A feeling is energy. Energy is not good or bad. Only how we use it can be good or bad. Feeling of anger is not bad, only acting violently and cruelly on it is bad. We confuse a feeling with an action it may provoke. This misunderstanding makes us afraid of our own feelings so much that we avoid them. We simply don’t want to feel, because it can make us bad and nobody wants to be bad. So we judge feelings and justify actions by telling various stories about them.
I don’t have responsibility for a feeling appearing in me, but I have responsibility for my answer to it. I can answer by reacting to it or responding to it. A reaction is automatic, done without any reflection, it is based on fear (and it is valid sometimes too); a response is different – it is wise and mature and it comes from understanding and acceptance. To respond I need to listen to a feeling first, I need to be aware of it, connect to it. This attitude of mindful awareness creates some space and time that gives me possibility to choose, to choose a proper action, to choose a way I want to behave without hurting myself and others. Mindfulness changes approach to feelings; it makes them our friends not enemies. It allows us to live fully, because life is felt more than thought.