Embracing emotions

Who among us doesn’t want to live a peaceful, joyful life?

We have seen or heard of a peaceful blissful living. We try to incorporate peace in our lives. From managing our schedules, to bringing relaxing techniques and creating joyful activity in our daily lives, we’ve tried everything. We also meditate, do yoga, be calm, be compassionate and follow a mindful living. It feels good for some time then we’re back to where we started as the everyday problems and situations remain intact. The same husband/ wife, the same neighbor, the same child, the same best friend, the same family and similar situations. Living an everyday life means having to face and deal with pleasant and unpleasant situations.

What are emotions anyway?

Emotions make us who we are. It’s as natural as breathing. All the energies that come our way, positive or negative process through us in the form of emotions. The word ‘emotion’ itself contains ‘the act of moving’. So all the energies come and move inside us which make us happy, sad, angry, nervous, excited, scared, jumpy and the list goes on.

What is an emotion exactly? A feeling, a sentiment, some sensation?

Can our life ever be free of emotions? Living everyday life is filled with positive and negative energies and these energies process inside us in the form of emotions. Each of us experience emotions in different ways. No wonder someone’s giggling, someone’s crying, someone’s dancing, someone’s angry, someone’s snappy, someone’s grinning.

What is the right way to deal with them without having to loose so much energy, especially our positive energy?

Some let these emotions go away if they burden us, some sit with them for several days, remaining in cranky moods. Some engrave in their hearts and may bring them up occasionally.

We think that letting the emotions go away all the time solves problem but in the long run, it’s typically unhealthy. We will always ignore our wants and feelings and live an outwardly happy, pleasing everyone but inwardly sad life. Better not to take too many pills to sleep at night or indulge in excess eating or drinking which both leads to poor lifestyle.

If we let them sit inside us for some days, the only danger is how we react to people around us. Our bad moods might be affecting our loved ones, our colleagues and our work life. We don’t want to create or encourage negative energy which leads to low creativity or productivity and feed our ego with victim mentality and drive ourselves to guilt with excess indulgence of food, drink or any addictions.

If we engrave in our heart, then there is a danger of creating negative energies as suppressed feelings and emotions keep growing inside making us a sad and angry person. These negative energies might eventually create rage, anger, revenge, sadness or deep seated illnesses.

Instead of tossing our wants and feelings as just emotions or housing them inside us for too long, we have to find a balance.

We have to understand what we’re feeling at the moment, is it making us happy or making us sad? If its energy draining, bringing us with mixed feelings, negative thoughts, making us unhappy then the best to do is to toss them away. Let the wind blow them away from your life.

Sometimes I love to just cook a new dish or clean my home or tend to garden and the outcomes are simply satisfying and I find joy in doing these simple chores.

If however, the emotion helps you to be a better, kinder, compassionate human being then allow the emotion to be with you. Let the emotion to serve, do kind acts of humanitarian services that uplifts and eventually serves your higher purpose.

Whether the emotion is positive or negative, ignoring them has a counter effect. We might become moody, cranky or snappy for no reason. In short, we miss the joy of the present moment. We become sad or depressed or angry and let the moment pass by and live in sadness.

Same goes for spiritual minded people too. Sometimes we tend to ignore emotions just so that it won’t bother our peace or distract us from our practice. In Buddhist teaching, there is a practice where negative feelings or emotions are transformed to love by practicing with a Compassion energy. This practice is also called having a ‘compassionate bhava’. ‘Bhava’ in Sanskrit is synonymous to feeling/ energy. This is the highest form of embracing emotions. What we feel, transform into compassion.

An example is; if someone gets angry with you and shouts at you, instead of shouting back at him or being angry with him, try to understand the person’s feelings or emotional state and forgive. This is a mindful practice that allows you full access to controlling your emotion and not lose your peace of mind just because someone is angry with you.

This is a difficult practice but one that elevates you to a higher spiritual level.

The simplest act however we can do in everyday life is, embrace our emotions wholeheartedly. After embracing them, observe, absorb and either decide to let it stay or let the wind blow it away whichever benefits you and brings happiness to you.

This process will help us create a long term happiness with ourselves or our souls. The other ways to eliminate excess emotions is to do physical work. When we use our hands to work or create, then the active energy gets transferred to whatever we’re doing and hence create marvelous creations or beautifies our surrounding. These simultaneously satisfies our soul and creates joy. Remember, life is beautiful no matter what the circumstances and it is up to us to create joy. We have full control of our emotions and our thoughts.

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