched by the weather and is merely a container for it. Same for us. We are containers for all the experiences, thoughts, emotions that pass through us. AND we don’t have to do anything to help them to change. Our human nature is designed for this to happen all by itself.

To be human is to have lots of different emotional states. Believing that we should only feel certain emotions deprives us of the whole rainbow of the human experience. When we truly know that all emotions are safe, and that they move all on their own, we are liberated from trying to fix ourselves, so that we only experience the ‘nice’ ones. We innocently apply labels to certain emotions and then hold certain ones at bay. When we can see that who we are isn’t the emotions we experience, we give ourselves permission to just be. And we can rest in the knowing that who we really are is the spiritual energy that flows through us; the awareness or consciousness that is present and aware of all our human experiences.

Once I saw how my emotional states are created, I stopped searching to be happy all the time. Life here on earth is about polarity and I believe we are meant to experience it all – the light and the dark, the ups and the downs. When we can allow this to be, I find our experience of being human is much more free and filled with peace. Even in the middle of the messy bits!

If you have any questions about this topic (or any other!), please do get in touch! I’d love to hear your comments and answer your questions. Thanks for reading xx

Lindsey Elliott is a Wellbeing & Resilience Coach, energy healer and meditation teacher working in Brighton and online. She offers one to one coaching in a life-changing paradigm of understanding about how the human experience is created. With this understanding you can move from feeling insecure, stressed, anxious or unfulfilled to happy, secure, inspired, peaceful and filled with love.

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