Shadows on the wall

One of the underlying principles that form part of our human experience is the fact that we experience the world and relate to our world through thought. And one of the great things about thought is that it is constantly changing, as long as we are not holding on to any particular thought. A thought will exist only for as long as we are paying attention to it. The moment we stop paying attention to it, that thought will go away and a new thought will come in.

Within my more recent circles of study, I have heard the metaphor being used for how our thoughts are like shadows on the wall. If it’s a scary looking shadow, kids sometimes will react to that shadow but adults don’t usually get scared by shadows because they know that it’s only a shadow, it is not real and that the shadow will change as soon as the light source moves or the object that is casting the shadow is moved. At least that was how I understood the metaphor when it was presented to me.

But, as I was reading George Pransky’s book, The Relationship Handbook, I had a moment of clarity, an insight, that gave me a different perspective on the relationship between our thoughts and our emotions or feelings and I used the same metaphor to explain it to myself but in a different way.

Before I share my insight with you, let me say that another principle that forms part of our human experience is that of consciousness. Consciousness is what allows us to experience our existence, it is our ability to recognize that we are alive and it is what allows us to experience or feel our thoughts.

So, using the same shadow metaphor, this is what I now understand. Our emotions are the shadows on the wall. The shadow is what we feel and react to. Sometimes they are good shapes and sometimes they are not. The object that is casting the shadow is our thought and the light source that makes the shadow possible is our consciousness.

I invite you to sit with this metaphor and with the statement that we are living the feelings of our thoughts for a while. Feel free to drop me a note and let me know what insights you may have had about this, either while you were reading this post or as you sat with it for a while.

Until the next time, may the four winds continue to guide your way.

Lots of love,

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