how to catch feelings in a mindful way
i caught feelings for someone recently, and dang it's kinda pleasant but also scary:
basically, i have these positive feelings towards someone in my head. and now i'm like, how do i have and respond to those feelings in a healthy way? enter mindfulness.
i do say while the feelings are fun, i want to be careful. i want to be wary of creating attachments and expectations. i believe it can be problematic if the flip side of those positive feelings develop into anything negative down the line, like covetousness or jealousy or over-neediness. also see fish love.
but the answer isn't to be avoidant either. i definitely don't want to try to solve the situation with any stories or thoughts "oh i don't really like her." anything reality-denying is not good either.
I think the ideal outcome is that when you have a thought or feeling, you notice it. In this case it might be a positive thought about the other person. Maybe you even let yourself enjoy it for a few seconds and smile. Maybe you message the person about it or you jot down an action item if relevant. But then you let the thought or feeling go and then focus on your breath or your bodily sensations.
The alternative would be to let that initially thought become a train of thought that lasts 5 minutes, which is a version of brooding. I know when I was younger I let my thoughts run from "oh my god she messaged me back" all the way to death do us part. Which is bad right, because it starts creating expectations in your head. In excess, expectations lead to unhappiness, and it can also lead to conditional love.
Also, what I want is for me to enjoy the person when I'm with them. But when I'm not with them, I should be present with the rest of my life.
Oh, and I'm also bullish on using the spark of love you feel for this person, to develop that and integrate that with a love for all beings in this universe.
This is what you do in loving-kindness meditation. In loving-kindness meditation, you start by create a "spark" of loving-kindness first for a baby or a kitten or some other easy object. Then, once you get that spark going, you continually broaden your love (while keeping it deep), to the people you know, the people you hate, the people you don't know, the whole universe.
Like, your crush is wonderful, but so is everyone else in the universe. And if you realize that fully, then you probably have less expectations on your crush to be a certain way or another.
Also it must be said, it's quite possible I have no idea what I'm talking about and I'm just theorizing blindly. But this all does make sense to me rn.
- be present with them. but also when not with them, mostly be present with whatever person or task is at hand.
- when you have those butterflies, enjoy the thought or emotion briefly, smile, and then breathe and let it go.
- alternatively, when you have those butterflies (that love spark), enjoy it, and then also broaden it and think of everyone else in the universe you want to be happy and enjoy affection.