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  • Foto del escritorDiego Palma

How to deal with negative emotions

Actualizado: 18 ago 2018

There is a very honest mantra that reveal a truth about life.

“Sometimes life sucks”

This statement is very true and quite common. It reveals the difference that is manifested when life's plan and my personal plan do not substantially coincide. That difference is what creates suffering and conflict in the world. It takes us out of balance. When life flows according to our plan, everything feels harmonious and beautiful, but when life does not flow as expected, we say that life sucks.

Life unfolds without a plan

Life unfolds without a plan, changing and flowing like an endless, free dance. When the wind in the forest blows southward, the leaf that has been released from the tree flies southward, dancing in harmony with its destiny. There is no question:"Wasn't I supposed to fly north? Who's responsible for this?” The Universe will remain silent no matter how many times we ask, ”Why?”

Flowing means dancing with the wind in the same direction. We do not ask why it flows in that direction because we now know that we do not know. We cannot control the terms and conditions of every outcome. But we have been programmed to think and hold the idea that if something goes wrong, it's because someone is to blame.

So, when shit happens, when things flow in an unexpected direction, our first subconscious reaction is to stop feeling love for ourselves, to block us at the heart level. In other words, in the face of adversity we generate self rejection.

An essential question that can help you feel the sensation, the emotion that arises at that moment will be:

What do I feel when things don't go my way?

What happens to me internally when life doesn't flow my way?

Who do you become when you think life is unfair?

Who do you become when you’re not recognized the way you want to?

Who do you feel internally when you are living in a beautiful scenario and suddenly life takes a change of direction?

You can feel the anger, the frustration, the fear, the pain, all this sensations emerging in your chest.

When adversity comes, you like yourself less

When life doesn’t flow your way, you tend to suppress your emotions, and you tend to blame and judge people who stand in the way of your emotional process.

When adversity comes, you like yourself less. “Oh this horrible sensation again!” You don’t like to feel it and you try your best to push the nasty emotion out of your system and to project it outward. You punish yourself with a kind of inability to love the character who is going through an inevitable unexpected change.

We have learned to act in this way to avoid feeling bad. We are used to reacting because we grew up seeing it all around us, everywhere since childhood. We have learned by following the example of our parents, friends, television, etc. Reacting has become the social norm.

The frustrating emotions that are generated when life is not as we would like it to be blind us in a subconscious and total way to a fundamental principle which, if we could realize it at that moment, would allow us to enter into a healing process that would generate a fundamental change in our life.

Everything that happens to you is there to help you evolve

When life doesn't flow the way we wanted, we feel uncomfortable. We hate unexpected changes, but when this happens to others we find it interesting. For example, when you go to a movie, you love adversity. The protagonist will find himself in an uncomfortable situation and we'll ask ourselves: "Now, how is he going to get out of this mess?" And we're glued to the screen excited to see how it solves the situation or not.

When you watch a movie, you understand the fact that everything that happens to the character is there to help evolve the character into a higher aspects of itself. But in our life we tend to forget that everything that happens to us is there to help us evolve and expand into higher aspects of consciousness and to inspire our deepest growth.

Anything that gets in your way is your spiritual practice

Whatever stands in your way is your spiritual process. Whatever you’re pushing away could be a catalysis to your highest potential. Every way in which life unfolds will always be your highest destiny in action. You may not like what is arising as a catalyst for your higher evolution, but it is always guaranteed to make you more evolved and brighter somewhere down the line. Everything is your spiritual process.

You can only determine the quality of your experience

You can do your best but you are not responsible for the outcome. Only for how you feel about it.

It’s ok that you cannot control the terms and conditions of every outcome, because these are out of your hands. Fate is out of your hands. You can’t change the outcome but you can make choices that determine how you experience it and how you feel about the quality of the experience you are going through. Therefore, your choices do not create results, your decisions determine the quality of the movie you are living out.

