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 upward trend of depression and suicide. What’s gone wrong?
When we have so much more than our parents and grandparents had in terms of exposure, connectivity (phone, email, WhatsApp, social media) and are far more social in terms of going out, partying, holidaying, etc. The number 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 around and available to us. The more of these cases I see on 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. This may be right, but most of us are not even close to having evolved minds and hearts like the authors of those books. The authors of most of these books have been through the most difficult journeys in their lives and have reached a point where their minds and hearts are evolving. We immediately compare ourselves and our feelings to what we read and learn or to what we are preached and we end up feeling more miserable because we can’t be at their level. And even if we can, its going to take time, patience, failure, practice and a lot more.
Humans are wired for pleasure?
Too many of us want quick fixes and immediate results. We either give up or we continue to be locked in a vicious cycle of emotions. 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 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 they are pushed deep into us without any attempt to self-heal or self-repair, it can eat into us like rust and give rise to the deadliest diseases like cancer and several others. We cannot suppress them and be ‘good’to society and people around us.
The 7 deadly sins in us and why is it okay to feel them
From the time we come out of the womb, all of us have the 7 deadly sins. As we grow and evolve, it’s our job and responsibility to ensure these sins or emotions don’t control us and 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 so they hopefully eventually die. For example, if there is death in a family, in most cases no one follows the grieving process that used to be practiced earlier where one would grieve, come to terms with the death, accept and slowly move on with life. Today our lives have moved so fast. There is lack of time to grieve and we need to get back to work, responsibilities, careers, ambitions and so on. We don’t complete that process of grieving and later on suffer emotionally in spurts or chronically through the following months and years. Even if we do grieve its disguised with coping mechanisms just to feel better at that moment. While that is okay, we have to face the emotion at some point. The more we push it in, the more it will hurt us. So, its okay to be angry if we got betrayed or went through a break up. It’s okay to feel jealous if someone you loved now loves someone else. It’s okay to feel guilty if we messed up and bitterness which is a by-product of loss of love etc. These are real emotions. Feel them completely inside out. Express them.
Feel and express emotions in a better way
When we deal with depressed adults and teenagers, they have this false notion or belief that is okay to not be angry on your partner or ex, but inside they are fuming, hurt and rusting. The belief system of accepting how things are and act like nothing has happened is suppression in a way.If you feel it, express it. Of course in non-violent 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 in your system completely by feeling and riding the emotion. We have to allow emotions to be felt and expressed in a civilized way. Whatever the reason behind being hurt may be, trying to show the world a different picture or trying to disguise it or cope with it, won’t ever help you get better. Yes, spirituality, meditation, prayer, etc. helps us find inner strength to accept, let go, know yourself better and live more mindfully, but that’s a journey that takes time. In the meantime, if you feel the need to truly feel your negative emotions, please feel and express it. You are allowed to and side by side start your journey to self-heal and get better. We can never change anyone but ourselves. We are allowed to be bad and good. Look at kids! Their innocence and naughtiness is unmatchable. They feel their emotions and act from it. As we grow, we add on all our man made 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, angry or will want to retaliate. So feel it.
Just be YOU ….
Don’t live to please others or put yourself down for someone else to feel more special. Don’t compromise your self worth to be loved or accepted. Every human has these emotions so let’s be honest about them. The journey forward can only begin when we have accepted our true selves and feelings. Only then will we have clarity to move on and forward. You are allowed to feel all of your emotions. Don’t suppress them. Just be aware and mindful of how you express. At the same time 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.
Our rigid mindsets and belief systems
Most of our pain is caused because of our mindset 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 different from our mindset affects us. When we understand that everyone has their own and completely different mindsets of love etc., that’s where we allow for space to understand, accept, let go, forgive etc. Infact its easier to forgive when we have FELT and gone through every negative emotion completely.For example: I am able to forgive because I allowed myself to feel every emotion of anger, jealousy, etc. and finally it has ended or reduced and then that person or situation doesn’t matter anymore or control me and I can forgive. However, if I suppress it, it just wont work. There are people going through divorces, break ups, etc. If it makes you truly 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 whether positive or negative. It doesn’t make you weaker or 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 you have kept yourself in, locked and shacked with fear, insecurity and low self worth.
Find what works for 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 it doesn’t for some. 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 olden 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 will lose humanity. Nothing is more intelligent, healing and brilliant than those trillions of cells working together every second of the day and night in our body and mind.
– Luke Coutinho