With so much exposure to spirituality, spiritual healers, self-help books, meditation techniques and meditation camps, ability to leave everything and head to the mountains to find oneself when going through all of these emotions – it’s a wonder how depression, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, etc is at its highest!This statement in no way means that spirituality, self-help books, meditation, meditation camps etc don’t work and is not your solution, the question is – What are we missing, when we have so much more than our parents, grandparents, connectivity (phone, email, WhatsApp, social media) and are far more social in terms of going out, partying, holidaying, etc than we have ever been? The amount of kids, teenagers, young adults, middle aged adults falling into depression over break ups, loss of love etc is only increasing despite all these tools available to us.
Emotions are real and you are allowed to feel them
The more I see these cases a daily basis, the more I see people trying to be good and suppress their real feelings because that’s what the spiritual and meditation books teach us, which is right, but then, most of us are not even close to having evolved minds and hearts. The authors of most of these books have been through the most difficult journeys in their lives to reach a point of evolving and we immediately start comparing ourselves and our feelings to what we read and learn and we then start to feel more miserable because we can’t be at that level. We can get there, but it’s going to take time, patience, failure, practice and a lot more. Too many of us want quick fixes and immediate results or else we give up and continue to be locked in a vicious cycle or never healing or dealing with our emotions. And the more we use coping mechanisms like socializing, shopping, alcohol, drugs, extreme spiritual parts – the harder the journey gets.
Coping mechanisms may be good to fill the void temporarily, but the void only gets deeper and the coping fixes only get stronger as we continue to use more of it without dealing with the emotion that’s hurting us head on. Anger, bitterness, jealousy, hatred, guilt – yes, these are negative emotions to all of us, but they are real. If pushed deep into us without any attempt to self-heal or self-repair, it can eat into us like rust, giving rise to the deadliest diseases like cancer and several others. They are real emotions and we cannot suppress them to ‘appear ‘and be ‘good ‘to society and people around us.
The 7 deadly sins each of us are born with
From the time we come out of the womb all of us have the 7 deadly sins in us (envy, gluttony, greed or avarice, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath). It’s our job and responsibility as we grow to evolve and ensure these sins or emotions don’t get the better of us and control to make us do things that are violent, destructive and hurts other people in a deadly way. We have to allow emotions to be completely felt and that’s how we face them head on and they hopefully eventually die.
For example, when there is death today in a family, in most cases no one follows the grieving process that was practiced earlier where we used to grieve, come to terms with the death and accept so we can move on with life. Today, life moves so fast that there is lack of time to grieve. We need to get back to work, responsibilities, careers, ambitions as soon as possible so we don’t complete the grieving process. This ultimately leads to us suffering emotionally in spurts or chronically through the following months and years or we disguise grief with coping mechanisms just to feel better at that moment.
Each of us must understand that we have to faces such emotions at some point. The more we push it in, the more it will hurt us. So, it’s okay to be angry if we were betrayed or went through a break up, its okay to feel jealous if someone you loved now loves someone else, its okay to feel guilty if we messed up and bitterness which is a by-product of loss of love etc. These are real. Feel them completely, inside, outside, express it.
When we deal with depressed adults and teenagers, they have a false notion or belief that they are okay and not angry with the partner or ex, but inside they are fuming, hurt and rusting. The belief system is that one should accept and act like nothing happened. This is exactly what suppression is. If you feel it, you have to express it, of course in nonviolent way and ways that won’t cause crime and illegal actions.
You are ALLOWED to feel angry, jealous, bitter, guilty etc. Allow yourself to feel it, run it out of your system by feeling and riding the emotion completely. We have to allow emotions to be felt and expressed in a civilized way. The reason you may be hurt and suffering is because of your loss of love or mean things that were said to you. So, if you are hurt but are trying to show the world that you are okay then you will never feel better. Yes, spirituality, meditation prayer, etc, helps us find inner strength to accept, let go, know us better, live more mindfully. That’s a journey and continuous process- but in the meantime if you feel the need to truly feel your negative emotions – please feel it, express it and know that you are allowed to do so. Side-by side, you can always start your journey to self-heal and get better.
Look at kids – their innocence and naughtiness. They feel their emotions and act from it. As we grow, we add all our manmade and society defined layers (which is good), but what doesn’t change is that we still have a child in us that can be hurt, will want to retaliate, feel angry.
Never live to please others or put yourself down in order for someone else to feel more special, don’t compromise your self-worth to be loved or accepted. Every human has these emotions. Let’s be honest about them and the journey forward can only begin when we have accepted our true selves and feelings. Be aware of your emotions, feel them and also be mindful of how you express. Just don’t hide behind the preaching of books and spirituality to suppress and BE GOOD. That’s where you want to reach eventually, but right now you are in a different place. Take one step at a time.
Changing mindsets and belief systems
Most of our pain is caused because of our mindsets and belief systems. We are so attached to our own mindset and belief system of what and how love, death, loss, success should be, that anything even slightly different from our mindset affects us and we feel negative because things are not in line and accordance to what we believe and think.
When we understand that everyone has their own and completely different mindsets of love etc, we then allow space to understand, accept, let go, forgive etc. In fact, it’s easier to forgive when we have FELT and gone through every negative emotion completely. For example: I am able to forgive because I have allowed myself to feel every emotion of anger, jealousy, etc. and finally that person or situation doesn’t matter anymore or control you. Had I supressed that emotion – I will continue to hold it inside of me forever and that is never going to help.
There are people going through divorces, break ups, etc. If it truly makes you angry, be angry. So many people try to “make it fine’. If you can, great. If you can’t, you are allowed to feel the emotion and express it. Feel your emotions- positive and negative. Feeling doesn’t make you weaker, less evolved or spiritual. In fact it makes you the stronger one, because the sooner you deal with it head on, the faster the emotion heals and the quicker you can move on with your life to a world of abundance that exists outside of the little prison we have kept ourselves in – locked and shacked with fear, insecurity and low self-worth.
Find what suits you
At the end of it all, everyone is different. Some need medication as a crutch, some don’t. Some meditate and get spiritual and it works, but for some it doesn’t. Find what suits you but know there is a better world out there always. When we are ready to let go of all that burdens us, only then can we lift up and fly or move forward. Do what works for you. In the older days, people were forced to deal and face their emotions, because of the lack of distraction.
Let’s take a little wisdom and learning from that too. We are constantly learning and the day we think technology and AI can solve human emotions for us, is the day we lose humanity. Nothing is more intelligent, healing and brilliant than trillions of cells working together every second of the day and night in our body and mind.
– Luke Coutinho