“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”
– the Dalai Lama
One of the greatest ills of our society is the inability for people to handle their thoughts and emotions. Because this is never taught in school, people go their whole lives without ever knowing what they should do when they are faced with fear, grief, anger…or any other emotions, sensation or indeed intrusive thoughts. The rampant use of drugs and alcohol, the numbing of ourselves on pointless entertainment and reality TV shows, the inability to have happy and fulfilling relationships, innumerable amount of mental and physical health problems…have as one of their root causes the total helplessness of humanity in facing, handling or even acknowledging their inner pain.
For men this is often even worse, as it is so often silently agreed upon that feeling or showing emotions is somehow not masculine. This is of course total nonsense. Thankfully throughout recent years this notion has slowly been changing, at least somewhat, with the rapid onset of abnormally large amounts of mental illness in our society (making it impossible for people to hide their true feelings any longer), as well as potential solutions surfacing, like meditative practices, journaling and various forms of introspection.
So many people nowadays, I would argue the majority, are completely cut off from their feelings. They live their lives entirely in their heads, unable and unwilling (since nobody has told them it has any value) to feel their body and any emotions, sensations…present in it. They distract themselves endlessly and live their lives as if their inner world was not real – without knowing the truth that their subconscious is controlling them and influencing their actions far more than they realize.
If you do not feel, it means that at some point you have cut yourself off from your inner pain, because it was too much to bear. You were never told how to deal with it and thus repressed it. This usually has cataclysmic consequences throughout one’s life, as repressed emotions can lead to many health problems, dysfunctional relationships and difficult addictive behaviors (which go far beyond drugs and alcohol, to all forms of activities that are designed to distract one from oneself).
The huge rise in “triggers” that people constantly complain about, as well as numerous warnings and safe spaces that need to be made in order for people to avoid them, is also a symptom of repressed emotions and an inability to handle one’s subconscious. This can be likened to a pot full of steam, yet with the lid closed – the steam, since it is never let out, seeps out at every opportunity it can… and if it is never let out willingly, if the continuous build-up of pressure is never alleviated, it will sooner or later find a way to escape…or the pot will explode.
As is in the microcosm of the person, so too it is in the macrocosm of our society. Repressed emotions create tensions between political groups, between religions, between races, between nations…. Whenever a person had an unfavorable encounter with someone of another political group, race, country…and the anger from that encounter was repressed, the subconscious mind will find a way to express what is within it. Usually this will lead to large generalizations, where entire groups of individuals are marginalized as evil, as well as plenty of psychological projection, where one’s own inner repressed aspects are placed onto the world and the people around them. Imagine this on a mass scale any you will see how the consequences of this have created the broken world we now live in.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” – Blaise Pascal
Indeed if we do not stop repressing our emotions, thoughts, feelings and actually face them and embrace them instead, we could be looking at catastrophes of apocalyptic proportions, such as a new world war. Whatever has been repressed will find a way to come up – and right now we are already seeing the results of this throughout our society, portrayed dramatically in the evening news.
But there is another way! You are not your thoughts or emotions and you can face them, you can embrace them, you can allow them to be and thus dissolve them.
In fact, it is highly recommended for you to do so. If you have been repressing your feelings your whole life, then you should likely take it slowly. But do not be discouraged – every time you embrace and let go of something that comes up from your subconscious, you will become freer, more confident, your mind clearer, your decisions better, your body healthier.
Awareness is the great healer. Whatever sensation, thought or emotion is brought into the light of your awareness will sooner or later dissolve. Whatever you resist persists, but whatever you embrace dissipates. You must try this for yourself first, on smaller pains and troubles. Once you see this works, once you free yourself and expand your awareness, you can let more and more come up, including deep seated traumas from your childhood.
As you may well know, allowing yourself to be present (often with your breathing, or your body, or simply doing nothing, just being, with no anchor), and embracing whatever comes up is one of the essences of any meditative practice. Bringing your darkness to light, transmuting base metal into gold, as the old alchemical wisdom discussed, is an integral part of any practice that will heal your mind and body, as well as any spiritual practice that will reconnect you with Source, or Being.
I have gone through this journey myself. It is not an easy journey, but it is one undoubtedly worth taking. It will improve every area of your life and give you so much insight into yourself, life and our reality. It will help you feel peace, joy and even love. It will move you onto the life-path that is right for you. It will ultimately even enable you to help the world around you, the people you love and care about most, as well as those beyond your inner circle.
Do not resist, do not repress your feelings or any aspect of your inner world. Whenever they come up allow them to be, embrace them, love them – as best you can. Go slowly if you feel overwhelmed, but at least take some time every day to integrate and embrace whatever steam wants to come up from your subconscious pot. You can simply sit and allow it to surface, this can be your simple meditation practice. It will give you more than you may think and if you persist, there will plenty of rewards waiting on the other side.
Good luck on your journey.
Related links that can be of help:
-Embracing and Dissolving Inner Pain and Suffering
-Allow Your Life to Be Interspersed with Moments of Being
-Awareness – The Key to Mental, Emotional and Physical Freedom
-Forgiving Yourself for Your Past Mistakes Unconditionally
-Breathing – A Portal into the Present Moment
-Triple Welcoming Process – The Sedona Method (a wonderful process for dissolving inner pain and suffering)
The Work, By Byron Katie (a fantastic process for questioning your thoughts and resolving inner pain – available in her book ‘Loving What Is’, but it’s also available freely in its entirety on her linked website)