There is a heaviness I feel today….a mourning….as if something unfortunate has happened. But there is no logic to this emotion, this micro-depression or momentary deep sadness. A part of me feels like I'm not allowed to have this emotion… that I don't have the right because my life isn't riddled with strife, that somehow you have to have events that allow you to earn your way into the right to feel an emotion…such a self-denying, ridiculous thought yet I bet its one that’s shared with many of your reading this. You aren't allowed to feel sad because others have it harder than you do, but you aren't allowed to be too happy because others have it harder than you do and it wouldn’t be compassionate if you were too happy. What kind of crazy rules have we been willing to accept? By these rules we have to limit our 'acceptable range' of emotions to a very narrow range unless we are willing to be vilified or we encounter the most extreme of tragedies. This can't be the way life is supposed to be experienced. Maybe we need to change the rules…what do you think?
My life is filled with magic and wonder and lots of beauty and opportunity…so where is this counter-emotion coming from? Is it even mine or am I picking up on it from someone at the basketball game this morning? Or from one of my kids? Or from the earth itself which seems so sad today with the new resurgence of dense smoke from the California fires. Heading out this morning the truck was covered in ash from the fires... like a thin layer of death covering everything. Maybe this feeling is just a pause that is connecting to all the fear and tragedy that surrounds the fires, even though I am not actively in the path of destruction. Maybe it’s a moment of connection to the world that is holding its breath in response to a pandemic that is riddled with contradictory messages, polarizing viewpoints, scare tactics, and deadly outcomes.
Whatever it is, it remains a mystery to me. I give thanks to the gifts that weave themselves into every moment. I sit in gratitude of the love and beauty that surrounds me. I twirl in the expansive openness of the infinite possibilities that are before me. I melt into the taste of the air that is filled with creation. and I dance in the aliveness of everything around me.
I sit in this sadness and embody it. I incorporate it into my true being. I collect all those parts of me that I left behind or shunned and I bring them together into the whole. I embrace them with a hug of unconditional love and acceptance. I release the need to know why this feeling has chosen this place and time to arrive. I appreciate this present moment.
What if our emotions weren't personal at all? What if we had no personal story attached to them? What if we honored them, felt them in our body, viewed them with curiosity and discovered they are always pointing us to our true north?
Sometimes the "sadness" is calling to be acknowledged, sometimes it is a pointer to change and other times it is directly related to current events in our lives. Whatever the reason, we know there are many layers to our feelings and Science and therapists have only scratched the surface of their value and importance to this human experience.
So how do we know what the sadness is for and or where it's pointing? This is where our logical brain will start to run personal stories to figure it out. The last thing we as humans seem to like is uncertainty and lack of control. However, its thru our logical brains and trying to "figure" it out that we are left exhausted, confused and most of all filled with judgment about our current experience. Thru this lens, we are trying to figure something out and filling in the blanks with our old stories which keep us trapped in an old paradigm of patterns and repeated cycles.
To discover the beauty and direction behind these gifts, we call emotions, we must first get still and the course in miracles instructs us to ask for help with one simple statement, "above all else, I want to see this differently." Why see it differently? Because perception is the name of the game in life and to this point your are seeing your emotions and experiences thru old programming. You cant see new if you can't "think" new. A change in perception is a gift to see, live and act differently.
How do we receive the answers? Thru a dirty word in our culture… stillness. In a place of stillness, allow your emotions to be there, without judgement, and feel them. Where do you feel them in your body? Are they in one place, all over or moving? Just notice and bring love and compassion to these feelings. Pretend they are your child or best friend that needs a hug. You wouldn't ignore them or run from them, you would put your arms around them and say no matter what I love you. Breath into this love and Remember the feelings are not really you, they are your internal google maps. The real you, the essential self, can not be defined or confined by feelings/emotions.
Now, In that place of stillness, does something new come to you? Notice your surroundings, what is your life showing you right now? The most important tool here is to become aware, curious and feel in your body. Maybe you are being repotted and a sadness arises to let go of what you once valued? Maybe the sadness is a result of overwhelm and uncertainty, and maybe just maybe its not a bad thing, but showing you what you're ready to move thru.
The ego wants to know the reason immediately, attach a story to it, check it off the box and move on to the next thing. IF the answer doesn’t come immediately, observe any chatter and judgment from the mind and then get really curious. This is where surrender and letting go of the need to know "now" plays a vital part. Trust that If you need to know the answer it will come, maybe it will appear in the form or a song, a video, a person talking in line at the grocery store. Also, notice if the same messages are coming from multiple sources.
The logical brain may give many excuses as to why this wont work or is a waste of time, but true answers and direction emerge from the illogical and after all our emotions can feel extremely illogical? It's in this illogical place that answers, solutions and ideas takes us to new and exciting uncharted waters and where old patterns and fears can be seen in a new light. This emotional compass, if we can give it the space to work, provides new paths that we have been searching for and missed due to our fear to feel and be still.