There is a common misconception that being spiritual means the removal of sadness, anger, stress, and many other unpleasant emotions. The reality of the situation is that opening oneself up spiritually can equate to feeling these emotions on a deeper level. But then the question becomes, “What should I do with how/what I am experiencing?”
As children we are taught that we should keep quiet when we are sad, upset, stressed out. The adults in our lives may have been too busy to address our emotional needs at that time. These same adults may have haphazardly been taught in their youth that they will experience feelings of discomfort when faced another person emotions. In turn, the tradition of emotional dismal is then passed on to the next generation. Now we have unintentionally caused what I like to call, “emotional constipation.”
I use the term “emotional constipation” because the avoidance that takes place for those things upset us, make us angry, or cause us to experience any manner of volatile emotion cause a true back up in our system. Not dealing with mental/emotional stress or anxiety can often lead to chronic harmful physical conditions.
It’s okay to get upset, angry, sad, and frustrated; what counts is how you deal with these emotions and what steps you take in choosing to express them or not. Here are a few things to consider that have helped me in the past:
- Decide that it okay to feel what you are feeling!
- In the moment that you are experiencing an emotion, step back (inside you mind) and attempt to assess what it is that you are experiencing.
- Is this a personal attack directed at me?
- Is what I am feeling truly about what is currently happening or can this be traced back to another event?
- Am I seeking justice/vengeance?
- Will I feel the same way in a few hours? Days? Weeks?
- What will change based on what I am feeling right now?
- Is there a way to change how I am seeing this situation or to see beyond it for what is truly happening?
- Is this event happening to me? Or is it simply happening and I am a witness to it?
- Once you’ve assessed what is happening to internally, you’ll need to make a decision about how to move forward.
- This may mean:
- Walking away
- Asking for some space
- Meditating on the situation
- Finding an activity that will help you process what happened
- Seeking counseling or therapy
You see, when you become a more spiritual person (if that is what you aspire to be) your emotions and emotional triggers do not simply disappear. But there is a noticeable change in the way that you may perceive things that upset or stressed you out in the past. What ultimately matters is that you make the choice to accept that what you’re feeling is okay. Next decide if how you would like to express this emotion or not. And lastly, decide that you do not wish to continue to feel that way and change (not avoid) any behaviors or circumstances that may have brought this moment to the surface.