This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

— The Dalai Lama

Weathering Emotional Storms

Releasing Past Pain

From Regina Mouser

Just as we would grab a coat or run to shelter when a rainstorm or snowstorm pelts our bodies, we need to grab an ’emotional overcoat’ or a ‘mental shelter’ to run to when embracing the New Year. The rain, snow, hail, or even wind are viewed by most of us as negative forces; however, there is a positive outcome to the experience of such tormenting weather: We get MOTIVATED to do SOMETHING to PROTECT ourselves!

For Every Negative There is a Positive

There is a saying that expresses something along the lines of “For every negative, there is a positive.” Honestly, I read so much, I cannot remember, at this moment, whether I learned that in 8th grade Algebra class or in general “Life!” Where I heard it first doesn’t matter much, fortunately – it’s the fact that I remembered it and I hope you remember it, too!

That torrid weather PROPELS us into moving to shelter, or at least SEARCHING for a ‘covering’ of some type (a coat, an umbrella, a hat), and that is how we should view negatives in our emotional and mental lives. Pain can be unbearable; it can also multiply quickly. We tend to dwell on anything bad that happens to us, no matter how short-lived it is, and we often do nothing to counteract it! It stagnates within our minds and bodies, and then begins to erupt into a full-blown depression, if we allow it.

Some of us do push it to the side and try not to think about it, and yes, that is one form of action. Unfortunately, the pain often rears its ugly little head later on, often in another form, but one in which causes us to react with panic, anger, and confusion, simply because we didn’t take care of the prior pain. Therefore, we don’t know HOW to deal with the current pain. TWO SLAPS IN THE FACE is more than we can accept!

Now, we have TWO NEGATIVES which, according to one of the Laws of Algebra (I DO remember that one!) SHOULD EQUAL a POSITIVE…..but, this is not usually the case when dealing with human energy. Before we realize it, we are actually whining, if only to ourselves, about our “bad luck” and asking ourselves, “Why do these things always happen to ME?” ….As if WE are the only one that “bad luck” happens to!

Bad Things Happen, It is a Fact

Obviously, bad things happen to everyone at some point. That is a fact of life and there is no getting around it. But, to FOCUS on bad things in our lives means that we BELIEVE that LIFE IS BAD! Turn that thinking around and try to believe that LIFE IS GOOD, with the occasional “negative” occurring! If you look at the whole span of your life (or even a mere 10-year period in your life), how much time did bad things take up? If we look at life realistically, we see that “bad things” occur far more infrequently than we attune our minds and hearts to believe!

Staying Positive

We’ve all heard the saying, “Try to look for the good in every situation”, and while I try my best to do that, admittedly, it is very hard sometimes. There have been occasions where I WANT to scream, cry, throw things, have a temper tantrum…in short, I WANT to act immature, be unreasonable, and “be a crybaby.” I think that is natural in all of us at times. We want to revert back to a time when SOMEONE ELSE took care of our problems for us. We want someone else to make the decisions, be in charge, and take over the situation. I hear people say, “She’s acting childish!” when someone throws a fit, and I think, “…And YOU’VE never done that in your entire adult life?”

It is Ok to Vent

Granted, there are times when it is not “appropriate” to act as such, at least according to society’s rules of conformity, but EVERYONE has had their moments of unease and insecurity, and they have acted as inappropriately as you have, at one time or another. It happens; get over it. It may just be the release you need, in order to begin anew. Scream, yell, jump up and down, punch a pillow, whatever it takes, just do it and get that negative energy OUT of your body and you WILL feel much better.

Take a Deep Breath

The next positive step would be to take a deep breath, and think of your options. What can you do to rid yourself of this pain and forgive those who inflicted it on you? Remember, the “inflicter” may even be yourself, so it may be doubly-hard to grant forgiveness in that case, but it IS POSSIBLE!

Nevermind Conflicting Opinions

Whatever conclusions you come to, they should be RIGHT FOR YOU. You don’t need to feel guilty as long as you aren’t HURTING someone else. If others give you their opinion, and say that it’s not “right”, tell them it is perfect for you, and THEY are not YOU, so they can’t possibly realize how you came to this position. Even if they were in the exact same situation as you, they are bringing different viewpoints, different pasts, and different pains TO IT, so they STILL may not react as you are! (THAT is another FACT OF LIFE!)

Take Comfort in Your Shelter

In any case, “bad weather” got you where you are, but it also HELPED you to MOVE! It helped you to THINK of what you should do and it caused you to TAKE ACTION in one way or another. Now that you’ve arrived at your emotional shelter, put that coat on, or raise that umbrella over your head, OR better yet…go INSIDE and SHUT THE DOOR on the past! Keep the “bad weather” outside, where it belongs! Look around you and notice the BEAUTIFUL INTERIOR of this “shelter”! You can rearrange the furnishings in any way you want! It’s not only comfortable, but it protects you, and it will be with you always!

If bad weather comes around again, or if a scary intruder knocks upon your door, simply tell them (mentally or verbally) that THIS IS YOUR SPACE and you WILL NOT ALLOW THEM TO ENTER! Take any further action you need to take to keep them out, all the while knowing that YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE! One more thing- if you accidentally leave a window open, and the “negatives” start to come in anyway, get out your big guns and take aim!

Sources:  Regina Mouser …

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