I will begin with a poem by Rumi called "The Guest House":
This being human is a guesthouse every morning a new arrival a joy, a depression, a meanness some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture. Still treat each guest honorably he may be cleaning you out for some new delight!
The dark thought, the shame, the malice Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
This is one of my favorite poems and is posted in front of me between my computer monitor and my vision board.These are words that keep me sane through what might seem like "the end of my little world" at the time. It is so easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment, dramatize, and be so involved in your own despair, worry or anger that it spirals you downward. We have been taught that "bad things happen" and we react accordingly, often before we even have time to process the experience as a whole. Sometimes when we have gone over the same negative pattern of thinking so many times the initial problem becomes twenty times worse than it originally was.
You Can Learn from EVERY Emotion
EVERY moment and every emotion that you ever experience should not be judged harshly. If you judge and say things for example like:
"But I KNOW this should not have happened", "They are so wrong -- how could they have done that to me?" or "But they were PERFECT for me -- how could this relationship end?!"....
you are missing out on an important opportunity. Every experience can be learned from. Every strong emotion examined for cause and effect. Be grateful for the times that might seem the toughest because within you can find your greatest strength and learning experience. You stand to learn a lot about yourself and why your life is where it is at that moment when you are aware. Then you can fully experience life around you instead of letting it flow thoughtlessly on autopilot from moment to moment.
How AM I feeling? (What specific emotion) What caused this? (Is it just this situation at hand or is there more baggage attached to it?) What can I learn from this? What can happen next that this turns out to be OK? (Just imagining the possibilities can bring a new calmness)
I then try and set a limit for the emotion if it is sadness, frustration, worry.... It is wonderful to process and feel fully a "negative" emotion but is not healthy if you just sit there and dwell in it indefinitely. There are techniques to "let go" if you find yourself hanging onto the negative emotion for too long.
There is also the issue that if you do not honor or process these emotions you will be creating blockages as well as not learning from the situation. When you do not learn from the experience -- history will repeat itself and you will be tested again until you learn the lesson. Even after you think you have learned that lesson it is possible that you will be presented with a similar situation again that will ensure you have mastered and know how to handle it. I recently encountered this and talk about it in my post, "5 Steps for 'Letting Go' andMoving Forward".
I am a BIG believer in "everything happens for a reason". KNOWING that can get you through just about anything. Even the most in tune intuitive does not know what will happen moment to moment and what it all means in the big scheme of things. How do you know your last relationship wasn't meant to end so someone better for you could come along? How do you know that job you "wanted so badly" wouldn't have made you miserable in 6 weeks? The truth is NO ONE can know why everything happens at the time it happens. I have seen first hand how looking at things this way produces new results and leaves you open to all the possibilities.
There are times when the reasons are easy to find when you examine the situation. When my husband took a job 5 hours away from the family it was easy to find SOME of the good in it; more money, more opportunity to sharpen skills, time to work on his websites andmartial arts journal.... and some of the reasons are being revealed to us now.... he is making great contacts, he is able to reconnect with friends, I am getting my first alone quiet time (at night when the kids go to sleep) in 10 years..... Sure, I miss him and there are some times I get pretty sad about it and feel his absence greatly. What helps is allowing myself to be sad for that little while and also KNOWING we will be stronger for it as individuals and as a couple and appreciating all the things we are learning about ourselves and life in general through this process. I know there are lessons in this and welcome the experience instead of concentrating on how much I miss him which would make me miserable and accomplish nothing!
It is so important to "Listen to Your self-talk" when you are going through what might seem like a "trying" time. Are you in your old habits of telling yourself how bad things are and worrying or are you opening up to the possibility that you just MIGHT NOT KNOW EVERYTHING and maybe things are going this way for a reason?
When I was ill I was constantly telling myself how sick I was. I was worried about how tests would come out, I was busily making my next doctor appointments, I WAS my illness and therefore gave my body no time to be healthy. The way you talk to yourself, your reactionary habits, how you process emotions are all so important to your well being. Being "conscious" of your emotions and self-talk takes some time and you will have relapses (believe me I know). But as Mr. Tolle pointed out in theOprah/Tolle Webinaron Eckhart Tolle's, "A New Earth", the lapses become more and more infrequent and farther apart. I am no Tolle but it is amazing how far I have come in the last 18 months. Once you are aware that YOU are the only one responsible for the "voice in your head" and start listening rather than letting the corresponding emotions or bodily reactions rule you... You will learn to appreciate ALL your emotions, know that they do in fact serve a purpose and celebrate every gorgeous (and not so gorgeous) moment this life has to offer you.