Today’s meditation opens with a quote from Eileen Caddy: “When Peter left me, the negative emotions that rose up in me and exploded in me were just horrifying. But God kept telling me that they were all part of me and I couldn’t try to hide them under the carpet because I didn’t like them.” That is exactly how I felt after my mom died. I was shocked and awed by the depths of my anger, hatred, bitterness, and pain. It went beyond anger to pure blind rage. However, numbing myself to the emotions or trying to not feel them only made them rise up with a vengeance later. I had to feel them in order to process them, heal, and move on. Acceptance of our feelings is a part of moving past conflict in our lives.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“There are events in the passage of our lives that elicit feelings we never knew were there and of which we believed we were completely incapable. A spouse wants a divorce or has an affair. A boss passes us over for someone younger, prettier (we believe), and less-qualified (we know for certain), and we find that the witches of Endor or the dragons of old have nothing on us. We could belch fire and melt diamonds with our breath.
Right, good, so what? It is normal to have feelings like this. It is not healthy to dump them on others or to hold onto them. They will rot inside us.”
So many of us strive for perfection, and to accept these feelings is to admit you are far from perfect. Furthermore, these feelings don’t feel good. We want to avoid discomfort and pain, but unfortunately they are a part of life. Not one of us can escape from life unscathed. We are all going to suffer from negative emotions and terrible circumstances that befall us from time to time. Sometimes we might fear that if we allow ourselves to feel bad, to embrace the anger, the hurt, the hate and the pain, we might never stop feeling those things. The emotions are so strong they seem to overpower us. I know I was terrified of my grief because it felt as though it would never end. I imagined myself falling into a dark hole I would never escape from. The fact of the matter is though that we when we allow ourselves to feel our emotions and process them properly, then the healing can truly begin. Nothing lasts forever, even our most intense emotions. The sooner we embrace those feelings, the sooner we can let them go and move on.