Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Gift of Human Emotions

I recently discovered someone who calls himself Magister Daire. I liked a quote of his and used it with an image. I started following him on Instagram and I liked a lot of what he posted and then he posted something that just rubbed me the wrong way. Granted, I haven't studied this individual at length but the little I have seen gives me a definite impression of someone who thinks himself more knowledgeable and more enlightened than the rest of us. That word...enlightened...annoys the crap out of me.

A truly enlightened person would never claim to be enlightened. A truly enlightened person knows there is a distinct possibility that they actually know nothing at all. They know they are forever both student and teacher. They don't seek followers. They seek simply to learn and understand as much as they can through each human incarnation.

This is the meme he posted and the poem below it that bothered me:

I really dislike it when spiritual teachers make statements that put shame around half of the human emotions we experience while we are here. So the impression I get from this is he is saying all anger and sorrow is based in fear which in turn makes the person on a spiritual journey feel they are wrong for ever having those emotions because they don't want to live in fear. You know what I say to that? FUCK THAT SHIT!!!

So called "negative" emotions like sorrow and anger have the ability to act as a catalyst to transform us more than any other. It is when we reach our lowest point that who we are can be burned away and we can rise from our own ashes renewed and reborn if we allow it. Most people on a spiritual journey got there because intense sorrow, grief, anger and pain brought them to their knees. Those who reach for something more start their spiritual journey into self discovery.

And once we are on these journeys, it is fucking hard and no matter how much spiritual knowledge you gain, tears, sorrow, anger is a natural part of the process into change. No matter how much I know and understand about death, I still ache when a physical character I knew and loved is no longer part of my personal play. I miss them no matter how much I know they might still be with me in spirit. I will allow myself to feel heartache when I am hurt by someone I love. I will allow myself to feel sorrow when the missing of someone is acute. I will allow myself to feel anger that moves me into action to create change in my world.

The difference with a spiritual person is we try not to unpack and live in those emotions. We allow them, experience them, learn from them and then release them. There is no shame in feeling what you feel...EVER. As long as you can step back and sort out where it is coming from, learn something from it and then turn it around so that it is useful instead of detrimental, I see no harm in it. It is when you unpack and live in any given emotion that people run into problems. A person living in one emotion is someone living out of balance and I am all about preaching balance. It is something I strive for but can honestly say I have never achieved. Lol

The way I see it is like this. Those who try to deny themselves certain emotions because they are deemed "negative" are a lot like those who go on restrictive diets (I am not talking about those with true allergies or intolerance). You have those who eat no grains, no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no meat, nothing cooked, and the list could go on. I came for the human experience and half of that experience is about tasting every human emotion I can. You can stay away from the strawberry whipped cream frosting cake and chocolate eruption cake if you wish because someone said it is bad for you, but I will have my cake when I feel so inclined to have it and I will eat it too. I don't have it all the time, but I also won't deny myself experiencing the myriad of flavors/emotions life in the human vehicle affords me.

Monday, April 4, 2016

When People Walk Away, Darkness, Moving Forward

If any of you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed my mood taking a dark turn as reflected in my recent string of posts. I'm not a "positive, soft, and fluffy at all costs" kind of spiritual person. When I am feeling my shadow side, I embrace it and reveal it openly. I express it so I can then let it go. A series of events took place that just put me in a bad fucking mood and I didn't feel like spouting cheerful bullshit when I just wasn't feeling it in the moment. To deny yourself those feelings is to deny yourself one half of the human experience. When I was coming off my dark cloud, I half thought about deleting my dark and negative string but then thought, "No, this is me being authentic and real and people need to see it." We can learn just as much from our unpleasant dark feelings as we can from joyful ones. Maybe we even learn more from the dark if we are cognizant that there are lessons to be learned from the dark feelings and actively look to see what the lessons are in the experience.

Photo by Kindra Nikole
I wrote a really positive blog post about my best friend and I wasn't really surprised when another friend I have known since we were 17 posted a snide comment about my blog post.

We have a long history and there are a lot of rocky points in our relationship. She has had a long history of insulting me but doing it in an underhanded way as if she thinks I am too stupid to figure out she is doing it. She also has a bad habit of being very disparaging about those around her, putting people down where she feels the need. She sees only disgusting dirty beggars of the street vendors selling their handmade items from their blankets. I see people trying to do something to make money. I see people who add color and character to a beloved neighborhood, hence, my reply to her snide comment.

When I first started growing exponentially spiritually, she was really mean and hateful to me about what I was experiencing and believed in. It hurt because I had been there for her through all of her drama with her narcissist boyfriend and when I wanted to share something that meant a lot to me, she verbally slapped me in the face. I withdrew from her at that point and simply felt no inclination to try to nurture what was left of the ragged bits of our friendship.

What I know and understand well about this "friend" is that she is horribly insecure and all of her hate and malice directed at others is really just highlighting her own deep self-loathing. Which is why I added this comment as well:
She came back trying to say that what she meant was that I "uplift" people but I know all too well what she actually meant. She had time to think about my responses and apparently they were so offensive that it required blocking me on Facebook and Instagram and having her three grown sons unfriend me as if we are in the 7th grade and we need to tell people who they can be friends with. I was both amused and irritated and I asked myself, "What is this experience supposed to teach me?"

It was a dream I had that night which helped me to see what the lesson was in this experience. I believe fully that all of our dream symbols can be applied to our waking life. All of those people in your life who appear and are showing you an aspect of you are doing the exact same thing in your waking life. Everyone in your life is an aspect of you and represent something. The question you have to ask yourself is what aspect of you do they represent? In my dreams, this individual always turns up as an antagonist, as someone who isn't very nice to me...much the way she has been in real life. And yes, there is most decidedly a side to me that has been horrible to myself. What she also represents in a very big way is the person I used to be. She represents the past. I used to be a lot more like her and willing to talk shit about people and only see the ugliness in others as a way to make myself feel better. But it never really made me feel better because the ugliness I was seeing was what I really felt about me.

In the dream I was in the process of moving stuff out of a house I had been living in and there were people who were moving in while my stuff was still there. The important thing I noticed about the stuff I had to pack up was that it was all old stuff and I wasn't entirely sure why I still had it and it was a burden now to pack up and move. The young women who were moving in were putting all of my things in the basement and I felt overwhelmed by this.

In reality, I think this represented how the new was coming in to live within me regardless of whether or not the past was ready to vacate. And since this friend represents the past me, I believe her departing my life was a really positive sign about making a separation with the past and former me. I had hoped she could grow and awaken eventually, but since that hasn't happened, I feel grateful to her for leaving and being that meaningful symbol of the past falling away.

I think perhaps some of the other lessons I have been taught in this last week of experiences that made me feel out of sorts is that it is okay to set clear boundaries with people. It is okay to speak my truth and say where people are not allowed to tread and tell them it is not okay to treat me in a certain way. I have tolerated far too much verbal abuse and it is okay to let people and the past go.

Photo by Alexander Lazarov
I have this visualization I used to do when I felt it was time to let certain people go from my life. I would see myself in a boat and all of these smaller boats with the other people in them connected to my boat with ropes. I would take a pair of sharp scissors and I would see myself cutting through the rope disconnecting us and severing the ties. I would then thank them for their role in my life, wish them well and say goodbye as I watched them float away. I think I am long overdue for another one of my visualizations to liberate me from connections that no longer serve my highest good. It is time to let the past go and watch it float away.