The Difference Between Your Emotions and Feelings Is Highly Correlated to Your Freedom

A feeling is the marriage of emotion and thought.

~Gregg Braden

“Why is the simple definition above relevant at all, to me?” one may ask.

It stipulates that the nature of the feeling will primarily depend on the ‘narrative’ we allocate to the emotion, not the emotion itself!

“Why is that mind-blowing? I can control the narrative consciously. I have power over my mind.”

I am aware this thought could have crossed your mind. Having been there, I know how far this assumption could be from reality.

Appealingly, we process external data responsible for triggering our emotions using the fastest part of our mind: the subconscious program. There is a reason why experts called it a program:

Unlike the conscious mind, it doesn’t question the input. It merely executes a set of memorized and automated algorithms. It looks for similar patterns & situations and the created limiting beliefs & narratives around them at a speed of 40 million bytes per second before translating the emotion into a feeling.

Let’s take an example, shall we?

A stranger is being aggressive toward us. We were raised in a toxic and dysfunctional family system where aggressiveness was a daily practice even when it is subtle — more dangerous on our sanity — or what specialists label as ‘passive-aggressiveness’.

Thus, we would have an unprocessed self-preservation anger emotion and have built the story/limiting belief, “you need to fight back; otherwise, you’d be perceived as weak.

If we were fortunate enough to either be born in a healthy family system or to do the inner-work, release our childhood trauma anger emotion, and transform this narrative into “others’ behavior says more about their inner turmoil and misery than it is personal; I have nothing to prove,” then the outcome would be totally different.

Some meditation lovers would argue, “Well, my mind can do whatever suits it. I can always release the emotions that don’t serve me and re-center myself when meditating.”

I agree. I know from experience how effective it could be given that it was the first part of my adventure before my re-birth.

Nonetheless, it would be a quick fix that wouldn’t stop the damage in the first place. In the middle of a traffic jam, you wouldn’t be able to use the tool and avoid meaningless conflicts.

What is even more interesting is that you would lose a priceless opportunity to implicitly inspire change, should the stranger with whom you are interacting be an intrinsically good folk!

Last thoughts

It seems to me that we may ask ourselves a few simple questions within the context of self-introspection:

  • Am I willing to continue relying on my quick fixes to re-center myself and live in the shadow of the True Self, or shall I pay the price of working on the deep root causes and unleash the servant leader in me?
  • For how long will I let my conditioning have the last word, keep me in my mental prison while enjoying some freedom from time to time thanks to my tools?
  • How would I want to be remembered after leaving this physical existence?
  • Isn’t being one again with the Universe worth the effort and pain?


Myriam Ben Salem
Myriam Ben Salem
I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer. Writing has been my very favorite means to educate my audience, captivate their attention, talk to their emotions, and make them relate and take action. I have been honored by working as a columnist for BIZCATALYST 360°, an Award-Winning life, culture, and biz new media digest, serving as the global hub for enhanced performance and well-being, during 2020. Also, I am a contributing author in Mayhem to Miracles: True Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Peace. I am so in love with writing that I have a peaceful smile drawn on my face whenever I start visualizing the books I will be writing for whoever will be tempted to discover an inclusive philosophy breaking with all the stigmas! I was born in Tunisia, a small country in North Africa. I did pretty much everything earlier than the average: walking, talking, singing, dancing. Promoted throughout my entire education, I was also the leader of every end-of-year party. At some point, after working several years for multinational companies as an engineer, team leader, project coordinator, and product owner while always being a top performer, I figured out I was feeling miserable despite the 'perfect external image'. That marked the starting point of an existential crisis followed by an episode that triggered my re-birth and the beginning of the most rewarding adventure of my whole existence: re-writing my subconscious program and reconnecting with my true self. I was saved at the last moment through an out-of-body experience making me see all the lies, realize this gigantic Universe was not revolving around me. Most importantly, I was able to visualize I was here to leave a legacy like all of you, no matter how big or small! The butterfly took time to emerge though. Today, I identify myself as a Universal Citizen. Like-minded and light-hearted people are what I call home. I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer, and was granted the edutainer qualifier: a combination between education and entertainment! I educate on the importance of healing unsuspected traumas, seeing our limiting beliefs and biases with honest lenses, finding one's purpose and a principled mission that goes beyond the self, and unleashing the hidden potential so that to leave our legacy for the generations unborn. I have been using a panoply of means that could vary from explicit ones such as mentorship, speaking, and writing, a skill that emerged naturally during my self-actualization process to implicit mediums like storytelling, how I daily show up in the world and model servant leadership! Writing is my very favorite and most preferred tool deployed for my mission. The topics I explore are in the nexus of stoic philosophy, psychology, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and pretty much any topic involving human behavior. Common denominator? The quality of the subconscious program. You may have a look at some of my works published on my website; Set Yourself Free.

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