Emotions can be difficult to deal with. They don’t always feel good; sometimes they feel really, really bad. It can seem easier to avoid them…but…it’s the avoidance of them that causes the most damage.
The reality: Cars break down, accidents happen, appliances need to be replaced, people pass away, jobs are lost, illnesses show up and pets get sick. Money can be hard to come by traffic backs up, people can be mean assholes, alarms don’t go off, you don’t get everything you want, and you forget things…
You will feel!
You will feel sad when someone dies. You will feel disappointed when someone lets you down. You will feel scared when you lose a job, or when money is tight, and mad when someone mistreats you. You will feel anxious when your alarm doesn’t go off and worried when your pet or child gets sick.
This is… absolutely… one hundred percent… normal!
Good news, you’re normal!
There’s nothing that you can do to keep yourself safe from any of these things or the emotions that come with them. Why? Because you are a living, breathing, human being, and human beings have emotions! Period. It’s part of the job description.
You cannot control the world. You cannot control other people. You can’t make anyone change so you can be more comfortable or so that you don’t have to feel. (I’ve tried)
The emotions aren’t the problem.
It’s what you think about the emotions; when you judge the ones that don’t feel so good as bad, wrong, or that they should be avoided. It’s this avoidance that causes the real pain, the suffering. If these emotions are feared and avoided for too long, dis-ease is the result.
More and more studies are showing a link between repressed emotions and cancer. Some even say every issue of the body is emotionally created first. (See Feelings Buried Alive Never Die, by Karol Truman and You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay)
Many people seek peace by trying to avoid their emotions, control their environments and the people around them.
Peace is not an absence of pain or the so-called bad emotions. It’s not that every situation is exactly the way you want it, and it really isn’t when you don’t have to deal with people you don’t like.
Peace is a choice. A decision that you make. A mindset that you come to when you realize that you cannot control these things and you are ok with that.
Peace is when you give up trying to fight, avoid, or control everything. Peace comes from being present and feeling everything about the present moment; not just the “good” feelings but the “bad ones, too. Peace is feeling everything and learning not to react or judge. Peace comes from allowing.
Let the masters lead the way.
A man stood up during one of Pema Chodron’s lectures and asked her how to get rid of the anxiety of public speaking. Part of his job was to get up and talk in front of many people and every time he would get nervous, sweat, and his heart would race. Pema’s response was something like, and why is this a problem?
She went on to say that she gets nervous every time she has to speak, that yes, the body will react, that yes, the mind will react, that yes this was a human emotion. The difference was that she didn’t think it was a problem, so therefore it wasn’t. She got up and spoke and it went away.
It’s the fighting of the emotion that causes the biggest issue, the most pain. It’s like trying to get a two-year-old to do something they don’t want to do. If you’ve ever done thi
s, you know you’re making the situation way worse! But if you stop and talk to them, let them express their emotions, it doesn’t take long for the fit to resolve, and then you can get back on track.
It’s not the fear, the sadness, or the hurt that’s the issue…
…it’s what you make of them. It’s when you judge them as bad and that they should be avoided at all costs.
We’ve been taught to be so afraid of the dark feelings that we store them up for years, they build on each other until they become big, scary monsters that live under the bed.
Bring them out into the light. Sit them down. Give them some tea and let them have a few minutes to feel the way they feel. Ask them why they feel this way and what they need to help them feel better.
We do this for friends, we sit with them, let them cry, bring them some ice cream, and listen to their pain, so why not do it for yourself?
This too shall pass.
And just because you’re feeling a dark emotion, does not mean it has to be your only emotion.
You can still enjoy the movie even though you’re feeling sad over someone passing. You can still laugh and have a good time at work even though your washer’s broken and you don’t have the money to fix it. You can still enjoy the music even though you got up late and are stuck in traffic.
The thing is, whether you are sad or happy, the washer is still broken, the person has still passed, and the alarm still didn’t go off. So, it’s your choice how you want to react. There’s not some mandatory law that says because something difficult happened, and you feel something about it, that you can only be sad and miserable.
Happy people don’t have better situations, they just have better attitudes!
Caroline Myss said something like, when you don’t feel like having a party, get up and have a party, then you will feel like having a party.
The point is: don’t let yourself fall down into the pit of snakes because you saw one snake and it scared you. You can deal with one snake, but probably not a hundred.
The feelings will not take you down, they will not hurt you, but your fear of them will! Repressing them will. Avoiding them will!
Don’t make them into big, scary monsters that live under your bed. Take them out for a walk, let them get some air. You might find that bringing them into the light makes them a little less scary.