you don't have to crumble: existing in painful emotions
Life is full of challenges, emotional hurdles, and disappointments that sometimes make us just want to scream, collapse and give up.
Lucky for us, there are tools we can all use to release emotion and find clarity, to move forward without crumbling and to trust our truth and ourselves.
Before, I would be deeply depressed, angry, frustrated and confused when the universe would throw its lessons my way. Now though, through the practice, I choose not to allow this to happen. I choose instead to move forward, I choose to see the deep rooted shit that plagues me and causes me suffering head on, and breathe through it. You can too.
You don’t have to crumble.
Meditate. 3 minutes of concentrating on your breath and allowing your eyes to fall closed can provide you some of the greatest comfort you can imagine. This place of quiet and peace, which you can have anytime you want it, exists inside of you. As your practice grows so too will the volume of your inner voice—when you are in touch with this place (and you can be through a meditation practice based in non-judgment and presence) you are somehow able to smile through the sadness, the disappointment, the heavy heart—because you know stillness and truth, you hear yourself, and you can relax into the ocean of life.
Sit with yourself. It is natural to want to run from discomfort, that is why we practice our asana, to find comfort in our discomfort. The more we are able to face the emotion, the feeling head on and with kindness and patience, the quicker it will either leave, or let you in on the role that its playing. When we put a toddler in the corner they will scream louder; acknowledge your pain, give it a cup of tea, and then kindly ask it to communicate what it needs to and move along.
Don’t attach to emotion. When we find ourselves in a place of sadness, just plain wtf just happened?! or anger, frustration etc. we have to remember we are not these things. We are truth and stillness having an emotional experience. When we view our feelings in this way, they become much less intimidating. Think of the last time you felt deep sadness and longing—you felt as though it would never end, that it would be forever, that you’d never feel whole or happy again. Instead, realize it is an experience—just like a concert, we do not become our experiences; instead we must observe them and see them as water (fluid and ever changing). If you’re out with your friends and wanting to cry—go cry, but don’t decide you’ll want to cry all night; you may be surprised what happens when you release the idea that your feelings are a definition of the self or that you will never escape the way that you feel.
Choose to break patterns. I read somewhere once, “It’s not one thing after another, it’s the same damn thing over and over again”. When you see yourself slipping into old patterns, allow them to be broken!! This is not easy but it’s the reason that the universe is seemingly “punishing you”, they want you to understand that until you move past this blockage, this thing that continues to place itself in your life, you will live on repeat. Break the pattern and find freedom.
Don’t interact when high on emotion. The other day I found myself in a situation that was almost like a trap, and that was going to last for an entire day. And I was upset, upset at this person, upset at what they were saying to me, upset at being misled, and upset about being told something I should have been told weeks ago only hours before I was set to see them. However, acting out of the deep emotion I was feeling would only cause me greater suffering. I chose to breathe and be present, enjoy where I was, and accept what I was hearing. I was able to enjoy my day to some extent and find clarity inside of myself.
Open your heart. Let no one, let no thing, harden or close your heart. You are too precious, life is too grand, and there are too many opportunities to allow another’s’ insecurities, patterns, or issues to rob you of every moment of beauty and awe you are entitled to.
Choose always to move forward, choose always to get up. You don't have to crumble.