Tuesday, April 4, 2017

As a sadhaka, handling a negative emotion

Nobody likes to have a negative emotion like hurt, anger, guilt, jealousy, the sense of rejection, loneliness, etc. Often it’s just a vague sense of discomfort or uneasiness which one cannot pin-point. So our first instinct is to try to escape it through some displacement activity – for instance we may find ourselves picking up the phone to talk to someone, or going out for a movie or walk, or simply talking with friends. Some may head to the bar for a drink, yet others may light up a cigarette. Yet others may do puja – the idea is we simply divert ourselves to escape feeling the feelings that are there in that moment.
In other words, we want to escape our present moment of feeling lousy and so we try to create a new better present moment through doing something or the other. We can say that in way we have abandoned an aspect of our psychological self, we have rejected an aspect of our psychological self. In a sense we have fractured our psychological self.
Our psychological self needs to be whole– integrating all aspects of our psychological self in a deep self-acceptance. Am I able to deeply accept myself at each moment of my existence, as I am?
What does it take to accept oneself as one is at each moment in time, and simply allow oneself to feel the feelings that arise, without judgement, with compassion and yet not be impelled to act upon them, if they prompt actions that are against one’s chosen universal values of honesty, commitment, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, etc?
One needs a great deal of understanding of the fact that whatever is, is in Order..in Ishvara’s Order.  The laws of cause and effect, which includes in its fold the laws of psychology, pervades the Universe – so every moment in time, is in Order, just the way it is. The Universe is ruled by the laws of cause and effect – laws which I did not create – they are simply there, rendering whatever is as it is.  If it could be different it would be different, but it not. It is the way it is – it is in Order. Naturally my feelings at every moment in time, whatever they are,  are within that Order – they are in Order – they are. They are acceptable simply because they are in Order. So compassionately,  one allows oneself to feel them.
What one discovers is that one is greater than the feeling, because the feeling passes and one is still there. Be there for the feeling compassionately, not because you want to feel better, but simply because you want to be there for your psychological self, giving it the attention that is needed.  
And the advantage of accepting them and allowing oneself to feel feelings however uncomfortable they may be, is that one becomes more integrated  in one’s psychological being. That integration leads to a great sense of peace born of self-acceptance. In that self-acceptance is also the space to look at the situation in which those feelings were triggered, in a new light. One has the space to revise one’s thought processes which led to the uncomfortable feelings.
In the event that one’s feelings are more than one can handle, one can take a break from feeling them, by resorting to any action in keeping with the universal values. However one compassionately notes what one is doing, so that it is not an unconscious or mechanical escape, rather the action is one’s conscious deliberate choice for the time being.
Another important thing to note is that feeling one’s feelings  does not mean that one may act upon them through one’s habitual responses. One’s responses to situations are to be guided not by one’s feelings. Rather they are to be based by one’s well-thought over and chosen universal values.
Thus as a sadhaka who has moksha as the chosen goal, one handles one’s negative emotions with deep compassion and a great deal of understanding. One allows oneself to feel one’s feelings and yet develops to space to not act upon them. Rather one acts in keeping with one’s well-chosen universal values.
Look at the table below
Negative Emotion
The process – Be compassionate and non-judgemental
Values and Response
 Admit it, Feel it, It will pass, understand the unmet need behind the feeling, look at the thought process behind the feelings, revise if required
Values are respect, discipline and eventually forgiveness
Express appropriately
Admit it, Practice the Pause, Feel it, understand the unmet need behind the feeling,  look at the thought process behind the feelings, revise
Values are Respect, Discipline, Forgiveness
Express appropriately
Admit it, allow the feeling, understand the value transgressed in order to meet a need, look at the thought process behind the transgression, revise
Value is self-forgivess
Make amends
Admit it, allow the feeling, understand the attachment behind the feelings, look at the thought process and go through what if the worst possible scenario, revise
Value is courage, prayerfulness
Auto-suggestion,  go ahead with whatever you need to do after doing a reality check on the fear or anxiety