Let us learn to accept ours as well as others’ negative emotions to fully experience the joy of living, says Shivi Verma
As far back as I can remember, I was always flummoxed by my emotions.
They used to be intense and engulf me in their tidal waves. How I hated them because they made me feel weak. I wanted to be calm, cool, and collected while responding to the vagaries of life. Yet, I never seemed to manage it. It was easy for anyone to press my buttons. When I entered the path, I felt that I had found the magical key to being above any situation in life. I thought that spirituality would help me stay unaffected by external triggers. I would walk like a Buddha, serene, calm, and unperturbed by anything. No matter how strong the provocation, I would always respond from my highest self and disarm my enemy with love, wit, and presence of mind.
And I often got glimpses of this state. But as I progressed, I realised that I could not stay in that high state forever; not only that, I didn’t even want to.
I had come to this earth to experience the whole spectrum of emotions. The canvas of life is painted by the hues of our multicoloured emotions. And what would life be without them? There was so much joy in the interplay of these wide-ranging emotions. The negative emotions were not the black sheep of the family, the pariah. They had been vilified because our ego disliked them and resisted even their slightest expression.
And then realisation hit me like lightning. We suppress or try to eliminate our negative emotions because we are not ready to accept their expression in others. We only want positive emotions from others because of which we are forced to throttle their expression in ourselves as well. If we allowed others to express negative feelings when they are small in magnitude, they would not snowball into a destructive maelstrom later on, nor would we feel compelled to choke our negative feelings as they arise in our minds. If we could be in a state of easy allowance and acceptance of our’s as well as others’ myriad emotions, they would enrich our life. I realised that for this to happen, I needed to expand the love in my heart. Can I cast away the notions of senior and junior, older and younger that compel people to conform to codes of conduct at home and outside? Can I let people speak their minds without the fear of hurting me in return? Can I too express my negative feelings without being judged by others?
Can we have heated arguments with one another and return to our loving centre after the storm has passed, without taking anything to heart? Can we be understanding of each other even while in the midst of stormy emotions?
I think it’s possible. For we all have, as children, played, fought, cried, made up, and forgotten about the whole thing in a couple of hours. And how fondly we recall those innocent years. I can at least start by putting this realisation into practice myself.
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