To acknowledge everything you feel every instant of the day, without trying to fix it, or getting lost in it, is hard. It’s a matter of awareness without political correctness and without fear of pain. No one wants to acknowledge they think their best friend’s husband is hot, or that they feel a vast pain within their heart after someone’s passed.
No one wants to acknowledge it, but it happens to most of us at some point or another. Pain, guilt, fear…
There are plenty of aversion tactics available – from getting lost in work, or food, to denying the emotions were there to start with.
To see it and set it free is the only thing that works. You face the pain of someone passing. You let it hit you. You accept it. Then you let it go.
You don’t get stuck reveling in the pain as you want to feel just something…anything…that reminds you of the person whom used to be part of your life. You don’t get stuck in pain because you feel guilty to still be alive. You don’t allow yourself to get stuck in pain because it hurts so much you want to die with them. That’s when you actually need to force yourself to change your focus. And slowly, but surely, you will come alive again. You will start appreciating the taste of hot chocolate. You will get a rush of happiness after running to get away from the rain and then soaking in a hot tub to get the cold out of your bones. You will smile at things. Eventually you will laugh. And you’ll start to love life again. You’ll appreciate and love other people again. And that’s OK. You’re allowed to. It’s your gift – your life.
You look at your best friend’s husband and acknowledge that the dude is hot. It won’t change yours, or your best friend’s life. It’s just a fact. A subjective fact, but a fact nonetheless. Why feel guilty about a fact that’s no more strange than chocolate tasting good? That doesn’t mean you’ll go rob a chocolate store.
I’ve said before that my life changed one night in a hot tub. And no, it wasn’t in the way that life usually changes in hot tubs. There was no man in the hot tub. There was just me. And the stars, the moon, the moving silhouettes of palm trees. I was in the Hollywood Hills, telling God I was giving up – I couldn’t figure out life and asking for help, as I felt like a complete loser. In this instance I had an epiphany. I realized my life was my own. And I didn’t have to accomplish anything. I could sit on a rock in the woods singing to myself if I wanted to. It was my gift to unwrap, this life. Mine and mine alone.
I wasn’t a failure, because I didn’t have to accomplish anything. All I had to do was explore life – that was happiness. To have a moment and explore it. To see what would unfold. Of course, I still wanted to do what I love, or work towards that, but I didn’t have to accomplish anything.
That didn’t mean I figured life out. I still didn’t acknowledge all of my emotions. Those I wasn’t always happy to explore. I fought them. Being in love meant embarrassment as they might not like me back. Having to stand up against someone was petrifying because I hated acknowledging they didn’t like me, or my opinion. Seeing how much pain there can be in life – pain caused by human beings themselves – and accepting that wasn’t even on my radar yet. Or I guess it was on the radar going to Africa, I just didn’t know what it meant to see Africa.
I’ve fought a lot of my emotions over the years. After mom died I fought the pain. I was petrified of the pain. On the flip side of the coin, I also fought the guilt of being alive and feeling happiness, whilst she was dead. For various outside reasons I also ended up withdrawing and thinking people didn’t like me, so I ended up feeling ashamed of myself 24/7. It’s taken me about 30 years to come out of that “ashamedness.”
The worst two triggers to feeling ashamed of myself were attraction/falling in love and standing up for myself when I felt there was a conflict of interest, or someone plain didn’t like me.
I’ve played various aversion tactics – from being half open, to trying to convince people of my worth (whilst feeling unworthy, hence why needing their approval) – all to avoid what is.
Facing what is, is freedom. Liberation from your worst enemy – your controlling ego. That thing inside of you that was taught, due to different experiences, what was right and wrong. That thing that is not the ultimate truth, but the made up truth in your mind. That thing that controls your life and controls you right into hell.
Sometimes your emotions, your reactions to things, are controlled by that thing as well. They are a reaction to various beliefs you have. Made up beliefs. So even emotions aren’t always real.
To see emotions – to see beyond emotions – is liberating. Just as liberating as realizing your life is yours to live. You were given the gift to explore this life. You can explore your emotions too. Just don’t act till you’ve seen if they’re true, or a result of beliefs. You don’t have to feel guilty for enjoying life after someone died. That guilt is false. And hey, I became friends with my best friend because we realized we had a crush on the same guy. None of us intended to rob the other person’s chocolate factory – we just intended to explore and see what happened. None of us got the guy, but we got each other.
The truth doesn’t often hurt us – it’s what we make up about the truth that hurt us. Likewise, your emotions won’t hurt you if you face them and let go of what you’ve made up about them. That first reaction of guilt, pain, fear…it will soon pass if you only let it.
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