Understanding your Emotions
Emotions are a weird and wonderful human phenomenom. Emotions are what make life exciting! We feel exhiliration, wonder, joy and love. We also feel anger, sadness, depression and the like. We all have 'em and we all have our own special way of dealing with them...or not. Our emotions are purely our own and they arise from within us as a result of many things, including our individual thoughts, memories, fantasies and insights.
Seeking Pleasure and Avoiding Pain
So, things I have learnt: the ego (our fear based, primitive mind which believes we are all separate and which is the dominant mind in our present world) seeks pleasure and avoids pain. That being said, we can get ourselves into a pickle when we attach our emotions to specific circumstances and material things, ie. 'I had a great time drinking with my friends last night.' Ego translation, 'alcohol makes me feel good.' Our ego then proceeds to seek alcohol in the belief that it is the reason we had a good time. True, a glass of wine may be lovely with dinner and good conversation, or may be exactly what is needed for a special occasion. However, as we well know, hangovers are not fun and alcoholism can ruin people's lives. Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with alcohol or any other external substance we consume, buy or create, the issue is that from the perspective of the ego, these external things (alcohol, food, drugs, clothes, cars, etc.) distort our true sense of self. We give these things far more power then they are due, and leave ourselves feeling powerless. Another example, 'I feel down today, so I am gonna go out and buy a new outfit to cheer myself up.' Ego translation, 'A new outfit will make me feel like a new person.'
Most of our ego habits stem from early age, they are absorbed and learnt from the world around us. I know for myself, that once I hit my teens, I felt so lost and confused, and because all the 'cool' kids drank at the weekends, I thought this would help me fit in...it didn't. As I grow into my awareness, I recognize that I am infinitely more powerful than what I see around me and that I can consciously choose what I want to desire, and to be honest, alcohol is not at the top of my list. I am grateful everyday for this realization and release.
Managing your Feelings
I digress, the reason I got to writing today, was because of my anger. And it's the person closest to me that gets to feel the brunt of it. The habit is this: everytime I come home after a long and wonderful day of teaching, I want to chill out. But if the dishes aren't done and I see dust or worse, crumbs on the floor, the rage begins to build, inner dialogue follows, 'couldn't he have swept? Or at least done the dishes? He's been home all day or at least he's been home longer than I have. He knows I like things clean and tidy, could he not have thought of that and helped out, so that I don't have to do it all, all the time, cleaning after his mess.' I spot the laundry, inner dialogue continues 'of course, and the laundry hasn't been done, of course not. I shouldn't even expect it. I'll always have to ask him politely if he can lift a bloody finger, I feel like his mother, and then there's the never ending bills, and I always do everything, I just can't handle it, I'm so overwhelmed and I just want to SCREAM!!!!!!' I catch myself. Whoa. Breathe. Relax.
He asks me calmly if anything is wrong. I retreat to the bedroom, shut the door and process. I am aware enough to know that NO ONE ELSE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW I FEEL. And really, he's perfect, lovely, wonderful! I love him. This anger, this rage, this chaos is mine alone. And I am powerful because I am one with the almighty Universe. I sit quietly and let myself feel the rage, the overwhelming feelings of anger, they soon begin to transform as I ask the Universe for help and guidance to let me please release these feelings. The anger begins to dissolve and before long tears are gushing and my heart and throat begin to ache. It is pain, deep seated pain from long, long ago that is ready to be let go. And I do, repeating to myself 'let it go. It's okay. Let it go.' And then, it does. Just like that, it goes. I feel lighter, I breathe deep and I feel relieved. I realise that I am safe in myself and that everything is perfect, that I am cared for, provided for and life will only continue to get better, easier, lighter and more free. I am free...until next time...until next time I simply smile at the mess, sit down on the sofa and tell him how blessed I feel everyday to be living this life. Namaste to that.
If you are interested in ways to help you manage your emotions, yoga and meditation can be incredibly insightful for anyone on their spiritual journey. Why not check out our online yoga course today to find out more!