How are beliefs and reactive emotions connected?
It seems that it all starts with a belief.
There is identification with the story being a separate I, and then a me with a fleshed out and particular identity.
All this creates a series of shoulds. I should stay alive. My life should be supported. I should be or remain this and not that.
And when my stories of what is and what should be clashes, reactive emotions come up.
I then become familiar with beliefs and reactive emotions belonging together in one package, and this package in turn is taken as a sign that something is true.
When a story tells me something is true, it must be. And when emotions comes up telling me something is true, it must be as well.
I also notice that in daily life, beliefs or emotions can come up first. If a belief comes up first, and is fueled, it brings up its corresponding emotions. And if a reactive emotions surfaces first, it reminds me of its corresponding belief.
So there is an attachment to a story and to a belief, since they come together.
And it is possible to explore it from either side.
I can find the belief and inquire into it. Or I can welcome, allow and be with the emotions as they are, as if they would never go away, with kindness and heart. Or first one, and then the other.
Of course, it is not only what I typically think of as reactive emotions that come out of beliefs. It is not only flavors of anger or sadness, but also happiness and joy. I have a belief and the should that goes with it, life happens to align with it for a while, and I experience joy. In that particular case, joy came from stories and a belief.
I am not sure if emotions always come from a story, although it seems likely that most of them do.