Confronting negative feelings

Confronting negative feelings

So many people are afraid of their anger, which keeps them from confronting and expressing it. But then they end up carrying the anger around with them for years and years.

So many people are afraid of their anger, which keeps them from confronting and expressing it. But then they end up carrying the anger around with them for years and years.

by Marc Allen — 

When we acknowledge and even confront our negative feelings, we are plunging right into the heart of tantric practice. That is our meditation. And that is what I am inviting you to do — right now.

Many people do not dare confront their negative feelings because they feel they would hurt somebody or be destructive in some way if they did. One man at a seminar once went so far as to say that if he plunged into his feelings, he might rape hundreds of women and kill hundreds of men. But skillful methods do exist to tap into your feelings — ways that do not hurt others or yourself. Many of the following practices and processes deal with these methods.

So many people are afraid of their anger, which keeps them from confronting and expressing it. But then they end up carrying the anger around with them for years and years. It ends up damaging their bodies and often their relationships because it comes out in all kinds of covert ways, such as irritation, anxiety, stress and periods of deadened silence.

By expressing that anger, you can let go of it. But you do not have to attack anyone to express it. Here are two good methods for getting something off your chest: (1) Let yourself yell and rant and rave, and condemn and say all kinds of terrible things when you are alone. (2) Go into your room alone and put a pillow on your bed and pretend that pillow is the person you are angry with. Then proceed to yell at it all you wish and pound it with as much physical energy as you care to put into it. Pound it to shreds, if necessary, to blow off steam. You can even use a plastic bat if you wish. Somehow, something about smashing a pillow with a plastic bat makes it all kind of fun — even a bit funny.

If you allow yourself to really act out your anger in ways that do not hurt anyone, you will notice afterward that you feel much better, lighter and relieved. You have found a way to effectively let go of your anger so that you are not carrying it around anymore. If it comes up again, continue using these methods, if necessary.

Whenever you are in an unpleasant place, confronting a negative emotion, remember that it is not the situation itself that is causing your problem — it is your rejection of the situation that is causing the problem. Another way to put it is that it is not the world that causes your problems, rather it is your own mind and your resistance to what is.

Do not reject the situations you are in and do not reject your feelings. Instead, be with your feelings, respect them and examine them. Look closely and gently at them. Simply look at what you are telling yourself and see the thoughts that are going through your mind. Look at them honestly, openly and as objectively as possible.

The most difficult moments of your life are your finest sources of instruction — the times when you can make the greatest leaps forward on your path. Your feelings are a store-house of wisdom if you can embrace them and look closely at them. Within our darkest moments our brightest treasures can be found.

You may be wondering what kind of wisdom can come from being angry or jealous or guilty. Look at it this way: A reason always exists for your feelings, and it is often a very simple one. But when you are caught up in the emotions, you cannot see why you are creating them.

If you can take a breath and ask yourself why you are feeling the way you are, you learn things about yourself that you have never seen quite so clearly and have never been able to express in such simple language. That knowledge alone produces some very positive changes in your life — changes that free you in a great many ways.

Discover what you are telling yourself, even if it sounds stupid, violent, unloving or totally negative. By simply taking a clear look at hidden feelings, you are shining the light of understanding on them, and you come to see exactly where you are limiting yourself, holding yourself back, being far less expansive, less wonderful and less creative than you really are.

Know that every negative feeling you have contains within it an opportunity for growth. Every feeling contains the understanding, knowledge and wisdom that can lead to true freedom and peace of mind.

If Buddha — the historical Buddha who revolutionized religion and philosophy in India 2,500 years ago — had not gone into a period of deep depression and anxiety, propelled into despair by fears of sickness, old age and death, he never would have begun his years of searching and examining. And he never would have become a Buddha, a “fully awakened one.”

Within our darkest moments our brightest treasures can be found.

 

Marc Allen is an internationally renowned seminar leader, entrepreneur, author and composer who co-founded New World Library, an independent publishing company. He is the author of Tantra for the West, The Magical Path, The Greatest Secret of All, Visionary Business, and others. MarcAllen.com or NewWorldLibrary.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 4, August/September 2015.

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