Monthly Archives: July 2015

I’m angry!

 

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Anger…that emotion really pisses me off! What is anger and how do you deal with anger?

In our society, we are often told to control our anger or to distract ourselves from this emotion. For some of us, we are told that being angry is bad. This is not a good idea. Sure, there may be a temporary reprieve of the angry emotions if we go for a hard run or work out but this has only released the energy around the anger for the moment but has done nothing to resolve the anger.

How do we take care of our anger? Firstly, it is important to admit to yourself that you are angry and tell yourself that it is ok to feel this way. By doing this, you are giving yourself validation for your emotions because they are important!  You are important! You want to understand the real reason why you are angry. Anger is usually unresolved hurt or fear. Or a perceived threat to you somehow. To deal with the anger, you need to look at the underlying emotion…but this takes courage. It takes courage because we need to feel ok with feeling vulnerable and admit that we are vulnerable. By looking at these deeper emotions, we can begin to understand the real reason we are angry.

Let’s use an example: Your co worker received the promotion in the office instead of you. You put in long hours on that project and even worked at home and on the weekends. You put your heart and soul into this and yet, Bob was promoted instead of you. Argh!!! Anger!!! But if you were to look at the deeper emotion, you may find that you feel threatened and fearful. Ask yourself what exactly in this situation causes you to feel threatened or fearful? You are fearful that you are not “good enough” and no matter what you do, you will never be good enough and your job status will never get better. You are threatened by Bob.

Be present with these emotions. It doesn’t feel good to feel vulnerable but remember, all of this is just a -perceived threat-. So consciously feel these emotions. If you are anything like me…it may even lead to tears. As you sit with the feeling of vulnerability, you will notice that the anger emotion begins to fade. 

Another way to deal with anger is to put your pen to paper! Writing out your anger words can help to diffuse your anger.

In dealing with your anger, you want to make a cognitive change or shift and you do this by developing empathy or compassion towards the person that you are angry with. Try to find similarities between the person that you are angry with and yourself. When you really look at the people around you, just about everyone has their own “fear issues”.

Anger is a good emotion because it tells you that there is something deeper that needs to be addressed. Once you realize this, you can begin to resolve some of you deeper issues. Unresolved anger means that the underlying issues have not been acknowledged or looked at and as long as they remain unresolved, you will remain angry, angry, angry!

Remember that all your emotions are valid, you are important and taking care of your emotions  and addressing them is one way of taking care of yourself. By doing this, you will gain a deeper understanding of who you really are. 

Sending love to you all…

 

 

 

Psychic change

 

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One of the questions I get asked is how a person goes from pain…to forgiveness, then peace. Well, first of all, hopefully before you move ahead in accomplishing this, you have already decided that you have made a decision to heal your wounds…no matter what it takes. 

I can say for myself that I spent many years looking back and licking my wounds. I was still in the “victim” way of thinking…asking myself why this happened to me. Why were some people in my life so cruel? What had I done to deserve this kind of treatment? I had to move beyond seeing myself as a victim and seeing it as just an experience. Then evaluating the experience in terms of what lesson(s) it had taught me. 

This kind of psychic change will take you out of the victim role and puts you into the observer role. It’s like watching a movie where you begin to identify and get to know each of the characters. One of the things that came to me was; “what happened, happened. What can I do about it now? How can I be at peace with it”? It wasn’t about changing the “other person” but about changing myself. Now some of you may think that in your place in life as “victim”, terrible things were “done to you” and you didn’t ask for it. I understand…like myself, when you are a victim of child abuse, how do you reconcile the behaviors of the supposed “adults” in your life that hurt you? Well, you can’t. There is no reconciliation…and there is no justification for the perpetrator’s behavior towards you. Only compassion. Ok, I think I’m jumping ahead a little bit. Actually, compassion comes a little bit later.

Let’s look at you first. You’ve been hurt…very deeply. What do you do with THOSE emotions? You acknowledge that you have them and you allow yourself to feel it. Cry, get angry, punch a pillow, scream and find someone you trust to talk to. Try and sort out the emotions a little bit. There will be memories that cause you to feel angry…or sad. That’s good. In allowing yourself to feel those emotions, you are giving value to yourself and everything that you feel…no matter how bad the emotion. What I mean by this is that, so many people who have been abused have guilt about feeling angry. The whole experience of having been abused in the first place is because your perpetrators caused you to feel guilty by making you feel that you had deserved their “punishment”. Recognize first that you may begin to let go of any guilt by knowing that you have done nothing wrong…you DIDN’T deserve any of it. Tell yourself this: “I have done nothing wrong and I am no longer going to feel guilty about it”. Sometimes this is easier said than done…but remember that healing is a process and as you move forward, an understanding will begin to come over you. 

Sometimes it takes a while just to talk it out and talk it through. Writing letters to the people that hurt you, expressing exactly how each event has made you feel. It’s ok to not hold back your emotions. Remember, this is not about preserving the perpetrators feelings, nor is it about lashing out at them out of anger. It’s not about them…it’s about you. Initially when I started writing my healing letters to people, it had a very angry tone and I did send some of those letters out. It felt good to express it on paper, whether I sent it to them or not.

For a long time, I wanted to understand WHY it happened. Why did they do it? I would eventually come to understand the reasons but not in the beginning and in the beginning, it is ok to not understand why. Understanding “them” only comes after you’ve processed some of your own emotions.

