Published in Sibyl Magazine June, 2018
It is relatively easy to live a conscious, spiritual life when things are going smoothly. However, due to the nature of our life on this planet, change will inevitably occur. And, we may not like those changes. Further, we may not have control over the changes that are happening. But, we always have a choice in how we respond.
Each of us has a default coping style that falls somewhere between two extremes. On one end of the spectrum, we may become stuck in our emotions, swirling and drowning in sadness, anger or hopelessness with no idea how to move forward. On the other end, we may go into spiritual bypass and claim that all is as it should be, while pretending the very real pain we are experiencing doesn’t exist.
Somewhere in between these two polarities is a sweet spot that allows us to feel our feelings while simultaneously having an awareness of our observer consciousness that sees the bigger picture.
It is crucial that we allow our feelings to move through our body. In nature, when the zebra is being chased by the lion, she feels the fear and flees. When the hunt is over, if the zebra finds herself still alive, she literally shakes off the fear and goes back into a resting state.
We humans, however, have a harder time shaking things off. Our minds hang onto the possibility of danger long after the immediate threat has passed. We may keep replaying the worst-case scenario in our minds and therefore continue to flood our bodies with stress hormones.
If this coping style is just too painful, we may jump out of our body and view things from a higher perspective, deciding that everything is as it should be. And, while this may be true in the biggest sense, if we move to this lofty perspective too quickly, we end up shoving our feelings down into our bodies where they can eventually crystalize into chronic stress or even disease.
For example, a friend we had always counted on suddenly disappears when we receive a cancer diagnosis. We feel a mixture of anger, sadness and deep hurt. How could she abandon us just when we need her most?
These are normal, appropriate emotions in response to the situation. And, maybe we reconcile these feelings with the knowledge that the friend’s mother recently died of cancer and she just does not have the capacity to face another loved one going through this journey. Holding both of these truths, feeling our feelings while acknowledging this isn’t personal, no matter how much it hurts, is an empowered perspective.
We allow ourselves to go deeply into the hurt and rejection, to feel our feelings and allow them to be released. This movement is aided by our observer self’s knowledge that, in the end, all things do work together for good for those who trust God/Goddess. It means doing everything we are able to do while trusting in Love to do the rest.