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Earlier this morning, I noticed myself in a situation that usually triggers me in a way that makes me feel angry or irritated.
It’s a kind of situation, a kind of energy, I’ve noticed for years—and one that I don’t particularly like feeling.
I noticed my mind instantly try to start talking myself out of what I was about to feel (before I even really felt anything!), trying to reason with me, convince me of why I shouldn’t feel it.
But instead of following along this stream, instead of joining in on the chorus of all of the reasons why I shouldn’t be feeling what I was feeling, I just allowed it.
No. I’m just going to let myself feel it, get really angry about it, and let it be—even if it’s stupid and ridiculous and dumb.
This process even made me giggle.
So often, we not only consciously suppress our emotions (because for some reason we don’t want to feel what we feel), but we also do it subconsciously; we do it and don’t even realize that we’re doing it.
We do it because some part of us judges whatever we’re thinking or feeling. We think we’re “bad” for thinking it or feeling it.
But we just feel what we feel and thoughts move through us.
Today, I sat and watched all of it. I watched the part that was feeling triggered, and I let her get mad (even though it was ridiculous and silly and stupid). I let her throw her fit, and I watched her. I also watched the part that was frustrated with the fact that this energy was coming to me again after so many years of being aware of it, and I watched the part that was judging the part that was feeling triggered.
And I accepted it all. I accepted the part that was triggered. I accepted the part that was judging. I accepted the part that wished I wasn’t triggered and that wasn’t judging.
I watched and observed and accepted it all.
I didn’t try to analyze it or figure it out or get to the root cause (something I’ve done 10,000 times before). I just let all of what was happening within me happen. I didn’t try to figure it out. I just let it all be.
And throughout this process of watching and allowing, I connected with the place that was deeper, that understood that all of this was not who I really am—that these are parts of me, they’re parts of my experience, but they’re not my deepest part.
We have to find a way to accept everything that is happening within us, to allow it all, or we’ll never be able to genuinely learn from it.
One thing I’ve learned over the years of observing myself—of watching my own thoughts, emotions, and reactions—is that we have to be both deeply serious about this path, of cultivating awareness, and also be able to hold what we see, what we observe, lightly, with lightness.
We have to be intense and almost ruthless with what we see, with self-honesty. But we also have to be able to hold everything lightly and, in a way, absolutely non-seriously. We have to find a way to not take everything that arises so seriously. Every little thing can’t feel like the biggest thing in the world, or like something that is going to mean something ginormous about us—or some part of us will likely suppress what doesn’t “feel good” or doesn’t “fit the idealized vision” we have in our heads.
So many of the thoughts that move through us aren’t even ours or we at least would never have chosen them consciously from the place where we’re at now.
Often, our thoughts can feel like they’re coming from some space outside of us. And even if we do feel like they’re “ours” or that they could mean something about us, they may not mean what we think they mean. They may not have anything to do with what we think they do.
Our minds are tricky like this. They may make us think our thoughts mean one thing, when really they mean something else (and possibly they’re just there to distract us from seeing or feeling something else!).
But we’ll never learn the truth if we’re consciously or unconsciously suppressing things.
If we can watch our thoughts lightly, with an element of not adding too much seriousness or heaviness or importance to them, without needing them to have intense meaning about who we are, then it will feel easier to really allow everything. It will be easier for us to allow everything to move through us. And then we can actually learn from what is happening.
We’ll be better able to hold space for everything, with ease.
We’ll be more likely to actually learn what we’re meant to learn.
When we can learn to watch everything both with intensity and lightness, it will feel easier to feel everything, to be present with everything.
All of our thoughts and emotions just want to be heard. The different parts inside of us just want to be seen and heard and listened to. They want to be acknowledged.
We can learn so much about ourselves through simply observing ourselves and through being present with ourselves.
It helps to be able to hold everything, all parts of our experience, with some element of lightness.
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