Nothing is “good” and nothing is “bad”

Written by Amie on June 30, 2013 – 2:55 am -

I wonder what lesson this is bringing me?

Nothing is “good” and nothing is “bad”. Situations and experiences are just that, they just “are”. They don’t have to be good or bad, right or wrong. Everything that happens in my life is for the purpose of my spiritual growth. By labeling my experiences, I distract myself from feeling them authentically. We have been conditioned to label everything that happens to us. It is what we do as humans. I am learning to step back and observe my experiences, trying not to label them. This is hard work. Not an easy practice. My mind wants to label everything, wants to put each experience into an organized file so to speak. But what if you don’t call something good or bad, right or wrong? What if you can step back and say “hmmm….here I am experiencing this, I wonder what lesson this is bringing me?” Everything is for our growth, it is up to us as to whether or not we choose to “see” the lesson. If I think about the labels of right and wrong, they conjure a feeling of shame. I believe these words are used to invoke a feeling of guilt and shame in people. Who gets to decide what is deemed “right” and what is deemed “wrong”. Obviously I am not speaking of murder or things like that. That is another issue. But seriously, right and wrong…interesting topic. Where did this list of right and wrong come from? And why is it needed when it comes to an individual’s life, if everything happens for the purpose of our personal growth? I even think about people who say things like, ” he was wrong to do that to me”. What if it turns out to be the best thing for the person’s growth? It is easier to blame someone else and make them “the bad guy”. It is easier to become the victim than it is to really look at why certain things are happening in your life. And also, really looking at your reactions to them.

I wanted to label it “horrible”

Recently, I caught myself labeling my experience of being cut out of someone’s life. I wanted to label it “horrible”, and “a terrible thing”, and I also labeled it  “a relief”. While I was busy labeling, my heart was hurting. Even though I told myself I wasn’t surprised that this happened, I was grieving deeply for the relationship I never had. The relationship I have dreamed of. So, I allowed myself to just feel the pain. It is difficult to explain my experience without also labeling it. So I will just say, my body was heavy, tired, and my stomach felt sick; I believe this to be grief. The longer I allowed myself to grieve, the more my experience became about my body sensations and an inner *knowing*, rather than a story. The process was pretty cool. As I just allowed my emotions to flow through me, the pain lessened. I started feeling lighter. Sadness is still lingering, as well as some fear. But, overall, I feel better and I have come to the understanding that all is well even though this experience appears to be “horrible” if I were to label it. I know that it is all happening for the growth of my soul. I know it was “meant to be”.  I go in waves of being okay with it and being deeply sad.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be

I always come back to a *knowing* that things are exactly as they should be and I am exactly where I am supposed to be on this journey. I know that if I can just allow my emotions to be as they are without judging them or labeling them, they will flow through. This doesn’t mean there won’t be pain, but as long as there is truth and allowing and accepting, the wave will flow smoother.It really helps me to keep a neutral outlook. Life isn’t simple, but it can be easier if we can just let it flow without calling experiences good or bad, right or wrong. Sometimes things happen that appear to be terrible, and they may not be easy to feel, but at some point it will be clear as to why they happened the way they did. If we can stay in truth instead of trying to hide in denial, the message or lesson will be revealed.

This is one of my new favorite songs…I hope you enjoy it. You are loved!! “I Am Light” by India.Arie.

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Accepting each moment as it comes

Written by Amie on December 29, 2012 – 3:29 am -

 Feeling good happens in each moment, it isn’t something that happens in the future

I want to write about this because I think it may help at least one person. It is another one of those things that I really didn’t understand for quite a few years. I read so many books talking about staying present, or being “in the moment”. I thought I understood what that meant. I found out that I really didn’t know how to put it into practice. I was still too much “in my head”. When you are in your head, it is almost impossible to be in the moment. I would find myself thinking about the future when my depression would be all better. Little did I know, thinking about this was a distraction from being where I was right in that moment. I was “in the future” in my mind, so there was no way to be fully in the moment. Feeling good happens in each moment, it isn’t something that happens in the future. Distractions keep us from feeling. Thinking too much keeps us from really being with how we feel in any given moment. In truth, all situations are neutral. It is when we add our stories, our commentary to a situation that makes it into something other than neutral. (This would be a different conversation if a person is in physical danger. Thinking needs to happen so as to keep a person safe) When we start labeling a situation, we are immediately taken out of the moment, which means we are not present.

