Monday, June 3, 2013

But What if I Feel Like Crap...?


Today I woke up angry. I was feeling resentful, distant and like I wanted to escape from my life. I wanted to run away, go live in the woods and start over as a hermit. The reasons I felt this way aren't important, what is important is that I chose to take time and think about how I could respond. I was crabby and I wanted to speak my mind. There was a lot I could have said that would definitely have caused some hurt feelings and at the time I actually wanted to cause hurt feelings. Now, being in a different state of mind I don't really even understand why I felt that way. I can't even relate to that person anymore, that was who I was this morning. Now it is the afternoon and I'm someone different. 
I am not saying that anyone should ever suppress their emotions. This is like causing yourself to have emotional cancer. It will just be stuffed down where you think that it won't effect you or any other person around you. You'll think you have it "under control" but really because you're pressed it so far in, so far down, now it is in the core of you. You were unable to allow it to be accepted and released and so it festers and becomes the background in all that you do. It may be subtle, and even at times barely noticeable, but it will be there. 
When I looked up the antonym for suppress the result was the word submit. I wasn't expecting such perfection in an online antonym generator. Submit and submission is such a perfect word. When an emotion is felt to react and express it without thought of how it will effect others may feel better temporarily, but the havoc it wreaks in your life and in your relationships in the long run isn't worth it.To suppress it is to stuff it down, to end what you are thinking and feeling forcibly. Neither of these do any good for anyone. When you  react and express negative thoughts and feelings, you hurt the people that you love. When you suppress an emotion and stuff it down you hurt yourself at your core and from there you hurt others because it's impossible for you to give love to others completely with your whole self.
The only thing that can be done when an uncomfortable feeling arises is to submit, to surrender. To submit to the fullness of the feeling in the moment. Accept that you are feeling it, know that no matter what the feeling is, it's okay. There is nothing wrong or shameful about anything that you could be feeling. Humans feel the full range of human emotions because it's human. It's human to feel deeply, to feel rage, to feel anxious, excited, despair etc. Whatever you are feeling, no matter what is going on, it's okay. Feelings just are. There are no such thing as inappropriate feelings.
The unpleasant feelings that come up from time to time are part of the life experience. When I feel them instead of trying to distract myself or escape I try and remember that these feelings are a gift. They have messages and lessons and are helping me to grow. I allow myself to feel them deeply. I will just be silent for a second and acknowledge the strong emotion, no matter how "bad" it is. I allow it to be. Sometimes I give it a label without saying "I am". I'll say something like "There is a feeling of rage in me". It helps if you can get two minutes to yourself when you are feeling this strong emotion and you can drop to your knees and allow your body to feel it fully. Don't stay stuck in your mind, don't think about what you want to do about this feeling, there is nothing to be done. Just kneel on the floor and allow it to be whatever it will. Accept it. Sometimes I'll kind of meditate on it. I'll close my eyes and "feel" the shape and color of the emotion. I'll rate it on a scale from 1-10, one being a completely manageable annoyance to 10 being I can't handle this and I'm about to freak out.  
Something happens when you acknowledge and accept what you are feeling and allow yourself to feel it completely. When I do this, I feel myself transform. I feel the emotion going from unbearable to suddenly I'm okay and I can handle it. 
Then, I continue my meditation even further if I have a little bit of time to be alone. If at all possible I will sit silently for a minute or two and breath. I will feel myself turning inward and finding my "still center". This is difficult to explain, it's the part of me that is me, not my body and not my mind but the true essence of me. I guess it is my consciousness, my "observer". I find that and I ask myself, "If there was nothing outside this part of me, would I be upset right now?" In other words, if there were no other people, nothing that needed to be done, no material world that existed, how would I feel? This always transforms me further. I always feel more centered, more calm and I gain a greater perspective. 
Then I take this even further. I am usually still on my knees at this point so it's a perfect time to pray. I would never push any agenda, pray to whomever you feel listens: God, higher self, guides, universe etc. It is all the same thing with many different names. I ask myself, "What do I want to feel?" It's usually directly opposite of the terrible emotion that sent me to my knees in the first place. For example if I'm angry, I will usually want to feel peaceful. So, I ask for assistance. My prayer usually sounds something like: "All powerful, benevolent universe, please assist me in being peaceful today." I say today because feelings should be allowed to flow and change constantly, to ask to be peaceful always is to ask for stagnation. 
Then I feel peace. This can be difficult to do if I have just experienced something that really triggered a challenging emotion in me. If I can, I sit until I feel just a little bit of peace. I do whatever I have to do to get there. Usually breathing in deeply and imagining that I'm breathing in peace and that I'm being filled with peace works very well. I continue to do this until it feels like I'm as peaceful as I can get. I can't speak for everyone and if you try this method it may be different for you, but I always just know when it's complete.  Still on my knees, I pray for every being in the universe to feel peace and I release it. I feel the peace being sent out. If you're really visual, imagine the "peace energy" leaving you and being dispersed throughout the Universe. 
The final step: say thank you.
This entire process seems like it is long and you may feel like it is a lot to have to go through when you are feeling upset. However, I've never had this take more than ten minutes and I've always felt such amazing relief when I was done. My energy was different when I emerged from the bathroom (that's where I usually go if I am with people when I need to do this), and people feel this and respond differently to me. 
It's easy to forget what to do when you're in a highly charged emotional stat. Do what your body feels like doing or write down the steps below if you feel you need to and carry that paper with you.

To sum up:
* Whatever it is that you are feeling, accept it as your experience of the moment. Acknowledge it (label it without using "I am" if you have to) and allow yourself to feel it fully. Drop to your knees if you have to. IF you feel like crying, then cry.
* Close your eyes and give the feeling a shape and color.
* Rate the feeling on a scale of one to ten.
* Breath deeply and be completely still. Find the still center within yourself that is not your body or your mind.
* Ask yourself, "If there was nothing outside of me to trigger a feeling in me, how would I feel right now?"
* Pray for assistance to be whatever it is that you want to feel: loving, peaceful, joyful, passionate etc.
* Feel that feeling. Breath it in until it fills you.
* Release that feeling into the universe. Pray that every being in the universe feel that feeling. 
* Say thank you and feel the feelings of gratitude. Say thank you for the guidance of the emotion, the fact that you are able to feel emotions, the feeling that you now feel etc. If you want a blanket statement, just say thank you for everything. 

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