May 27, 2018

Much of the incessant mental chatter that becomes apparent when you sit for meditation is due to three primordial emotions– fear, anger, and jealousy. Using meditation to quieten the mind, without addressing these underlying “turbulence generators”, does not get to the root of the problem. Of course meditation can offer temporary solace, but it’s important to look a little deeper to see if we can switch of some of the self created “noise”. Let’s examine these in more detail.

Fear– there are so many things that generate fear at every stage of our lives. As a schoolchild, it’s often fear of authority; of getting into trouble; of getting caught; and of getting punished. Towards the end of this period, it’s fear of missing out on one’s chosen degree; fear of not being attractive in appearance; and fear of being left out of a social group. Moving into early working years, it’s fear of not getting a job; not earning enough money; or not meeting a life partner. After the challenges of life, we have fears of loss. Loss of wealth; loss of health; loss of friends; and loss of family. And finally at the end of the journey, there’s fear of being dependent and a burden; fear we lose our life partner; and of course fear of suffering and death.

All these fears are normal and natural, but need to be placed in their right place. Fear needs to be replaced by acceptance. Acceptance of many things. Acceptance that life may not necessarily work out the way we were planning. Acceptance that we may not get what we have strived for. Acceptance that relationships may break down. And acceptance that ultimately we will depart from this earth. The practice of acceptance is not fatalistic or disempowering, but it does allow you to cope with the true realities of life. Being able to accept things as they happen is one of the most empowering things of all. Bad things happening are part of life, so we must learn to accept. Deep acceptance, combined with a gentle and rational rudder of responsiveness, will enable us to cope with anything that life throws at us.

Anger– this is essentially our response when things don’t go our way. Our inability to accept the situation as it has unfolded results in anger. Our business partner of many years cheats us; or our spouse has an affair; or a child is tragically taken away from us through tragedy or illness. Yes, anger is natural. To not feel it would make us not human. But in order to move on, anger has to move into acceptance. Again, the practice of deep acceptance is important. Healing requires us to know and feel that we are bigger than what may happen to us.

Jealousy– comparing yourself to others is a great way to misery. There will always be someone prettier, slimmer, wealthier, more famous than you. Again, acceptance of who you are and your innate goodness, and contentment with what you have is an essential “program” that should be on our daily “operating systems”.

Some of these emotions maybe so primal, that they are reflex and irrational in nature. Care, kindness and compassion for oneself is important when they do arise. Meditation and mindfulness will assist in releasing their deeper tethers and will help remove their roots. Whilst this is happening, try the daily practice of acceptance, contentment and gratitude. You can write down two columns: Column 1- that which is challenging me, eg fear or anger or jealousy. Column 2- how you are utilizing acceptance, contentment, and gratitude. At times, you may even need the help of a professional psychologist to help you navigate your way.That’s ok.

Knowing yourself is one of the most (if not the most) important thing you do in your life.

In Health and Wellness




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