How to Deal with Difficult Emotions
My shadow is surfacing right now big time. Raise of hands who else this is happening to?
We are facing a worldwide pandemic, a global economic and social crisis, and I am in a very new relationship, so...it's safe to say I am experience a pretty intense elixir of emotions. The lack of stability has been real and has been bringing up overwhelming emotions of instability, insecurity, and worthiness. I have been dealing with these emotions in both healthy as well as unhealthy ways. I have at times reacted rather than intentionally responded. I have done some stupid things. I beat myself up real bad for it for what I did. Then I gave myself a time out, I took a long walk and worked out my feelings. I owned up to it. I apologized. I reached out to friends for support. I forgave myself. Now, after some intentional thought and emotion processing I can see the learning and the lessons in it. Now I can continue to strive to show up more intentionally, respond rather than react, and choose to communicate from a grounded space of trust rather than a space of insecurity. Will I fuck it up again? Definitely. Will I have moments where my inner work will prove itself as valuable? Absolutely. This is called being a human. Just because I mess up sometimes it doesn’t make me less less spiritual, or less worthy. It makes me real.
Don’t beat yourself up about what you are feeling. There is no right or wrong way to feel right now. There is no such thing as ‘bad’ feelings, they are just feelings. We are humans and we are meant to feel the full spectrum of feelings; sadness, anger, grief, frustration, confusion, etc. We have been led to believe that we are only supposed to be happy all the time and prove to everyone around us that we are happy and have our shit together. Look how far that has gotten us. Let’s be with our feelings, all of them. Feel them. Work through them. Share them. Whatever you need. Stop numbing, disconnecting, and distracting. It’s not working anymore. We are being called to feel, to be vulnerable, to create an internal shift that will inspire the collective shift that we are awakening to. This is a golden opportunity to dive in and pull the weeds out so that we can plant new seeds for a brighter and stronger future for ourselves and for this planet.
Keep reading for 4 simple steps on how to deal with difficult emotions.
Here are 4 simple steps to follow the next time a difficult emotion arises;
The french word “sain” means wholesome or healthy. Meditation teacher Michael Stone used Sain as an acronym for working with difficult emotions.
S - Stop
A - Allow
I - Investigate
N - Non-Identification
Stop - Stop and acknowledge that this difficult emotion is present
Allow - Instead of pushing it away, we create space for this difficult emotion
Investigate - Explore the difficult emotion, how does it feel in the body, where is it coming from? Get curious with this difficult emotion
Non-Identify - Become an outside observer, watch the difficult emotion without becoming it
As we work with this tool we start to trust that we have the capacity to hold our emotions. We can fully feel whatever arises and hear what it has to say without getting lost in it.
I'd like to share a couple of quotes as final words;
“We're normally caught up in the current of our thinking, feelings and emotions. With awareness, we can observe it all without being swept away.” -Tenzin Palmo, Tibetan Buddhist teacher
“You have to feel it to heal it.” -Sukhdev Jackson, Kundalini teacher
I hope these words and this tool helps you to navigate your emotions with courage, curiosity, and compassion.