Being True to the Authentic Experience


Happiness IsToday I’d like to talk about EMOTIONS. Emotions are what they are, and they should be allowed their just due. Everyone feels things as they should as a reaction to what’s going on in their life. We all love sharing feelings of warmth and love and happiness and excitement, but what about the other side? What about sadness? Sadness is not a bad thing. It’s not. It doesn’t feel very good but it’s part of the cleansing process. Grief is REAL and must be given it’s proper time and dealt with while it’s happening, because repressed emotions become shadows and shadows can come back to haunt us with even greater force later. Grief is important. It’s giving a thing/relationship/person/project, etc. it’s proper respect. The thing is, most people on the outside do not know how to deal with grief, sadness, depression. They see someone they care about in pain and want to “fix it.” Sometimes there is no fixing it. Sometimes you just have to let it runs it’s course. Or worse, the fact that someone they supposedly “care about” is having a rough time and that makes them uncomfortable and so they want that person to just “get over it,” if only to alleviate how uncomfortable that makes them feel, which in my opinion, is damn near unforgivable.

I was just telling my husband recently, that when I have been in the midst of a personal crisis, being worried about offending others or making other people worry about me just compiled the sadness, because then I was not only feeling sad, but feeling guilty about it on top of that, and that just makes it worse. I needed to feel what I was feeling. When I needed help, I sought it. When I needed to vent, I did that….and slowly but surely, it all started to get better and incredible learning was taking place in the process.

When I hear people I know and love feeling bad about feeling bad, I just think it’s a sorry reflection on how our society as a whole completely ignores what it perceives as “negative” feelings, when really it’s just the light and the dark and one cannot exist without the other. Certainly there are occasions when drastic things need to be done and/or greater forces are at work in the cases of manic depression, bi-polar disorder, etc. but for the most part, people will get through their rough patches and their moments of sadness if they are just allowed to BE what they are in the moment.

I found this great quote by Gandhi the other day, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” I would like to add when “what you feel,” is in harmony and even though this quote is about “happiness,” I think being authentic to your TRUE self, your true emotions, even the not-so-great ones, IS happiness. Being authentic is what life’s all about…authentically happy, authentically sad. Being true to the experience as a whole. “Joyful participation in the sorrows of the world,” is what Joseph Campbell calls it. The Witness or the Soul is here to have an authentic experience of life, and sadness and grief IS authentic to life. Don’t deny it it’s time too, and reap the joys of happiness even more having known sorrow. At least, those are my thoughts about it today.

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