Emotions - There Is Another Way
I'd like to share something about emotions. It could be met with some resistance, or even disbelief.
For many years I studied how to clear emotions after coming to understand how unresolved emotional pain and hurts lay at the root of my symptoms of depression (de-pressing emotions) and chronic fatigue (suppressing emotions) and other physical symptoms. In other words, I found myself forced to face my emotions because if I didn't, I wasn't going to get well.
Every day, for 7 years, I sat myself down and self-processed my emotions (sadness, grief, anger, hurt, disappointment, loneliness...) using specialist techniques I had learned to do so. Bit by bit, I learned how to identify and clear feelings at the drop of a hat... for 7 years.
As I used these processes, my understanding of emotions grew deeper and deeper, and I had profound insights come to me from within about the intelligent roles emotions play as a feedback system in the body. I also learned that it was no longer scary to feel emotions, and how to face them without fear.
Even though it was getting easier and quicker to process and get rid of emotions, I still believed that I would always experience negative emotions.
Then one day, something happened which showed me this was not true.
During an intensive Qigong training retreat, I reached a very deep place within which was total peace, and in that state I learned that at some point we have a choice over whether we experience negative emotions or not. I was shocked. I was in disbelief. I found it difficult to believe this was true. My world paradigm had been rocked.
My teacher, who happens to be an enlightened master, kept telling us during class that we don’t have to experience negative emotions, and that there was another way. If I hadn’t had the experience myself, I wouldn’t have believed him.
I came away from that retreat in a state of shock from what I had experienced, because I had never imagined that eventually one can transcend the need to experience unhappy emotions. I started sharing what I had experienced with people, and most people scoffed at me, even found it insulting, especially over the thought of not grieving for others, and so I stopped sharing my experience.
Then a couple of years later I was at another intensive training with the same wise teacher, and one of the themes for the whole retreat was how to manage people dying, or more specifically, how to manage our emotions and reactions. Again he was teaching us that actually we don’t have to go into grief and other emotions, and instead, we can stay peaceful, joyful and calm inside. At this point, the teaching was theoretical.
And then during this very retreat, I had a direct opportunity to put what he was teaching into practice when my cat died during the retreat. You may think a cat is nothing, but my cats WERE my children in this lifetime, because I have had no (human) children, and these cats meant everything to me.
So while I was on retreat, one of my cats died, and I was away overseas when it happened. 5 minutes after I had put down the phone after my cat was put to sleep, I was walking through the grounds of the retreat centre, and bumped into my teacher, who asked me why I wasn’t in class. I told him my cat had just died.
He reminded me to smile and stay happy.
I went back to my room, sat on my bed, and thought of everything he had been teaching us that week, and in that moment, I knew I had a choice. I could go down the old usual road of feeling grief, and the rollercoaster of emotions which comes with that…. Or I could choose a different way. I could choose to not go into grief.
I was lucky: because I had just spent a week learning how to make a different choice, I had some insight into how to do that, and since I respect this teacher very much, and trust his teachings, I decided I would do things differently, and I chose a new way: I chose to do things differently. It was astounding. I would say I was 95% successful, and had a completely different experience from the previous cat who had died. Instead of the rollercoasters of sadness and grief, I felt completely calm and peaceful inside. I understood from first-hand experience that there was a different way.
I also realized that the years of emotional processing work I had done prior to this had unknowningly created a foundation for being able to take this different road. I don’t know that I would have been able to had I not done that prior processing, although it’s difficult to say.
But what all these experiences showed me was that as we evolve and become more emotionally masterful, we transcend the need to go into the old patterns of dealing with our emotions. I know this for a fact.
I also now understand that learning how to process our emotions is a vital step on our evolution as human beings as we move from personality consciousness to soul consciousness. Learning how to deal with our emotions on the lower 3 planes of existence (physical, mental, emotional) is a pre-requisite for moving into higher realms of understanding, but I didn’t know that when I initially started learning how to process emotions.
But the main thing I’d like to share here is that there is another way, and as we learn how to self-process emotions, and then how to transcend the need to even do so, everything changes. Instead, we are able to stay connected with a deep sense of inner peace and joy inside us, which cannot be shaken by what happens in our world. This is the journey we are all on.
I hope this is useful. : )
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