Yesterday, I wrote about disappointment. I felt a little lost, unsure, sad. I know these are common human emotions, common human experiences. I used to run from my emotions, as fast and furious as I could. When feeling sad or grieving, I would turn on the TV, eat some junk food, grab a bottle of wine, and drink it all, do anything I could to escape the feeling. And it worked, sort of, in the moment... but the thing that was causing me pain didn't go away. It just got pushed down and repressed, and often came back up in ugly, unpredictable ways when I wasn't ready to deal with it.
In the past few years, through my path with yoga, and just my own personal journey, I have learned the importance of sitting with pain and sadness. And just letting it be. Allowing the waves of sadness and pain to come to the surface, observing, holding that space so my grief can come up. And in sitting, instead of running away, the pain eventually lessens. It just does. Because I have honoured it, I have sat with it, I have loved myself through it. And then it doesn't have a hold on my anymore.
To let you in on my story right now, I just went through a break-up of a new relationship. No details are needed, it's a common story, you know how it goes, and the sadness that brings up. I do feel real sadness about not having this particular person in my life anymore. But as I sat with my pain, as I let the tears run, as I listened to my thoughts and deep heart cries, I realized that the deep pain is about so much more - my issues, my deep fears, about being alone, about not having someone to take care of me, about having to "do it on my own" again. And though that was scary to face, as those deep fears and blocks came up, I felt such clarity, such stillness, as I faced the truth. As I saw my inner fears. And as I began to see how those fears have affected the way I've lived my life, the choices I've made, the patterns I keep living out, again and again. And amidst my tears and sadness, there was joy. Hope. Understanding. Compassion. Even though this relationship didn't turn out the way I hoped it would, it was such a wonderful, necessary part of my journey, toward becoming Fully Me. I sat with my sadness. I loved myself enough to sit, and not run from the pain. And wonderful knowledge and truth came up.
There is a wonderful article, written by Thich Nhat Hanh, at http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1756&Itemid=0&limit=1&limitstart=0, which talks about this, if you'd like to read more. His article speaks particularly about anger, but I feel it's really applicable to any emotion. He discusses how meditation (sitting, being with something, observing) allows us to recognize our emotion, be aware of it's presence, accept it, and allow it to be there. He talks about the importance of embracing our emotions and showing tenderness to them.
"Once we have recognized our anger [sadness, grief, etc], we embrace it. This is the second function of mindfulness and it is a very pleasant practice. Instead of fighting, we are taking good care of our emotion. If you know how to embrace your anger [sadness, grief, etc], something will change."
Oh, I also want to give a shout out to my most wonderful, supportive, loving family and friends. It is so important to sit with your emotions and process them. But it is also so important to reach out, and be held by others. I am forever grateful to the amazing people who are in my life, who support me, listen to me, shower me with love and affection, and hold me up in these hard times too.
So, dear friends out there, it's all ok. It's all part of the journey. The beautiful, heart-breaking, scary, wonderful journey. Sit with it. Love yourself deeply. We are all wonderful, amazing people.