So your problem is not adversity, your problem is how little you love yourself when uncomfortable change arrises. It does’t matter what you think, it matters what you say to yourself when life falls apart, the moment you don’t get your way.

The one who insists on things going his way is crying for love. We all hold onto things “going our way” because we think it will give us the fulfillment that only our love can provide.

The Five-year-old child’s analogy

For example, imagine that you see a five-year-old child who you love deeply, that is weeping in tears, in pain. What would your natural reaction be? You would probably go and hold the child with all your love. By holding and warmly embracing him with love, you know he will eventually calm down feeling your empathic and loving support.

The same mechanism we use to soothe that suffering child is the one we must apply to calm our inner child. But first we must be clear about two things: that we are not in control of every outcome and that adversity is an opportunity to transcend recurrent negative emotions through the spiritual practice of loving you more in adversity.

Dismiss the messenger

The first, and difficult step is called “Dismiss the messenger”. Dismissing the messenger means to give thanks to the person who is supposedly pushing your buttons. This person is giving you the opportunity to put this exercise into practice and to heal that repetitive, suppressed emotion that you have not yet integrated and that has been repeating over and over again in your life. Give thanks to that person, dismiss the messenger immediately, release him and concentrate on your emotion.

Embrace the feeling unconditionally

It's okay to let your feelings surface. It’s ok to be angry, agitated, irritated, because those are the feelings in your body that will help you make peace with the fact that life won’t always go your way.

So after dismissing the messenger, you embrace the feeling, the anger for example, you stay with the anger, don’t push it away, let it be inside unconditionally feeling the emotional state unfolding within you, without projecting it outward onto others.

Don’t try to make the feeling disappear, don’t push it away. Integrating pain and discomfort is a simple procedure. We choose to “be” with our pain and discomfort unconditionally, which means we have no agenda aside from being with it. We aren’t trying to fix, change, understand, visualize, transform, heal, or manipulate the sensation of discomfort in any way.

Love the one who feels agitated

And then you hug and embrace with love the one feeling the anger, you hug yourself and say, “I love you”, in the same way you will hug the child in pain. That is your inner child in pain and you are the one holding the inner child, while saying “I love you, I love you”. Loving yourself more, not less.

It is not about trading the anger for love. I am not saying be loving instead of anger. Anger gives you an opportunity to love a part of yourself that needs love rather than rejection. It's not, I should be loving instead of being angry. Love the one who's angry. You feel anger and embrace the person who feels anger, you embrace yourself with love while feeling anger.

The old paradigm says “I should be this instead of that.” Now is… “Be however you are and love that one.”

This practice will naturally allow other suppressed emotions to begin to surface. You will begin to feel some deep emotions that were pushed into the basement of your being. They will naturally surface to receive the healing integration of the loving embrace you are giving to yourself.

If life doesn’t go my way, it’s ok

This is one of the most wonderful ways to heal negative emotions if you try it with authenticity, vulnerability and honesty. If you try it, you will see the results and you will find a tool that works to integrate suppressed emotions and start learning to respond rather than react.

And someday you will say, “If life doesn’t flow my way, it’s ok.” It doesn’t mean that you don’t have a plan, it means that you accept that life is changing all the time, and many times it’s out of your hands. What you do have in your hands is how to respond rather than react. You choose love instead of rejection and blame.

How do we close the gap? We love ourselves to make peace with the fact that life will not always flow according to our plan. Because there is nothing more beautiful than to be heart centered and abide in peace with nothing else to resolve. You can really go to your foundation, to your basement, look at every corner and have no resentment, no wounds, and you can be alone with yourself and feel comfortable, feel harmony. But is your work, you have to do the work. If you don’t do the work, no one else will do it for you.

The universe is always conspiring in our highest favor, in the emergence of our highest potential. You are not going to get your way for the most part, but even if you always got your way, you end up receiving far less than what life has stored for you.

Cultivating gratitude, and loving whatever arises, no matter what, is what makes the change from the mind to the heart quick and natural.

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