Meeting weekly with my men’s group helps me to distinguish between my feelings and my story. I’m a work in progress that way.
My book Warrior Uprising is, in part, my personal journey into feeling what I am feeling and getting outside of my story about who, what and why. “I am sad.” “I am angry.” “I am afraid.” Period.
“I am angry because …” is, I have found, almost always an illusion; a story that I have made up which takes me out of feeling the feeling and into creating a drama.
It requires concentration to feel my own feelings and to own them as my own. The training I went through as a boy was all about how men don’t (or shouldn’t) feel.
Best that I can tell, anger lives inside of me like an entity, like a demon, waiting to be awakened and brought out to play. Anger just sits there until the usual suspects or situations “trigger” my anger and wake it up once again. It’s not really “my” anger as it seems to live in many people and not just me.
I’m still in research mode on fear. I suspect that what I call “fear” is often times a story about something deeper. Probably, that something is “I don’t trust.” It might be “I don’t trust myself.” Or it might be “I don’t trust the bigger game.” (You know, God.)