this shuts down the human process

We have been conditioned to think too much. We have been conditioned to label every single thing that happens to us. For most people, it is nearly impossible to allow emotions to flow freely through their body and just feel. This is the reason so many people feel so down and depressed. All of those unexpressed emotions are stuck in the body. Trapped, causing anxiety and depression. For many people, the minute an emotion starts in the body, they shut it down. They distract themselves with tasks or thoughts about things that need to get done or reasons why they “shouldn’t” feel the way they feel. This shuts down the human process. We are emotional beings. However, we have evolved into humans who stuff their emotions and who feel bad about their emotions. We have been conditioned to ignore our emotions and sensations, therefore taking us away from accepting what “is” in each moment. A moment is just a moment, it is the thoughts about the moment that make us feel miserable. I am not saying there is no such thing as a sad event or a time to feel discouraged or frustrated etc….but staying with the labels and thoughts about the situation  create a distraction so that your true feelings about the moment can’t be processed. Emotions are truly sensations in the body. The next time you feel angry or sad, see if you can notice your body. When I feel angry, I feel my stomach tighten, I feel my legs start shaking if I am really angry, etc. If we can allow ourselves to just feel these sensations without adding a story about them, they will flow through the body, which allows us to be in a place to process our options, if an action needs to be taken.

I continued to sit with my uncomfortable feelings

I will give some examples of what I mean, hoping that it will help you understand what I am talking about. One example would be when I sat down to meditate the other day. I sat down, and about two seconds after I sat down my mind said “ugh, I really don’t want to do this, I don’t feel like sitting here, what is going on, my mind is racing….” So, I could have distracted myself by getting back up and cleaning the kitchen instead. Instead, I continued to sit with my uncomfortable feelings. I told myself,” gosh, I really don’t want to sit here”, and then I just let that thought be there instead of trying to “fix it” or run away from it. In the past when I felt this way, I would have said, “gosh,what is going on here. yesterday I was able to sit in silence, why not today?” And my mind would have been off to the races so to speak. My mind would have stayed focused on these thoughts, and I would have been sitting there analyzing why I didn’t feel like meditating. So, it is more of an observation. It is like saying, “hmmm, my legs are wiggling around, I am uncomfortable, hmmm….” and then just be with that. No stories, no judging, no analyzing, no trying to find a solution.

you get closer to your truth

Once I learned to just be with what comes, things that were labeled as “problems” are no longer problems. They are just situations, they are neutral. It really is about learning a new way of being. Awareness is key. Watching your thoughts, and then watching the progression of those thoughts. Most people with severe depression are stuck in an endless loop in their mind. I remember a time when I didn’t even recognize that. I had no idea how hard I was on myself. Becoming aware of my thoughts was the beginning of my healing journey. Once I became aware, I was able to begin the process of changing it. The more I was able to stay in the moment and watch my thoughts, the more “awake” I became. I began to see that most of the thoughts going through my head had nothing to do with the present moment. They were either about the past or about the future. Again, thinking about the past or the future is a distraction from how you feel in the moment. One very important detail, however, is that the more you become aware of each moment, you will start to see things about your life that need to be processed and released from your body. Things that happened in the past that you were not able to feel or process for various reasons. I needed help with this. I needed a therapist to help guide me along the path. Doing this does not mean living in the past or  staying out of the present moment. When things from our past affect our present, they need to be processed and released. Processing feelings that come up is very healthy, and each time you do this , you get closer to your truth. Staying in the moment is not always easy. It takes a lot of practice. Most of us have spent our whole lives doing everything except living in the moment. So, be very gentle on yourself as you learn this new way of being. Soon it will start to feel natural. You get as many do-overs as you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Awareness, Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Meditation, Self hate | 1 Comment »
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