Extreme Reactions are Born from Unacknowledged Feelings

All of us have a wide palette of emotions. Some of us accept and admit them. Most of us don’t. And this makes the difference.

While sadness, joy, jealousy, revulsion and so on are common in our lives, somewhere we are told that feeling a certain way is not acceptable. Take envy for instance. This is so common, especially when we hear someone close to us has got a promotion, or a high paying job, or has bought a house. But we are told that we need to feel happy for the other. This dichotomy creates such an ugly tension within. We must feel a certain way, but the truth is that we don’t. And what ensues is the cover up, which makes the whole thing very ugly. Internally, we feel strange, awkward, uncertain of ourselves. And when we are with the other, we project false cheerfulness and happiness. For instance, we tell the other “I am so happy for you“, but our internal emotions don’t align with what we say. That discord is an immensely terrible feeling within us. Eventually though the true feeling comes out in our action. Usually, we avoid the other person by saying things like “My job is keeping me busy“. The important point is that we are unaware that we are doing this.

Quite simply, when we aren’t aware and therefore when we do not acknowledge our feelings, ugliness is born. Ugly anger. Ugly passion. Ugly hatred. You get the gist.

What happens when we acknowledge the dark feeling? Things don’t magically disappear. But we ascend into a mental attitude and an emotional configuration of acceptance. We are okay with what is – here and now. This “being okay” is a crucial first step to transform the emotion into peace and acceptance. This helps us eventually respond from acceptance, as opposed to reacting from an emotionally charged space. Again, the emotion does not disappear, but is transformed into a peaceful acceptance.

An example of this is when we lose someone we love, unexpectedly. Initially there is disbelief, then anger, followed by depression and eventually we come around to accepting their death. It isn’t that we don’t feel sad for their loss. The sadness is there. But the grief is transformed into a peaceful acceptance. We need to make this transition.

The thing is, we cannot force acceptance on ourselves. If we are unable to accept, then that is okay too. Accept the fact that you are unable to accept. Start somewhere. Eventually, this attitude to acceptance will percolate every pore of our being. Then, we feel, even more acutely, since we are aware – and yet – we are okay with what is. Therefore, acknowledge and accept what is – here and now.

The cold, desolate and yet striking beautiful tundra of the Rockies. Mt. Bierstadt. Colorado.

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