Should we? Or do we miss out on the treasures found in unsettling feelings, leading us to a deeper understanding of ourselves?
Being on the (b)right side
Even though we may realise that a lot of emphasis these days is on being vibrant and positive and the bombardment of boosting one-liners on the internet may become a bit much, still the attraction of being on the bright side of life is a powerful one.
– We love to feel positive and up, perhaps because it makes us feel we are more in control of things.
– We feel on top of it, whatever “it” means.
– We feel we are in the right lane, being safe for a moment, joining the happy, carefree bunch.
In fact, we continue to split ourselves up in right and wrong. A good part and a bad part:
The right part is presentable, reassuring us of the love and respect of other people.
The wrong part is reminding us of our loneliness, our fear of not being good enough.
The imprisonment of right and wrong
The effort to stay on the right side keeps us imprisoned and will wear us out in the end.
It denies the deep comfort of allowing ourselves to not know and experience fully the rich tapestry of life, both joyful and painful. It keeps us from honouring our sadness, our vulnerability, our woundedness.
The wrong part is not allowed to be fully present in Western culture. It needs to be fixed, replaced and transcended into something else as soon as possible. Was grief ever praised as a doorway to deeper understanding and healing in an advertisement on television? Was depression ever celebrated as a perfect moment to admit old strategies have run out of purpose in a glossy magazine? Was not-knowing ever promoted as a priceless place to be on a billboard next to the freeway?
Hard to imagine, isn’t it?
Was grief ever praised as a doorway to deeper understanding and healing in an advertisement on television? Was depression ever celebrated as a perfect moment to admit old strategies have run out of purpose in a glossy magazine? Was not-knowing ever promoted as a priceless place to be on a billboard next to the freeway?
I believe it is time to wake up to the treasures of the ‘wrong’ part. How can we be afraid of what is already ours?
We are alienated from our fear, our hopelessness and doubts. Instead of meeting them and finding ourselves in the heart of the experience, we turn away, fearing their presence. Doctors gladly help out by prescribing sedating medicine, unaware of its effect; the affirmation that we are in the wrong lane and we need fixing. Sedation may ease the pain, but it instils even more distrust in our capacity to find healing in what we feel.
It is not because we don’t have the courage. I find most people to be quite courageous. We just learned that is it the wrong part of us, the wrong way to go.
Healing the split inside
Again, the time may have come to start healing the split inside. To look at our unsettling feelings and emotions not as bad news, but as a source of truth and wisdom, welcoming them as long lost friends. Sometimes, the only way is down, balancing our highs and melting old ideas about who we are.
So where to begin?
Start where you are
Any moment is the right moment. Life will always provide you with the material you need…
Sit with yourself, just meet what is there.
What overwhelms us mostly is the story about what we experience. We’ve been told, and have been telling ourselves, that connecting to, let’s say, indecisiveness will only make it worse. We fear it will drag us down and destroy us. We are looking for a way out, isn’t that suppose to be the solution?
This is actually the story. It is our belief about decisiveness.
Meeting the feeling, however, is story-less. It is meeting intelligent energy, that will start unfolding its layers the moment you touch it with your conscience. It will open like a flower once you stay open and present, sharing its true nature with you.
Meeting feelings in a safe way
In learning to connect with a painful or disturbing feeling, make sure you are rooted in the present moment and won’t be distracted. Sit down with it in a safe place, making yourself comfortable. Set a certain time for your “meeting”. It may be very helpful to write down what you have experienced, it will ground and validate what came up.
Try to be as open as you can! There is no right or wrong experience, just trust the process…
A meditation to practise with
In my class Room for vulnerability you will find a meditation to guide you in making room for downbeat feelings, inviting you to meet vulnerability, insecurity or whatever feeling needs your attention…
Wishing you a healing practice,