I still get mad. I still get angry. I still get hurt. The difference now is that I know what's happening inside of me, and what I need to do to fix it.
As I move along this journey towards fulfillment, I pick up valuable nuggets of wisdom along the way. One key learning is what's happening inside of us when we experience a so-called negative emotion, or thought pattern.
Before, I thought that I had to fight it. I thought it was me against my thoughts, or me against my emotions. So, my plan was to figure out a way to master them. If I could just out-muscle them, I'd be okay.
Then I came to learn that there is a better way. There is a higher, wiser approach.
Rather than stepping into the ring of my thoughts and emotions, strapping on the gloves, and starting to fight, I realize I could just sit on the sidelines with popcorn and a soda, and watch them go to town. Eventually, I'd get bored after seeing the same old moves, and I'd realize I have better things to do.
In doing this, I'm stepping back from those thoughts and emotions, and realizing that I am the one who's observing them, not the one who is them.
With this new approach, and this new sense of self, I cannot fight my thoughts or emotions, unless I choose to step into the ring. Instead, I choose to practice watching them.
By fighting with them, I lower myself down into their energy, and in a sense, become them. I'd rather not continue to mistake my identity, my self, for that negative energy.
When we do this, no wonder why it's so hard to escape.
We're not taught this in school. Most personal development practices don't even teach this. They teach you how to become a better fighter. How to out-maneuver limiting beliefs. That's all well and good, but this is just a better way, in my opinion, and in the opinion of the people who have found lasting inner peace, love, and joy.
I still have a long way to go before I can let these disturbing thoughts and emotions pass with the blink of an eye. And an even longer time before I can enjoy them for what they are without resisting or clinging.
But the first step now is that I'm aware of what's happening. Something inside of me is being disturbed for some reason, and I need to learn to let go. To relax and release the energy.
While it doesn't make the thoughts or physical sensations any nicer, I now know that stored energy patterns from the past, (called samskaras in Yogic traditions), are being disturbed, and they're trying to escape.
From this new perspective, I can ask better questions. Rather than asking, "what the hell is going on?" or even, "What the heck is wrong with that person?" (thus making it about someone else), I can ask more intelligent questions like "What part of me is being disturbed?" and "How quickly can I let it go?"
All I need to do is learn to let go and get out of my own way. Then, if there's still a problem in front of me, I'll take care of it.
It's hard, and it may take a while, but it's the only way.
Live with substance!