On the good days, I can ground myself and be conscious enough to pose the questions "are these my feelings or am I sensing someone else?" "what am I going to do about it?" "Maybe they just need a hug? or do I need a hug?"
They say it's a blessing and a curse to feel so much.
I agree. It's great when happiness, fulfillment, peace and gratitude come around to visit, but what of all those other emotions, like jealousy, envy, anger and sadness? And what do we do with them when there's this other little voice inside saying, "you shouldn't feel that way, you're spiritual and shit. You can see the bigger picture, so this shouldn't bother you." But you still feel those emotions anyway. So maybe instead we try to stuff those feelings really deep inside and pull a mask over them, which, in my case, usually expresses itself later as sarcasm.
But then incomes the spiritual shit again.
The other voice inside starts speaking up.
"Listen Lori, from a grander perspective, we are both the dark and the light. We have both good and bad feelings. It's the yin/yang concept. You know all about that. You can't know one side without the other. Both are valid and help us understand the bigger picture of existence."
Great, thanks. But when we're thick in the mud of depression or stress it can be torturous to hear those words. So, how do we move through those emotions when they come up?
Someone told me the other day that they wished they could just get rid of jealousy and envy. That day I was feeling a little more grounded and optimistic so I spouted my wise owl comment and suggested that "jealousy and envy are there to point out what we wish we could have or be, but for whatever reason don't believe we can. Envy is just there to point out what you want. It just gets a little muddled in the translation."
A week later, I got a decent dose of both jealousy and envy over something that I knew was my own issue and not just some empathetic ripple I was feeling from someone else, so I had to chew on my words. I hate that, so I wrote a blog about it in the hopes to transform what I'm working through in myself.
The spiritualists say you should face your fears and demons.
Sometimes I wish I could just turn into a dragon and burn the whole god damn thing to the ground. It feels satisfying to say that but the end result? Alone again and that's not the point of a human existence. So, I sat there in my discomfort and let myself go through the shadow realms of my jealousy.
My brain likes to review scenarios a "few" dozen times before it can move on to actually asking the important questions. Usually I start from the perspective of being the victim. Then after spinning on that treadmill a while another voice appears and begins helping me along...
"So, you're upset? Well, what is it that they have that you want? Why does it anger you that he/she has it and you don't? Why don't you feel like you can have that too? What's stopping you from achieving what they have? Do you really want what they have? Or are you just dissatisfied about an aspect of your own life and this is a sign to start doing what you want?"
Once I started down the trail of unraveling my feelings and beliefs, slowly but surely a fog began to lift and I began to see more clearly what stories I'd been telling myself and what I really wanted. This scenario I was jealous of was reflecting for me, like a mirror, my own betrayal of what I wanted and what blockages were there that still needed to be healed.
Then comes the hardest part.
What am I going to do about it?
Since I already know my dragon scenario won't end well, I have to brave the emotional upheaval I'm feeling inside, and embrace the feelings of my vulnerability aka "I hate this aspect of myself" and in my particular case, I had to take a deep breath, say I'm worth it and speak my truth with the best of my current outlook.
"I'm jealous of the relationship you have with that person, it hurts me that you two don't see how it affects me. I feel like I can't have what you have." And then I waited for Pandora's box to open and the world to tell me I'm awful for feeling that way.
Turns out, not everyone will understand. They're on their own journey and my feelings are standing in the way of what they want. So I turned into a dragon and burnt the whole place to the ground. Just kidding... I can't really turn into a dragon.
We can't get rid of those darker emotions, and being spiritual doesn't mean they suddenly all disappear because we have a different perspective. Instead we can try to be more graceful in understanding what these emotions are trying to tell us.
I think the most important thing I've learnt when dealing with these types of dark feelings is to trust that there is a message in it for me. But in order to get to the truth of that message, I had to engage with the feeling, to summon the courage to dig deeper into what that emotion was telling me, instead of hiding it, masking it or stuffing it down only to re-emerge with the fire of a dragon.
Our response to these feelings are what create the change we're really looking for in our lives.
Malicious envy is still the dragon spitting it's fire at whatever seems unfair. Though it might feel empowering, we're really just trying to burn them to bring them to the level we're at, which ain't happy. Benign envy, however, will turn your dragon into a guide and help you move mountains in order to achieve what you once believed you couldn't. We can use that type of envy to motivate ourselves to climb higher.
Above all, don't be too hard on yourself. Being spiritual doesn't mean better, it simply means you've chosen to look at life from a perspective that will hopefully help you deal with problems as they arise. Are you willing to do the hard work when it shows up? It's not all beaches and butterflies once you get that big spiritual "ahhhhh ha" moment. The unlayering of our perspectives can be a real bitch. And our outlook is only as great as our capacity to move out of our beliefs and push, push push through that mud and up the mountain.
Surround yourself with people who can listen to you and want what's best, even if it means holding you accountable. Find your sounding boards, those who can help you look at your life as authentically and honestly as possible. We all need a little help decoding and translating this big Story Book we call Life.
And if all else fails... then just burn it to the ground and start over.