I keep discovering this over and over… and because we are all so similarily conditioned and emotionally wired, maybe the insight from this discovery will support you.
Even when the turmoil of anxiety anchors an extraordinary heaviness to your thoughts, emotions and actions, and sometimes renders you incapable of completing the simplest tasks, the peace at your core is still there.
So why do we seemingly get pulled (or push ourselves away) from this peace? If this peace is so eternally and powerfully present, why do we not always just feel that?
Because there is a tendency to gauge everything about ourselves by our emotional state. Until we examine it, most of us believe that ‘who we are’ is based on our most predominant emotional state. So our sense of identity is deeply linked to the emotional patterns we most commonly go through. We personalize these emotional patterns and come to believe that they are the truth of who we are. We come to see ourselves as being ‘even keeled’ or ‘dramatic’ or ‘easy-going’ or ‘fun-loving’ or ‘intense’ or ‘sensitive’ or whatever it may be. So then as these emotions keep coming (which they will) we take it as confirmation and reinforcement of who we believe ourselves to be.
But what if emotions weren’t personal? I know this has been written about and explored before – it isn’t a new idea, but what if you could really investigate that for yourself in the midst of your next emotional shitstorm?
Now, this isn’t to say that we don’t or won’t feel these emotions/states intimately, as deeply alive and moving forms within us – so intimate that it seems like they ARE who we are… but what if for a moment here, we were willing to look at our emotions as changing weather patterns that are simply going to occur as they occur. What if when deep heavy states of dullness, sadness or anxiety come, we were able truly welcome them (or at least start with truly making room for them – maybe for the first time). Then we might be able to open to them, as well as witness and experience them with curiosity and wonder, rather than using the event of their arising as confirmation that we are depressed, anxious people? We might learn something extraordinary from them….
Now, this isn’t to say that people shouldn’t be taking medication or getting help for depression or anxiety – of course both can be helpful and sometimes necessary.
But, for the low-lying dullness and anxiety that many of us feel, maybe it is important to hear – and examine for yourself – that just because that is what is arising, doesn’t mean that is what YOU are. So you don’t have to judge yourself – or be hard on yourself in any way when these darker emotional states arise (and seem to move in for a while). The emotions that come are going to come. So much of the pain that we experience when these states come is from our resistance, shame, or denial of them. But what if you could accept that you don’t have control over their comings and goings….. that’s not the right place to look for your power.
Your power lies in the deep seeing of what is arising – and in how you respond.
So you can choose to take the deeply habitual path of resistance, (which includes feeling ashamed of yourself for feeling how you’re feeling, denying it, trying to fix it, hoping it will just go away with exercise, a nap, or a cup of coffee….) or you can take the conscious path (which really is about emotional and spiritual maturity). This path is about taking a breath, taking stock of what’s here, accepting these ‘guests’ (as Rumi calls them) and allowing (surrendering to) the inner softness that will always be there when you are willing to accept it – the gentle (yet knowing and powerful) loving kindness from your own being. In accepting this, a capacity to be present with any state is discovered. I’ve found, that even the murkiest emotional states can be experienced with clarity and wonder in this way.
This is one of the gifts these darker emotional states offer us…..the clear path to surrender, acceptance, maturity, wisdom, compassion, gentleness and true inner strength.
Be kind to yourself lovelies.