One of the most important secrets I've learned is that the hardest or scariest experiences that we have are actually our most powerful catalysts to joy and freedom.
All of us have experienced feelings we'd rather not experience. Most of us label these negative emotions, and they include fear, guilt, shame, anger, jealousy and many more.
When I first started facing these emotions, rather than stuffing them down or ignoring them, I was pretty confused about the process. I learned that feeling these emotions could bring me liberation. But I'd been feeling them all along! But I discovered that there is a subtle but powerful distinction in the way that we relate to these emotions in order to heal them.
Emotions that trap us are ones that we've judged as bad, and pushed away or stuffed down. But in the process of resisting an emotional experience, we've aligned ourselves with that particular emotion.
To illustrate how this works, think of a nemesis you've had, whether in the past or today. Someone you just can't stand. When you were in the peak of that negative relationship, did you think about them? Were they constantly on your mind, or in the back of your mind? Of course.
There's a powerful saying - what we resist persists. And it's completely true, in my experience. Only once we've moved through the strongest emotions can we get to a point of neutrality, which is the place from which we have the most control over our experience. As long as you're hating someone, you're in relationship with them. Once you've let go of the hatred, you've moved out of that toxic relationship.
Here are some steps to move through the emotional experience of any powerful emotion - good or bad - to limit its influence over you. And yes, even positive emotions can be limiting if we overly identify with them. Neutrality is the most powerful place, and it's a surprisingly blissful experience too.
I've included a short guided meditation below to take you through this process. Relax and enjoy!
And please share your experiences and questions in the comments!