One of the ways we can get stuck in an addictive cycle is by becoming attached to our emotional states, and using them to feed us in a particular way which reinforces our personal story or sense of self. This can help us to stay stuck in a loop that is very hard to get out of, especially if we leave ourselves right in the middle of it.
Emotions are Signals
Emotions are signals, but in and of themselves they are not particular or individual and don’t really mean anything. They are pointers to deeper layers of susceptibility within our being, and we can work with the emotions to bring these deeper layers into awareness, helping the organism to become aware of that very loop, and to be able to let go of it.
When we focus on an emotion, we usually come to a place where we feel we either have to change it, avoid it, or hold on to it. But what if we just sit with it and explore?
Navigating the Currents
Where is that emotion bringing us? What is it telling us? What is it pointing to? What if we just sit there and let ourselves come through to what is underneath the emotion?
In sadness, what do we need to surrender deeply to? What is the quality of sadness? It’s a sinking, a letting go; a feeling of the emptiness, or the loneliness of humankind. It’s real and it’s human and not to be avoided.
What do we need to die to in that moment? We can ask ourselves: what are we feeling sad about, what does that represent to us? We lose a dear family member and that is truly sad, but when that sadness extends beyond the usual mourning period, we can ask ourselves: What is it we need to surrender to that we are holding into? What aspect of that person are we clinging too, what did that person represent for us? Where have they left a hole in our fabric of existence? Do we then look for that elsewhere?
Sadness often comes when the object of our desire is unreachable, or what we believe we had has now gone. What if that desire is not fulfilled? What then? Do we resist and keep looking, or do we surrender to that idea of that person and to our loneliness as human beings?
Fear is another emotion. We can look at this as False Evidence Appearing Real. When we are triggered, can we step back and inquire? What is happening in us? What got triggered? What was being held on to? What do we believe in that moment that makes us feel threatened or endangered in some way?
Opportunities for Self-Knowing
Anger is the energy of taking space. When we feel angry at another person, it is telling us that in some way we believe that that person or situation is stopping us from taking our space, or being the person we believe we need to be. What do we feel is being stopped or held back in that moment? What concept of self is feeling as if it doesn’t have the space to be that?
What is the self? It is a construct of the mind. All of our energy then goes to defending this idea of self and what that is. But it’s not even real. If we remember that the self is a construct of the mind and that the same mind that constructed it will keep trying to defend it or affirm it, then we cannot from that same place of mind let go of it. We need to step back into a different aspect of mind, to a place that is not attached, and therefore does not need to let go because it is already unattached.
How do we get in touch with this aspect of mind? Meditation, yoga, tai chi, mindful practices, watching thought as noise; practices that help us to see the mind as a construct rather than who we are. We experience the world through this construct rather than as it really is. We have no choice but to do this, but we can be aware that this is what we are doing and every now and again remember and step back. Each time we are triggered, it is not telling us something about someone else, but telling us about ourselves and what we are holding onto that affirms that concept of self.
Kate Hudson – BA, E-Ryt, ND
Kate is deeply passionate about the practice of homeopathy and its ability to bring awareness and clarity to her clients. She feels privileged to be invited into their inner experiences and enters into their worlds, with them, from a space of curiosity and exploration. To learn more about Kate, visit her profile page in our professional directory or click here to read other posts by Kate.