As some of you have experienced in the Spoon/Mind Bending Workshop, what you resist persists. That is, by pushing away difficult or dark emotions, you are ironically actually intensifying them. Declaring war on your dark emotions is not the answer. Is there another way?
This is an extract from my journal demonstrating how I started this process of making peace with my emotions:
Today I had an opening conversation with what I call ‘my dark passengers’, also known as my ‘dark emotions’. I noticed and acknowledged the sensation of a massive, heavy weight on my chest, so heavy it made breathing difficult. I imagined what this physical sensation could be, if it had a shape. And to my surprise, it was an elephant. Funny, since I tend to prefer mine white and ‘hidden’ behind the closed door, not on my chest. When I ‘looked’ closer I could see that this was a big heavy baby elephant, an orphan. How could I wish to avoid, chase away and even disown this elephant whose purpose was only to express emotions. How can I be angry or upset with an elephant for just being an elephant? How could I hate something that is only being true to its nature? I realized that by disowning my feelings I had banished many elephants into the cold and dark. How cruel and mean.
Because these elephants come and go, they don’t define me but they are still a part of who I am in this moment – they make me human, alive rather than a robot. And when I thought about it, it is my mind who is the ‘dark passenger’, being overprotective, controlling and cruel – not my elephants. So, with a deep breath, I chose another way. Instead of trying to coax the elephant off my chest with a numbing distraction or with cruel words, I decided to embrace her. And this is how I make peace and rest with – rather than fight against – my elephants.
So what? What is the benefit of making peace? What I have noticed is that the so called dark emotions loose their hold over me, decreasing in intensity and that they include an invitation for integration and a general sense of peace. Overall, as Dr Kelly Bogan confirms, it is just healthier for us and those around us when we even only acknowledge what we’re feeling rather than suppressing it.
I’d love to hear more about your experiences.