The root of all problems is…
Happy Sunday beloveds!
If I have said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, “We must identify and remove the blocks that get in the way of living a life of JOY – which is our birthright and our inheritance.” Well – are you ready today to hear what the numero uno block is that holds us back, and hence prisoner, to life? This might shock you! Are you ready? Here is a hint- it lives between your ears!
The block and problem that is the root of all suffering is YOU and the power you have given your mind! What the mind says, and your action, or lack-there-of based upon those thoughts, is what causes us to stop moving forward in life and taking the necessary steps to achieve our dreams. Let me explain why this is and how it happened.
When we were children, we listened to our hearts and did what we wanted to do. If we were boys and wanted to play with dolls, we did. If we were girls and wanted to play baseball with the neighborhood boys, we did. If we wanted to sit inside on a beautiful day and read books, we did. We did whatever we wanted, without judgment and regardless of what people said was “right.” Do you remember the freedom that came from being this way?
The problem came when we started listening to what others said was the proper behaviors and activities to do, which caused us to turn away from our true desires and the things that made us happy. We often find we are still doing this to ourselves today. This is part of the problem.
However larger issue comes in not feeling our feelings! When we were little, we naturally felt our feelings. If we were angry, we got mad, screamed and stomped our feet. If we were sad, we wept and cried until we felt better. If we were scared, we talked about it until we felt safe. We felt our feelings, then moved on to bigger and better things (which boiled down to being in the present moment) like getting back to playing! This is the healthy way of dealing with feelings which we did without thought!
Then, something happened in our little lives we didn’t know how to process and/or took personally. Mom and Dad got divorced, which we felt was a result of our bad behavior. Uncle abused me, which caused me great shame I couldn’t bear. Grandma died and the sadness was too overwhelming to handle. Whatever the case, we either thought the feelings were too painful to feel or we thought what happened was about us and our unworthiness and took them personally – thinking we were the cause of them- which made us feel even greater shame and sadness. Regardless, in those moments, we made the decision to not feel the deep feelings and created a defense mechanism to not feel. Does that make sense?
You must remember we were children and didn’t know any better, and oh yeah, don’t forget were regularly told to “stop crying”, “boys don’t cry”, “don’t be a baby” or the like. We believed if we emoted we would either be labeled bad or felt we would drown in the sea of that emotion and potentially die- yes literally die! Of course we would do something to not make that happen- what smart beings we were!
The defense mechanism, and hence the source of our suffering today, is our focus solely on our mind and what it tells us instead of actually feeling our feelings! When we focus on our mind and its thoughts, we are moved away from feeling, which as discussed we believed would keep us “safe.” The problem is the thing we thought once protected us is now the very thing that is hurting us, which by the way, is often the case with defense mechanisms we create!
This is how it hurts us: if we don’t acknowledge and feel our feelings, we actually resist what is there, and will continue to be there until dealt with. We learn that whatever we resist, persists and ignoring what is, solves nothing! I liken it to placing a child in a corner and telling them to be quiet, that they cannot play and certainly not have fun! That child might sit there quietly for a while, then will start trying to get your attention and then when not getting noticed, make louder noises, until it starts throwing a massive temper tantrum until you do something; they will do whatever they can to get noticed and gain attention and won’t go away until then do – just like our feelings. Does that sound familiar? I bet it does.
The solution is to feel the feelings so you can experience them and let them go. Feelings simply are energy that is meant to flow in, through and out of us. How do we do this, you might ask? Here is the process.
First step is to notice when you get upset. A sure fire way to know when this is happening is when your body temple tells you via a feeling of dis-ease, discomfort or pain. This usually manifests as a pit in the stomach, your heart pounding like it is going to jump out of your chest, palms sweating or tears welling. At this time if you really pay attention, you will find yourself moving into your head, towards the thoughts of “get over this”, “I don’t want to feel this way” or whatever numerous judgements you project onto what is happening- primarily on what others are doing TO you. What is really happening, however, is your mind just shifted you away from “feeling” the feeling to “thinking” about the feeling. Interesting, eh? I call this the “hampster wheel” or “going down the rabbit hole” technique of the mind- both which bring us nowhere – fast – instead of dealing what really needs to be addressed!
Now that you know you are in upset and where is it located in your body, breathe into it. Visualize yourself in the middle of it and feel what it actually feels like to be that feeling. Let whatever needs to surface come up- don’t judge it. Is it anger, sadness or fear? Is it dark, yucky and heavy? Whatever it is, acknowledge it – give it a voice and even exaggerate it. Feel it- be with it for as long as you need to- then let it fade away into the native nothingness where it was created! What you will find that perhaps in seconds, perhaps in minutes, it will pass. It will not linger forever nor will you drown in it like your thoughts used to tell you! By doing this, you are allowing yourself to deal with your feelings instead of avoiding them. When done with this feeling process, you will be left in the present moment and from there, will know or be guided to do the thing necessary to move forward towards what your heart desires!
By the way, I know what you may be thinking, “If I am focusing on the feeling, I am giving it more power, right?” I can appreciate this question however this is what the mind tells you to not “go there”- see the pattern of how your thoughts will keep you away from your feelings? When you acknowledge them, you are delving into the feeling so you can release it. Once you do, it no longer exists in your being. Gone! Done! Not there anymore! Wow- who knew it was that easy and relatively painless!
What you will learn is that once you feel your feelings, you can then focus your precious energy on creating new experiences instead of resisting things that cause you to suffer. What you will also find is right behind what we once perceived as overwhelming or negative feelings are feelings which traditionally are much more enjoyable to experience: hope, joy and peace!
I know it sounds a bit scary, but I promise you will not only survive- but thrive!
Today, let’s assign our minds a new job- that of trusted advisor instead of commander in chief! Our mind and its thoughts often share things we need to be aware of so let’s listen to what our mind is saying, however let our hearts be in charge and lead the way forward.
If you do, your life will be so much more joyful! Try it and see!
Namaste, dear ones!