Then What?

26 Apr

In a comment sometime in the middle of the night ~ or at least after my 9:00 bedtime ~  Angel asked, “What happens next when you are not afraid of your feelings?”

i had been kind of thinking about that anyhow, because i used the video from yesterday’s post in a women’s group at work, and they had essentially raised the same question.  i think the answer should be, “Then you can live a happy, fulfilled life, which just an occasional difficult or unpleasant moment.  You’ll have healthy relationships and make good decisions and really, pretty much, live happily-ever-after.”  


And i’m laughing, but really, that doesn’t seem too unreasonable, does it?   At the least, i don’t think i should have to keep going through all the unpleasant emotions.   After all, i’m a mental health professional!  i’ve been working at this stuff for a long time.  i should be exempt from actually having to feel pain or confusion or ~ um, incompetence, and the shame that goes with that for me.  Shouldn’t i have at least already gotten over that?

Ok, now you’re laughing at me ~ stop it.  {laughing}

But doesn’t it seem like there should be some point where your dues are paid, you’ve had your share of suffering, and it’s just time for it to stop?  When you can recognize that some things would be painful, without having to actually feel it?


That doesn’t happen.

i used to think that i’d get to a place where i moved through life with certainty, where life’s questions were resolved and i just naturally felt the “right” ways and made the right decisions.

That doesn’t actually happen either.  Well, not for me anyhow.

Here’s what i think happens.

Remember, i believe that inside each of us is the light.  The light of  God or Goddess, the light of “wise mind” as Linnehan calls it, the light of our true selves.  Connection with our own light brings peace and contentment and joy.  Connection between our light and the light of others brings love, compassion, and joy.  Just like the old song, “This little light of mine, I’mma gonna let it shine…”

Out light gets blocked by all kinds of things.   Depression, abuse, alcohol and drugs, any of the compulsions, needless anxiety, lack of connectedness, lack of nurturance ~ all those  things block our light.  It’s not that we’re doing anything wrong, it’s just hard for the light to shine through all that.

Not being in touch with what you’re feeling is another barrier.

Linnehan talks about states of mind – emotional mind, reasonable mind, and wise mind.  Wise mind is what happens when emotional mind and reasonable mind talk to each other.  In order for that to happen, we need to be in touch with emotional mind.

Our emotions send us important messages.  They motivate behavior.  If we couldn’t feel fear, we’d be like people who don’t have pain sensations.  If we put a hand on a hot stove, it hurts  ~ and we jerk the hand back.  Without the pain message, we could get seriously hurt, we wouldn’t know to  pull our hands off the hot stove.

Imagine a world without love.

Yeah, emotions are essential.  AND~~

i think ~~

being in touch with our feelings, allowing ourselves to feel them, helps remove some barriers.  Helps us be in alignment with ourselves.  Allows the light within us to begin to shine through.

That connects us more fully to joy and lets us love with more passion and more devotion.

And in the long run, are we happier?   i think maybe we are.  Or – more able to connect with happiness and joy?  i don’t know ~ i think so.  Better able to make decisions that are “right” for us?  Yeah, maybe.

But the option ~ the other choice ~ is being numb and disengaged.  And i know that one doesn’t feel good.   i believe that Kahlil Gibran was right when he says:

“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.  And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain…

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced…”

(The Prophet)

6 Responses to “Then What?”

  1. ahiddenslave April 26, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    a very thought provoking post,i wanted to say that, read it again, have another think and then say some more.

    • aisha April 26, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks, HS, I’m glad it spoke to you. aisha

  2. greengirl April 26, 2011 at 6:50 am #

    This is perhaps a tangent, but one part of this caught my attention. I think we do expect bad things to end, hurts to stop, and comfort to be restored. But it doesn’t always. Maybe it’s tv or pop culture – i have no idea. But there are things we can change, particularly ourselves. But there are some circumstances that never resolve, there is no fairy godmother, and there are things we can’t control. And i think there aren’t a lot of examples or inspiriation or lessons out there in how to live with that.

    • aisha April 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

      Dear Gg,

      No, I don’t think that’s a tangent at all, and I agree completely. For me, I’ve been working on using the “radical acceptance” idea, and that at least recognizes that some things are just like that.



  3. k April 26, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Oh yeah.. great points Aisha… I got his poem A Tear and a Smile posted. Such wisdom in his words..and yours:)



    • aisha April 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

      @K, Yeah, he’s very cool, isn’t it? Thanks, aisha

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