The healing process is also not linear. You will go from one emotion to the next…sometimes feeling as if you’ve made tremendous headway only to realize the next day, you’re really having a tough time with things. Hopefully you have found someone to talk to by now, or you have a really good therapist. I had all those things, but not all at once.

I believe that some people who chose a spiritual way of living/thinking often came as a result of their past pains…trying to understand on a deeper level… a spiritual level rather than a human one. Sometimes, there just aren’t any good reasons as to WHY something happened. I’m not saying the the only way to heal is to become…”spiritual”, but I know that it really helps. With understanding things on the deeper level, it allows you to see things from a different perspective. 

So, you’ve decided to “heal thyself”. That’s wonderful! It will be a fantastic journey. The emotions that come out in the beginning are basically the same emotions you’ve carried all along anyway…pain, anger…sadness…only now, instead of just feeling these emotions, tucking them back deep inside you and beating yourself up for it, you will be “walking through them”.

…until next time…

 

Awakening

 

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Sometimes, some of us perceive ourselves as being stuck in our current situation. We do all we can to change the external stuff, not realizing that it is really our perception, or way of thinking that needs changing.

We have discussed how our feelings and thoughts are not who we really are and I would like to discuss this further.

When you go beyond your thoughts and emotions, who are you? What lies back there?

For many people, including myself, working through past trauma and a messed up way of thinking/feeling, allowed me to shed the false sense of who I thought I was. I knew that there had to be more than life than being in mental, emotional and spiritual anguish and yet the thought occurred to me that when I finally did strip away all those thoughts/emotions…what would I be left with? At the time it didn’t matter. I just knew that it had to be better than where I was. Many people who experience profound pain ask themselves the deeper questions and begin to find their answers. I’m not saying that everyone who searches their spiritual path at one point experienced pain (Buddha lived in prosperity) but I think being in pain forces one to do anything to try and understand or go beyond it.

We are all told from a very young age, how to act, think or feel, which causes us to become limited in our beliefs about ourselves. We are taught by our external world that we are limited beings living in a box. Often times we are taught by people who themselves, have a limited understanding and belief about themselves and therefore, project that same belief unto you. When you hear someone say, ‘think outside the box”, this means to think outside your own limited way of understanding. It is not so easy to do initially when you don’t see that there is even a way of thinking outside the box. So we live within this confinement and over time, develop a false sense of things…including ourselves.

 

Meditation is one way to begin to think outside the box. Meditation is not about focus, or keeping all thoughts out of our awareness. It is about noticing that  thoughts are swimming around up there and not focusing or on those thoughts. Whether a mantra is used during meditation, or just watching your breath, when a thought enters your mind, change your focus back to the mantra or breath watching. During the practice, you will soon notice a gap…a space between your thoughts and something deeper. It’s a quiet space where there is nothing…no thought…and you realize at that moment that you were “aware”. This “awareness” is the conscious being who watches the thoughts…(you) The first time I touched this space, it was just for a split second, but in that flash, I experienced wholeness. A place where there is so much peace and bliss. And at that same time, I felt eternity. I knew what eternity felt like…a sense of limitlessness…and then I knew. I was a part of this vast Wholeness…or Consciousness…this is who I am…expansive. This place that I experienced was a feeling of wholeness, the One Conscious mind or the “Allness”…and I was a part of it. I was connected to it and everything and everyone around me. I’m a conscious being that was a part of a bigger Consciousness. It is as if we are all droplets in the vast ocean. Separate, and yet a part of the ocean and really, it is hard to separate out each drop in the ocean because it all seems to “blend together”.

This was the beginning of my awakening. The awakening is a process where a person realizes that they are no longer the limited person that they had perceived themselves to be. They begin to see that they go beyond just who they think they are, and see that they are a part of something so vast, so wonderful and so loving. It is an overwhelming feeling.

Over time, one can begin to strip away the falseness of who they think they are by tearing down many of the labels that had been placed on them…either by the external world or themselves. I mentioned meditation above but this is not the only way. Everyone has that inner voice or deeper/higher self that will guide them in the way that they should go. If you are sincere in wanting to know, you will be shown. There is a saying in the spiritual community: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. So however you decide to take this trek, trust that you will be guided.

…And once you’ve experienced the wholeness, there is no going back. You can not “un-know” what you now know and along with this, you begin to see that there isn’t really a “me” and a “you” but us…because we are ALL connected. If we all understood this, there would be no hatred, prejudice or wars. We are all in this together but each living separate lives having different experiences.

If we continue to believe what we believe with a limited understanding or perception, our understanding at that moment is unable to go beyond what we think we know. With expanded consciousness, we begin to break down the walls or confines of our beliefs by going beyond our own limited way of thinking. So in the beginning of our journey, it is important to keep an open mind…after all, our limited understanding up until that point hadn’t gotten us very far.

In conclusion, our thoughts and emotions are a part of our daily lives but it doesn’t describe who we are. We have to live with these thoughts/emotions daily but when we see that we are a part of something bigger, we begin to change the way we perceive life and everything in it. The implications of this awareness is astounding. It becomes easy to let go of our limited beliefs about ourselves and others because we now understand that we are limitless and many of the negative thoughts or emotions we had about ourselves begin to fall away.

I believe that more and more people are beginning to realize this in our present day. People are not so willing anymore to live within the confines of how the world tells them to live. They are beginning to break out of those small boxes where they have lived for so long.

Keep on trekking!