Sensations as anchor

 

I was reminded of this a couple of times in recent days, waking up with a sensation in the body that I didn’t have a ready story about, and then trying out different stories to see how they would fit. Is it a mood? An emotion? A body symptom?

This is a good example of how thoughts combine with sensations to create a gestalt, a new whole that seems very real and substantial in itself, until we see how it is made up of just a sensation and a thought.

In this case, I could tell myself it is a mood, and how it must have come from a dream or maybe something going on in my life. I could probably have found something in my life that fitted the mood, almost whatever the mood might be, and then go into and fuel those stories, which in turn would fuel the mood. (Nothing wrong in that, we do it all the time.)

I could tell myself it was an emotion, find something in my life that would be a likely trigger for the emotion, and go into stories about that in a similar way.

Or I could tell myself it was just a body symptom, from whatever germs are living the high life in my body this week, or maybe something I ate a little too close to bed time the night before. And if I did that, I would most likely just leave it alone, without going into many stories about it apart from many a reminder to myself of not eating too late in the evening.

I could also, as I did, notice what was going on. A set of unusual sensations in the body, a set of stories being tried out to see which one fits, and then seeing those stories as just innocent questions. Is it a mood? An emotion? A body symptom? Is there anything I need to do about it, whatever it may be? No, it seems quite innocent whatever it is.

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