“The middle way is wide open, but it’s tough going, because it goes against the grain of an ancient neurotic pattern that we all share. When we feel lonely, when we feel hopeless, what we want to do is move to the right or left. We don’t want to sit and feel what we feel. We don’t want to go through the detox. Yet the middle way encourages us to do just that. It encourages us to awaken the bravery that exists in everyone without exception, including you and me.
Meditation provides a way for us to train in the middle way — in staying right on the spot. We are encouraged not to judge whatever arises in our mind. In fact, we are encouraged not to even grasp whatever arises in our mind. What we usually call good or bad we simply acknowledge as thinking, without all the usual drama that does along with right and wrong. We are instructed to let the thoughts come and go as if touching a bubble with a feather. This straightforward discipline prepares us to stop struggling and discover a fresh, unbiased state of being.” - Pema Chödrön
Let’s feel it all. Let’s feel the shit out of our emotions. Let’s feel it without judgement, without overthinking it, without fighting it, without feeling bad for feeling fucking bad. It takes courage to do this, to be present with your emotions, not trying to wrestle with it, or thinking “feeling this way is terrible, I should be smiles and sunshine and rainbows.” Fuck that. When we do that, we don’t allow the emotions, the energy, to do what it’s supposed to do, bring us awareness then move through us. They are visitors, they are not permanent tenants. Permanence is a great lie after all.
You will be amazed at the wisdom gained, and the epiphanies, if you just let yourself sit with your feelings. Breathe through it, write through it, run through it, your method is your method. But whatever you do, don’t push it down. When we push it down, it will always eventually reveals itself. You must give your emotions the space it needs to breathe, the time it needs to heal, it is a wounded child yearning to be heard and acknowledged. Also, let’s try and not take it out on the people closest to us.
Let’s try not to overthink as well, it is not about the mind, we are not trying to analyze, or probe, or solve anything. We are just honoring the moment, honoring that we are feeling, crying, sensitive beings. We are not robots, we can’t just delete a program that we don’t like, we can’t force joy when we are feeling sorrow. To try and do so would deny this very sacred human experience. In the same way, we can’t force sorrow when we are feeling unbridled joy. The difference is we don’t judge ourselves when we are at the “positive” end of the emotional spectrum, only when we are feeling “low” do we kick ourselves in the shin.
Your well meaning friends want you to just get over it, but they are not in your body, and they don’t understand that asking you to feel better is counterproductive, you don’t need that extra pressure. We must process, and I promise you when we process, we can ascend. We can move from sorrow to joy, but not in one big leap. We must feel our way through it, we must scream and cry, then we must feel what we feel after that, then we might laugh, then feel what we feel after that, until eventually we get to a place where we feel “okay,” where we can feel some hope, a little spark of positivity, an ounce of happiness. We might dip down again, we might get through it the first time, remember that there is no end goal, only cycles. If you move slowly, that’s fine, if you move quickly, that’s fine, but move at your pace, not anyone else’s. Do not force yourself, do not resist the emotions within. We all know that what you resist persists.
This is about ease, because it’s actually easier to feel what you are feeling, than to challenge it. It’s about surrendering to the present, understanding that you are sensitive, perhaps more sensitive than others, and that whatever you feel is absolutely acceptable. This is about loving yourself; loving yourself when you are blissful and wonderful and at peace, and loving yourself when you are down and miserable and at rock bottom.