Yesterday, I got an email from someone I had feelings for, and the letter sent me into attack mode. I spent a significant amount of time feeling I wanted to hurt him as badly as I was feeling.
But it wasn’t about him at all, but my personal faultline that gets triggered by self-worth and love. And this day, welcomed as an old friend.
I stayed there with my overheated, angry mind, feeling the fire all the way through without wishing it was different, wishing I was somewhere or someone else, or checking out by overeating or some other numbing behavior. And after a while in the quietness, it gradually released its hold on me.
I put my bridge-burning letter into a word document. And when I saw it in the morning, I released any extra energy still attached to it out of my system and the letter into the trash.
Each time I am able to accept and sit with a painful emotion that comes up seemingly out of nowhere, it increases this skill for the tougher emotions that come with each circuit of life. Sometimes I see my painful moments as my teacher showing me something very important to my own development. I can even welcome the experiences for the new places I get to go in my emotions—like a cave diver travelling deeper and getting to see something different.
So when your teachers come to call, remember to be fully with your feelings and be kind to yourself. And refrain from sending or communicating when you are in the grip of temporary madness.
This, too, will pass.
postscript: a few days later, after time and calm revealed the underlying message and the truer feeling seeking to be expressed,
I wrote another letter – and sent it.
We have communicated since then, and the letters have been civilized and full of wishes for the other’s happiness. And though we are not together, I am glad that one gift of the relationship was to see a clearer picture of the qualities of the person who would be a better partner for me.
Learning the skill to sit with the uncomfortable feelings of anger and the painful stories of our past without judgement is essential to people who want to pursue an unlimited life. When we stay with anger until it transmutes into the deeper message it contains
(grief, loneliness, a need for love, a need to be heard)
It allows us to effect our own changes and meet our own needs. We all have events in our lives that shape our outlook on life. But daily, compassionate work with our deep emotional feelings is the key that enables us to be free.