What do you do when you begin to feel an uncomfortable emotion? Most of us respond with delay tactics—watching TV, gossiping or overindulging, to name a few. Sure, these things might provide you with instant distraction, but they'll only guarantee you'll feel a continual unconscious presence, and a future date with a moldy, stuffed emotion.
Embrace Your Emotion
I propose we embrace each emotion we experience as internal feedback from our Highest Self; our own secret code with The Divine. This practice is in alignment with believing the universe is for, and not against us. In replicating the divine nature itself, we become willing to take a stand for ourselves and not against our own being.
I learned to befriend my emotions through a Buddhist practice I slightly adapted, called Taking the Seat.
When an emotion arises:
Free Your Anger and Other Strong Emotions
The first time I did this I “interviewed” anger. I noticed I was seething with anger and often ready to jump into rage. I could no longer ignore it.
I was trained as a child to believe “anger was bad” and so I suppressed those feelings. It turned out, I actually had decades of anger to process. I took ten minutes throughout each day, for years, to “take the seat” and turn my experience of anger from an enemy into a friend.
Learn From Your Emotions
I learned anger serves me, as it wakes me up to injustice, betrayal and violations of my boundaries. Once I learned this, I knew this emotion was code for me to look at three areas. Emotion has become a very quick way for me to communicate with my own being.
I have “interviewed” sadness, depression, betrayal, hatred, disappointment, lack, empty, numb, joyful, delight, persnickety, infatuation, terror, lust and more. I learned so much about these feelings, about myself and where these feelings manifest.
Acceptance and Compassion Follows
In addition to the specific learning of each emotional state, a greater learning exists. When we “take the seat,” we experientially learn there is something inside of ourselves which observes the feeling. We realize we are not the feeling.
Feeling is an effect or bi-product of a thought—a suppressed response to an old situation. This spiritual practice has cultivated immense acceptance and compassion for me and others. It has been an ongoing practice of mine for 22 years, and has freed hundreds of my clients.
Arizona resident Rev. Bonnie Barnard is a New Thought minister and author of Forgive Your Way to Freedom. Barnard offers classes and private sessions and is completing her second book on living soulfully. www.soulfulresources.com.