When emotions come up during meditation we're told to recognize them, feel them and then let them go. The search to learn the method for letting them go has
been my primary focus. Today I realized that my eagerness to find the way to let go is driven by my desire to bypass the 'feel them' step.
I'm not comfortable with emotions. Which is ironic considering the fact that I am extremely emotional.
The question is always, what do I do with the emotions? Only today did it occur to me that maybe the answer is to feel them. Mostly I prefer avoidance. Especially when it comes to emotions that I have labeled 'unyogic'.
I've tried ignoring emotions. Staying so busy all the time. Doing everything for everyone. Always with a smile. All the while hoping that if I ignored what I was feeling long enough that the emotions would simply disappear.
I've tried numbing the emotions with cupcakes and cosmos. Only that lead to a vicious cycle that only caused more negative emotions.
I haven't figured out how to let go of them because letting go cannot happen until I have acknowledged the emotions, AND experienced the feeling of the emotion.
I'd like to believe that maybe the letting go will happen organically when I learn to be comfortable with whatever emotion comes up. Good or bad, regardless of how uncomfortable it is.
Sitting with peace and joy in our heart when the emotions are pleasant is the easy part. The challenge is experiencing peace and joy while sitting with some uncomfortable emotions. That seems to be the practice to focus on.
It is uncomfortable to sit with the emotions of grief, sadness, disappointment, or anger. These are normal human emotions yet we don't want to experience them. When someone is sad we want to make them happy. When someone is grieving we don't know what to do. Maybe there are important lessons for us in those emotions that we so desperately want to move past. Maybe sitting and feeling whatever it is that we're feeling is exactly what we're suppose to be doing. Maybe it's in the learning to be comfortable with ourselves in the mist of un-comfortable emotions is the practice.
Even more uncomfortable than sitting with our own emotions is having to sit with someone else's emotions. We tend to internalize other people's emotions.
Sometimes feeling responsible, somehow, for other people's emotional well being. When someone we love is upset with us we want to DO something to change how they are feeling. As if we have some control over the emotions of others.
I'm finally seeing that until I have some mastery over my own internal process there's no point in me expending energy in trying to figure out or change someone else's.
Feel what you feel even when it hurts and give thanks to God for the lessons those feelings are teaching you even when you don't know what the lesson is.
OM NAMAHA SHIVAYA!