It’s still hard to comprehend how I became entangled in the consequences of another’s terrible decision.
It was an unfortunate thing to have happened.
But there I was sitting in their mess of messes. I was livid—angry at the world.
I found myself curled up in a tiny ball and on the phone with a friend, crying my eyes out. After listening, my friend told me I would have to “move on.”
And, those two benign words she said—“move on”—felt like the smearing of salt across my open, bleeding, and wounded heart.
Yet, I knew my friend had only meant well, and I was certain she was right, too. I wanted to let the injustice I felt go.
But I didn’t feel ready to move on, and I didn’t know how I ever could. There was smoke coming out of my ears, and I couldn’t find a way through the pain that was bubbling up inside of me, either.
Telling me to move on or get over it when I was stuck in my emotions and harping over the experience left me with no place to go with my hurt feelings.
It’s like telling someone to walk while their feet are tied together.
I realized, though, that I’ve said those same words to those I love too when they’ve been hurt, angered, or stuck reliving their worst moments.
I’ve told friends to “let it go” as if their pain would quickly dissipate into the air because that’s what I wholeheartedly wanted for them.
Unfortunately for us, there isn’t a magic wand to become unstuck, but what we can do for ourselves and others is find a pathway toward healing.
During my healing journey, I discovered a quote by Eckhart Tolle that taught me to transform my pain into neutrality. This insight illuminated the path forward for me.
He said this:
“The basis for true change is freedom from negativity. And that’s what acceptance implies: no negativity about what is. And then you see what this moment requires: what it is that is required now so that life can express itself more fully.”
Tolle’s insistence on freeing ourselves from the negativity of the experience shines a bright light for us in our darkness.
He has us choose sovereignty over victimhood.
He tells us that no matter how terrible or messed-up the occurrence, we can accept the unfairness instead of becoming attached to the negative outcome.
For many, it is regret, shame, blaming others for our circumstances, or wishing we had done something differently, which holds us stuck and in pain. We believe we could have altered the outcome for the better somehow.
However, Tolle imparts to us that our problems and situations aren’t the true culprits for our struggles. He relays that it’s our resistance to “what is” that is causing us stress and sorrow.
We don’t need to feel positive or happy about what has happened, but what we can feel is a neutral sensation—it is what it is.
This neutrality, Tolle teaches is true acceptance.
The emphasis becomes on liberating ourselves from the negativity, and not on what transpired or how we feel victimized.
Our allowance, then, lets us ask ourselves a compassionate and necessary question:
What do I need in order to heal and move forward from this?
The information we obtain shifts our consciousness and transforms our internal suffering. Our feet are no longer tied together; we can live into our answers.
The answers we receive will ground us in the present moment and allow us to release our shame and regret.
The answers will calm our bodies and quiet our minds; they let us feel whole—centered in our hearts.
The answers won’t be entangled in blame, revenge, or deceit as we are in a neutral state where negativity doesn’t exist.
The answers we receive will remind us that peace is always available and suffering is a choice.
For me, the most enlightening aspect of Tolle’s teachings is the impartial clarity that he exudes and shares.
When we read his books or listen to his courses, it’s like a breath of fresh air has breezed through us.
His approach, however, is foreign to the way many of us learned to face life and its challenges. We haven’t been taught to respond neutrally or with acceptance to internal or external suffering.
This isn’t typically witnessed in our homes, schools, or even in our justice system. Many of us instead have been encouraged to have intense and strong opinions and loud emotional reactions.
Yet, there is an enormous peace that is afforded to us by learning to respond impartially and neutrally, especially when we are suffering inwardly.
Every time we choose our freedom from negativity, we have committed to a process of healing and returning ourselves to wholeness or love.
Tolle doesn’t say it is an easy venture, but he does imply that it gets easier every time we do so.
I can say for myself, when I have freed myself from a negative spiral by choosing neutrality and have lived into my answers, I feel supported by the universe beyond measure.
I’ll experience synchronicities and serendipitous encounters and new and significant information is often uncovered for me.
And most reassuring of all, there is a quiet resignation that I feel as if the unfortunate event was meant to have happened after all.
In times of suffering, we can center ourselves at this moment, leave the negativity behind us, and let Tolles’s words usher in a true acceptance of our situation.
Then, we discover our pathway forward and allow the healing to begin.