Don’t Fool Yourself

by Asatar Bair on June 18, 2012

Sometimes we just need to hear the truth, as in this quote from Puran and Susanna’s classic book Living from the Heart, p 73. If you think you’re being perfectly rational, and not the slightest bit emotional, you’re fooling yourself.

I think this is a message that my fellow men particularly need to hear. I have the sense that women are more comfortable with their emotions than men are, but perhaps this is changing.

But we all need to do more than just accept that emotion plays a role in our decision-making. We need a way of tapping in to the power and insight that emotions bring, a way of trusting our hearts with the big decisions as well as the small ones, even when we know that there will be times when the decision won’t make sense to our linear minds.

It helps to trust that although emotion can’t be analyzed objectively or controlled willfully, by letting your feelings flow like a river, you can and will come to a place of clarity, and you can get there by going with your feelings, not fighting them. The key is trusting your heart, and the best possible way to develop that sense of trust is to practice Heart Rhythm Meditation — breathing in tune with your heartbeat, feeling the emotional energy of your heart, breathing fully and deeply, energizing your heart physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I wish you the best of success in your decision-making process.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share a comment here.

Yours in the One Heart,


P.S. For those pondering our two-year University of the Heart program, please have your application completed by July 1st.

P.P.S. Learn more about Puran and Susanna’s upcoming summer retreat, July 27-August 1, at a beautiful, historic retreat center in upstate New York which used to be a Shaker Village.

You might also like: What’s Behind Your Thinking?

See all posts in the Heart category.


Tom June 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I certainly can’t object to this advice, only offer my hatred towards stupidity that comes from “too shallow” of an awareness of emotions, largely coming down to Jung’s shadow concept. Like the idea “don’t shoot the messenger”, feelings aren’t the enemy, and neither are those relationships that trigger the feelings. I distrust feelings as a source of knowledge because I see people enslaved to them, and their beliefs and narratives about what they mean. I hate this so much because relationships and friendships seem to be regularly destroyed by this disaster. So in defense I say everything I believe in relation to how I feel is not to be trusted, and if I’m fooling myself, at least I’m not destroying trust and safety, like I see others do.

Asatar Bair June 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Hi Tom,
Thanks for this interesting comment. People often get stuck in a certain feeling, and I think much of what you’re talking about stems from this. I would call that resisting the emotion. Having a feeling, then rushing to categorize it, then make a decision based upon it, is like dipping your toe in the water of emotion and then running out, back to the comfortable shores of the mental realm.
I also hear you saying that while feeling your emotions is good, emotional reactivity can be destructive. I agree. In working with feeling, there is a chasm, on one side is numbness, feeling too little emotion, and on the other side is reactivity, feeling a lot of emotion but not dealing with it skillfully.
take care,

Tom June 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm

The Mankind project introduced me to the “Awareness wheel”, separating observation (facts), judgement (interpreations, opinions), feeling, and action, since they tend to get all mixed together unconsciously. The interesting thing is it suggests feelings are a reaction to judgements, rather than facts, so if true, implies you have to clarify the nature of the judgment in order to give clarity to the feeling. Here’s an example:

Watching the political conflicts the emotional reactivity is instructive. My only successful defense in discussions is to try to keep side-stepping the subjective emotions and try to figure out what are the agreeable facts, and then I don’t have to get sucked into false drama between necessarilty conflicting values.

I’ve also read about the ideas and nature of “Trauma” which seems to represent inner division, and a reaction to something our psyche can’t handle objectively, so reality splits between an innocent side that is protected and inhibited, and a defender side that can mature very rapidly, so it creates paradox that the parts of ourselves that are most strong, are also corrupted by their development, because anything that resembles the initial trauma experience closes down true awareness of any current situation. So I’ve wondered how to help a person in their trauma/defense, whether personal, or a political argument, see past what they’re actually doing inside in that moment. I accept my own blind-spots are there too, and so this reversal is also about catching and halting my own reactivity, and see what’s left when the enemy focus is denied. But the process feels all intellectual to me, something I can’t worth through via a live interaction, intellect being too slow.

Asatar Bair June 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

Yes, I feel you. It often happens that I think of the perfect thing to say much later.
It’s good to keep in mind that most communication is non-verbal, happening unconsciously through movement, posture, and energy. When your heart is peaceful, all these unconscious non-verbal communications go in the same direction, producing coherence, and a feeling of harmony.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: