Emotion is as natural for humans as breathing.
I don’t make my breathing right or wrong, so why do it with my emotions?
It’s been an interesting week; I have spent more time than I care to remember in my swamp. By swamp I mean a sticky, tangled, mess of uncomfortable emotions within myself. I don’t like my emotional swamp much – a lot of what I experience in the swamp sucks – it hurts. And then I add to my pain by judging myself for feeling this sticky, yucky crap in the first place. I would love to avoid my swamp.
Isn’t life supposed to turn into bliss and pure joy when I open up to more consciousness? Have I failed because I still get triggered after all these years of mindful awareness training? Am I doing this consciousness thing wrong if I still get pissed and sad and scared?
But, wait a minute! All humans emote about their experiences – even beings as aware as Gandhi and Jesus felt emotions. Our bodies are wired to flow with emotion. Emotion is as natural for humans as breathing. I don’t make my breathing right or wrong, so why do it with my emotions?
Every experience I have can trigger emotional reactions, not just the yummy experiences. Where did I get the idea that becoming conscious meant never being triggered, never feeling “yucky” emotions? Isn’t that just a really sneaky way to judge myself and find myself lacking? Just what I need – another way to beat myself up and make myself bad or wrong. NOT!
And what if being more aware in each moment elicits even more emotion within me? All those sensations about this moment that I used to block or ignore are now available to me in my new state of awareness. What if those sensations trigger MORE emotions as I respond to all the new information I am now aware of? Is that somehow wrong?
And isn’t it just another form of judgment to label emotions good or bad, acceptable or repulsive? How is it going to help me to label my emotions as OK and not OK? Can I let go of the idea that some human emotions are a sign of unconsciousness or inferiority?
We are emotional creatures. Trying to stop emotion is like trying to halt the flow of water. Can I allow my emotions to flow without stuffing them? And can I stop judging myself right or wrong for feeling the way I feel in each moment?
What happens if I embrace it all – my grief, my anger, my fear? Can I allow my emotions to be waves washing through me? What happens if I embrace ALL of me – even the parts I don’t like – in every moment?
“It’s not that you won’t be triggered anymore.
It’s that you won’t have a problem being triggered anymore.”