For those who are ready to be empowered by their feelings instead of being tripped up by them…
Emotions could lay me out for days if I actually stuck around long enough to feel them. My life would get consumed by another’s suffering or mere unhappiness. I tried “fixing” them so I could go on my merry way unperturbed. I tried witnessing. I tried stuffing them down. I tried distracting myself with a myriad of 1st world things some constructive and welcome (volunteering, working, reading, shopping, taking care of people, social media, family life…) others less so like overeating to create a space buffer between me and everyone else. What I found is the feelings were still there, stagnating, making me work even harder to avoid them. While some life forms thrive in stagnant, murky conditions, humans don’t. Unprocessed emotions were the root cause for many an illness and a life full of things to avoid rather than a life to be LIVED.
The course is 3 months long, offered once a year and the syllabus can be found HERE.
Here are a couple of favorites-feelings our society kinda frowns upon, but we still feel them anyway. Let’s use them to make life even more enjoyable to live.
Anger, irritations, and plain ol’ mad…
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of someone’s loss of control when they are furious, you’re likely pretty freaked out by anger and understandably kept a tight lid on it. Even just well meaning adults who invalidated your experiences telling you, “don’t be angry” can be enough to make this emotion be something you distance yourself from and try to avoid.
The reality is, anger is a power tool. Like a chainsaw making short work of pruning or creating firewood, anger can get us out of controlling situations quicker than any other emotion. It’s when we turn this emotion on ourselves or others than it wreaks havoc. However, anger and it’s many flavors is simply an emotion. It is useful when it is used with focus in a clear manner. Especially if you have been raised in a fear based society or found yourself in a controlling environment, you are familiar with anger and therefore can use it more efficiently than those with less practice. Basically, you use the same tool that scared you to liberate yourself. Anger is a fantastic power tool for change.
This was an emotion I wouldn’t even allow myself to feel…but I did feel it. It just happens. How I chose to entertain it or act (or not) on it were my business and what I had control over.
The thing about emotions and feelings is that they aren’t evil. They aren’t good either. They just are what they are and how we choose to use them will benefit us and others or take us all out.
Jealousy is actually a FABULOUS orientation tool. It will let us know loud and clear what we really, truly want, regardless of social conditioning most of the time or because of social conditioning. For example, when I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to work while raising my children, I felt absolutely jealous of career women. But because I termed jealousy as an evil emotion, and thought I would be evil if I allowed myself to feel it, I masked it. I covered it up with compassion, “They don’t know any better…” or gratitude masked as denial, “I’m so grateful I don’t have to work.” Sometimes I would get sick…and add into the denial and the gratitude, “I’m not healthy enough to work even if I wanted to…and I’m so glad I don’t have to.”
I know right?! So much effort went into deluding myself that I even felt what I felt.
What jealousy did all that time, was simply, and innocently, show me what it was that I really wanted that my mindset was limiting from my existence due to social conditioning. Were there ways to accomplish my main goal and do what I desired, sure thing! But I got caught up in creating rules, adhering to them, and the like that I was not even open to the myriad of possibilities that this life offers.