Thursday, October 18, 2012

Being OK with Not Being OK

I think I've gotten into the not-so-amazing habit of pretending that everything is OK all the time. Actually, not just OK, but GREAT. In a sense, that's always the truth. Everything is always—in essence—great!

On another level, part of being truthful (with myself and others) is calling a bad day a "bad day." It doesn't have to be a big deal. That's just where I happen to be.

(on the bright side of things)

I have had a number of experiences, whether in daily life or in deep meditation, that assure me that, underneath it all, everything is actually perfect.

What I am feeling on a "bad day" is happening inside me. It is not a crack in the fabric of existence that needs to be fixed. It's not a big deal. And nothing further is required on my part besides accepting my feelings in that moment, not getting upset with myself for it, and allowing myself to let go.


The process of being OK with my own emotions is, in my experience, the hardest part of having any.

It feels like I accidentally invited the monster over for tea again.

The internal conversation usually goes like this:

Why do I keep calling him? What is wrong with me? Where did I get his number anyway? I don't even think he likes tea...

Instead of talking directly to him:

I seem to have invited you today, but it's probably best you leave. 

Ok, neither of these solutions is any less crazy, but the latter allows for some order in this neurotic scenario.

Emotions are by their very nature changeable. It's unrealistic to assume that they will stay the same. And it's self-defeating to blame myself when they live up to their nature.

The monster comes over for tea to see how I will react. When it stops being a problem, he stops coming over.

Or maybe he just comes over to clean the house... I haven't gotten that far yet.


It's not always easy to predict what helps in these situations.

The other day, I sat outside in our backyard and sang to myself for about an hour. That felt good. So did the yoga practice I did straight after. So did the relaxation I did after that... yeah, that was a good day. 

As much as yogic philosophy encourages me to meditate before I speak about what I'm feeling, I must admit: I am a Western woman. Nothing is quite as satisfying (at least at the moment) as venting my emotions. Sometimes that means bringing up an issue with my husband, which he loves... naturally (wink).  Sometimes it means channeling that emotion into a physical activity, or writing a blog.

Yes, this feels so good. 

As I get better at dealing with unexpected emotions, I try to restrict my venting to a limited number of trustworthy females. Not all listeners are created equal.


In the end though, an emotion is not something we should fear or aim to quickly disgard.

The process of dealing with an emotion is a difficult, yet essential, part of letting it go.

When we reject the emotion, like the monster, it will undoubtedly come back for tea. On the other hand, if we become overly fascinated with the emotion, it will start to color our self-concept. Instead of being just "an emotion," it will become "part of me." That's not ideal either.

The thing to do, which is most uncomfortable (of course) is to allow the emotion to do its work: point us in the right direction, evolve into an epiphany, illuminate something we weren't seeing clearly.

Allowing it to exist, while simultaneously giving myself some distance from it, is a pretty brilliant feat. I must admit, I have not mastered this yet.

However, when I am able to do this, the feeling of depression uplifts itself, transmuting itself into a powerful blessing.

I find this really hard to remember in the moment. Every day is an opportunity for improvement though.

Live and let flow!


1 comment:

  1. (Laughing at the tea story). If we were OK all the time, life would be so lopsided and dull. For a full human workout, we need to travel on both happy and sad paths. Neither is right or wrong - just different - and we learn stuff on both jaunts thru this crazy world.


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