The ability to overlook, forget and suppress unhappy thoughts is a coping mechanism that lets us maintain continuity in our lives whenever we hit emotional speed bumps.

When we experience stressful sentiments such as jealousy, anger, sadness, confusion or fear, we very rarely face them head on and instead often choose to completely avoid these centres of deep-seated and unresolved dramas.  Understandably, this selective way of filtering out our traumas and focusing on more productive matters seems to be the fastest and most efficient way to go through life unscathed.

If we’re bothered by someone’s comment, we just forget about it for the sake of the situation. If we’re envious or feeling heartbroken, it’s easier to convince ourselves that we don’t have such silly feelings and immediately focus on moving forward. But in terms of real personal growth and character development, are these avoidances really the way forward?

Abandoned Emotions Spring Back With A Vengeance

Although most of us love the idea of magically getting rid of the garbage we don’t want in our heads and keeping what we enjoy, in truth, pushing out the issues that bother us only buys us a cosmetic front to mask these still-existing internal turmoils and in the long term can really get in the way of our personal growth and character development.

If we don’t handle them voluntarily, then they will make themselves known in the areas where we have little control such as involuntary emotions, subtle personality changes, stress production, impulses and even areas like mental performance or bodily health. It’s like trying to push a plastic ball under water: At some point, it has to come back up… and with huge force.

Our Dark Sides Are Also Us. Only By Embracing This, We Really Help Ourselves

But if we’re not supposed to push these feelings aside, what are we supposed to do, just accept and indulge in them? Well, actually there’s a third option we can take! The first step is rather than ignoring or indulging in these emotions, to accept the fact that we have them, no matter how much we wish to deny it. Yes, we truly do envy this person’s perfect relationship, we really are heartbroken from the breakup, or really have some beef with someone. Yes, yes and yes.

Then, rather than suppressing them as we do a loaded catapult, just let them fire off and manifest in your mind. It’s the real us, and to improve ourselves, we must cater to the naturally occurring person within. At this point, let’s just observe and show empathy to these feelings and let them fully sink in, not with the purpose of acting on them, but for full wisdom and understanding. After all, a doctor can’t heal a patient without a proper diagnosis.

Let’s Not Throw Ourselves Away, But Find The Original Goodness That Was Changed To Negativity

At this point, we’ve released a lot of pent-up feelings, which should feel good on some level and make us feel like we’re back in our own skin. Now that we saw the real feelings in action, we can begin working, not to eliminate, not to indulge, but to, option 3: turn them into something positive!  Our minds will always react to the world around us, and we cannot ignore this reaction, but we can decide “how” to react. We can choose to face difficult issues with patience, understanding and with the desire to challenge ourselves.

Some Examples

  • If I were to be jealous of someone’s achievements, it’s because I really saw something worth praising and learning from, but somehow it became charged with a negative competition. Learn to truly praise others and borrow their good practices to perfect your own.
  • If I feel someone has wronged me in some way, it’s because they themselves have insecurities and unhappiness, but somehow I was led to think of myself as the victim. Here, I can take the opportunity to grow my compassion and help them get over their struggles with my patience and care.
  • If I am heartbroken from a relationship, it’s because the person I was with was truly loveable, but my love became self-centred. Its time to work on unconditional love, spend energy to love and support their next stage in life, focusing on them, being happy as long as they are happy.
  • If being heartbroken was based on neediness and not love, it’s because I really do have a void inside that needs to be admitted and addressed. So let’s take the opportunity to enrich our lives with a higher purpose and sense of fulfilment and again, Love!

Keep Accepting, Understanding and Refining. Joy Will Flow Easier

Over time we will learn, when life barrages us with situations that normally would have created a negative response within us, to find that the truths of these situations can be used for very positive changes to our personal growth and character development. Our new non-egotistical way of life will shine into all of our mental and physical aspects.

Perfect It With Regular Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Practices

Yoga and meditation are great ways to spend time on a daily basis surfacing all these thoughts and begin purifying them wholesale. These practices have allowed me to release myself back into the real benevolent “I” time after time. This “I” is capable of seeing and using the good in all things but simply needs to be dislodged from our more fearful, needy and short-sighted minds. And since we are essentially all dealing with the same emotional turmoil as human beings, these practices will work for everyone.

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