During a workshop I led last week, the first question I asked was: "How many of you would say that your feelings, to a certain extent, come from your thinking?" Everyone's hand went up. The second question I asked was: "How many of you would say that your feelings, to a certain extent, come from your circumstances?" Everyone's hand went up.
Imagine the confusion. You kind of know that your feelings come from inside of you, but it so much looks like they come from your circumstances or environment.
Welcome to the human race.
In fact, every feeling of anxiousness, anger, insecurity, frustration, fear, jealousy, or judgment that you've ever experienced comes from this very delusion. And, interestingly enough, the more you attach your inner sensations to what's occurring on the outside, the more confused and unpleasant you feel.
Now, it's not your fault that you feel this way. Virtually every self-help method you've ever come across was developed to help you cope with life around you. But that's why self-help methods don't work. Your feelings don't come from life around you. They come from inside of you -- from the ebbs and flows of your thinking. So, again, coping with life around is only going to increase your level of confusion and bad feelings.
The answer to all this confusion? Simply deepen your level of understanding. The more you understand where your feelings originate, the less confused you become. In other words, being a human being means that you're naturally stuck between an inherent (and spiritual) knowing and the false impression that comes with living in a physical world. However, waking up to the truth that feelings have nothing to do with the physical world is all that's needed to help you navigate productively through it.
Welcome to the human race. Belonging to it might not be so difficult, after all.