This is one of the most helpful tools I've learned in Access Consciousness®. What if 99% of all the thoughts, feelings and emotions you have don't actually originate from you but are your awareness of what's going on with others around you? Whaaaaaaaat, you say? How is that possible? Well, have you ever spent time with a friend who was down and you leave feeling more depressed than before you saw her? Or your partner comes home from work and without him even saying anything, you know he's had a bad day? For me, it shows up when I'm driving. I'm perfectly content at my house but as soon as I hit the San Francisco streets in my car, I'm getting annoyed, yelling at other drivers and finding myself in a race to get there faster than everyone else on the road, even when I'm not even in a hurry. It seems that somehow we end up taking on other people's “stuff.” So what is that and how does that happen?
There's a few pieces involved. First off, you have to pay attention to the language that you're using. If you use the terms, “I'm feeling,” or “I'm having,” or “I am” something, then you've immediately claimed it as yours when in fact it may not be. For example, “I'm sad,” “I'm feeling sad,” or “I'm having some sadness,” automatically assumes that's what true for you. What if instead you asked a question? “What am I aware of here? What am I sensing? What am I perceiving?” Just like in mindfulness meditation (where you're cultivating your inner witness to thoughts, emotions, and sensations), this will give you more space, more detachment from the “upset” so that you can ask some questions and gain clarity on what's really going on.
Once you've become aware of something, ask more questions. “What is this? What do I do with it? Can I change it? If so, how do I change it?” Or using our sadness example, once you've realized that you're perceiving sadness, you could ask, “Who does this sadness belong to? Is this actually mine?” Notice the energy around that question. Does it feel light or heavy? In Access Consciousness, we talk about how whatever's true for you will feel energetically light or expansive, and whatever's not true for you will feel heavy or contracted. Try it. Think about a place you love to be and notice the sensations in your body. Now think about a place you can't stand being. Do you notice a difference in how you experience those? That's the light and heavy – for those of you familiar with muscle testing, it's like an internal muscle test.
So in the case of the sadness, if you've asked who does this belong to, and gotten the awareness that it's not yours, you can simply ask the energy to return to its sender; in other words, to go back to wherever it came from, even if you don't know where that is. The energy will start to move out of your body. You can also ask your body to dissipate and release that energy. Then notice how you feel. If you feel better or lighter, you know that it wasn't yours. If there's still some left, you could say, “anywhere I bought this as mine when it wasn't, I now destroy and uncreate that,” and use the Access Consciousness clearing statement (theclearingstatement.com).
We are so incredibly aware (so much more than we realize) and our body is giving us so much information all the time, another question that's really helpful besides “Who does this belong to,” is “Is this relevant to me?” Sure, you could be perceiving someone's sadness, but does that actually have any significance to you? If you get a no, or a heavy energy, go ahead and return to sender. If you get a yes, it is relevant, ask what part of it is relevant to you. For example, your partner being sad might have something to do with what you said to him last night that he's stewing about but hasn't yet addressed with you. Then you could ask, “Do I need to do anything with this? Can I change this? How do I change it? Is now the time for me to address this?” And so on, so that you can get more awareness on how to handle it.
Now please be aware that in the case of our loved ones, most of us have the sense that if those whom we care about are feeling bad (or for some of us, with anyone in general), we should do something to fix it for them or make them feel better. This usually ends up with us taking on their pain and suffering, and locking that energy into our bodies, where it then creates pain and discomfort for us. And unfortunately, that doesn't really “cure” the people of their woes – they haven't changed whatever it is that's creating the upset for them. Remember that we can't actually change the way people think or feel unless they're willing to change it themselves. And some people don't actually wish to change or to be happy. Which was a difficult one for me to acknowledge and accept, since I had assumed that as humans we all desire to be happy. And that simply isn't the case. Some people actually wish to be miserable, and they're getting something out of it. So me trying to fix it for them or take it away from them isn't actually being in allowance of them or honoring of their choices to create whatever they wish for themselves, even if it's not something that I would choose. I am no greater than them, and my choices are not inherently better or more correct than theirs. It's just a different choice.
So thanks for taking the time to read this blog - I know that this has been longer than usual but I wanted to make sure I covered this topic in depth and gave you some really practical tools to try. Please let me know how these work for you. For more info on these tools, please go to accessconsciousness.com.
If you were no longer taking on the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of others, who would you be and what would your life be like?