What a great question!
In response to my invitation for suggestions for this series, I received a challenge from a much-loved friend – who asked “How can I feel good when everything around me seems to be turning bad, falling apart? Do I simply deny it`s happening and bury my head in the sand, whilst singing “always look on the bright side of life”?! Or as I was taught when I was a child, whom my mother loved dearly and wanted to ensure grew up properly – “always be like Pollyanna, and play the `Glad Game`- find something to be glad about when you don`t feel like it!” (Yes, I did get a bit sick of hearing about Pollyanna)!
So, should the circumstances we find reflected in our lives always dictate how we`re going to feel? Isn`t that being a realist, and not burying our head in the sand? Yes – and no! Yes, the circumstances we find ourselves in have a huge capacity to impact our emotions – and for most people this is true – I`m in a bad mood because x did y to me… I just lost my job…. I`m feeling sick… my credit card is getting out of control… (put in your own reason why you may be in a bad mood, depressed, or unable to pick yourself up)…. And if you are feeling this way – perhaps justifiably – and someone tells you to “chin up & look on the bright side” – do you impulsively feel like either bopping them or simply turning away, feeling completely unheard and/or unappreciated? I know I have…
But the challenge is that we need to recognise what we are feeling – as Rachael Jayne Groover states in her training course for the Art of Feminine Presence, `ALL feelings are acceptable – it`s just that some feel better than others`! It is absolutely pointless to deny what may be happening to us, and how we feel about this – because this can lead to massive resistance to what is. So many people regrettably end up spending so much time and energy resisting what is, often because it feels so uncomfortable – so deny what may seem obvious to others, or distract themselves with other pleasures, turn to the fridge, substance abuse, risky behaviour, inappropriate sexual encounters, or an inordinate amount of time in front of their computers on seemingly innocent pursuits like gaming, or the darker pursuits of pornography – often to the detriment of their own valued relationships with partners or kids… And why? Because we just love our comfort zones! In this zone, we can anticipate what`s going to happen, react how we`ve always done, and avoid a dreaded confrontation – but at what cost? Many can end up with deadened feelings – pushed down almost to non-existence, and develop a more cynical attitude to life…
So what to do when disaster strikes? Or did someone crosses me and my opinions? Or do the kids cause me such irritation once again? What are we to do with these dilemmas, and our subsequent emotions? We`ve already seen from the above that resistance is useless – in fact, it can be worse than useless, it can sometimes be downright dangerous if we`re engaging in risky behaviour. I`d like to suggest something rather radical! If resistance is pointless or even dangerous, could the paradoxical – even counter-intuitive behaviour – of acceptance, and therefore surrender to what is, be considered a valid option? What do you think? I personally chose this option when dealing with the death of my much-loved hubby 12 years ago. I had seen that many widows became ill and I did NOT want to go down this path – so surrendering to the grieving process became one valid, and as subsequent events showed, wise option – the only way out was THROUGH. Through embracing the sadness, loneliness, mourning, and intensity of loss. Please note we are talking here about “voluntary surrender”, NOT “submission”, which is something imposed by others. Once this is acknowledged and embraced, then others can step in to assist the process of healing… And then we can start embracing other options, such as using the insights of the Abraham Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale:
- Positive Expectation/Belief
Recognise and become aware of what you may be feeling – what is the dominant feeling? And simply choose to move up this emotional scale…. Feeling angry is a far more positive feeling to deal with than hatred or rage! Hopefulness outweighs overwhelm every day!
YOU CAN CHOOSE!