“Holding on to negative feelings and past circumstances is like placing a lock on your soul.”
― Charles F. Glassman, Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life
Well…. true, feelings are subjective and valid within a belief system that is your own.
I recently discovered that I am a feeling based person which might have increased a tad once I became a mother. However I believe that our feelings are our instinct warning us what is right and what is wrong according to the values we have instilled in us. My feelings are and will be different from another, yet my feelings are valid for my self according to what I believe in.
There is always a danger in feeling too stronger feelings (especially negative , hateful ones) and hanging on to those feelings. They tend to suck your happiness away. To maintain happiness we need to let go of our extreme hateful feelings and replace them with neutral or more positive ones.
I have learnt fist hand, that giving into the negative feelings and hanging on to them can harm your own happiness and/or other’s. For example I have very strong negative feelings towards two people that came into my life as a result of marriage. They just do not have the same values as me and the things they have done in the past had generated long lasting extremely negative repulsive feelings towards them. If I show my real feelings towards them I can hurt the ones I love the most. Not only that, showing those negative feelings towards someone and actually feeling them ruins my happiness, increases my anxiety which is bad for my health and well being. I had gotten worse with time and not better at handling those repulsive feelings towards them. Everything they do I see it in a negative light. Something had to be done for my sanity…
A recent visit to the Bodhivana Budhist Monastery in Warbertton (If I may, what a peaceful place to contemplate on life!) enlightened me with a simple truth about harboring these negative feelings and how they can manifest in one making one’s life miserable. At the end of the day these negative feelings are our own, they harm ourselves and no one else. Letting go of these negative feelings will free you and your mind enabling you to concentrate on things that matters in your life like happiness. Leting go of these negative feelings, does not mean you have to like them, it just means you let go of those bad, negative energy you feel inside (which are real chemicals that keeps building up inside) and be at peace with the world including those you do not share the same values with. This exercise is for us to just accept they (our “enemy”) exist and we can still carry on with your life the way you want to peacefully and happily. This is no easy task especially when you have years of negative feelings towards someone/people!
So in order for me to feel happy at all times I have to now work on letting go of my negative feelings towards the people I have come to “hate”. To do so all I have to do is practice loving kindness (every day!). This is known as Metta Meditation. It is where you practice sending love to your self first (you have to love yourself in order to love others), your loved ones, the world and finally the ones that are your enemy (which you have made them in your mind). The love you send out has to be genuinely felt in your heart, like the love you feel when you look at your child or pet, it is that warm heartfelt love you feel from the bottom of your heart.
What you say is..
May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease…. first to your self repeating at leas three times you will feel a sense of real relief. Then you can move on to the next person or subject on your list of sending love to. For me it will be first myself, then my kids, my husband, then my parents and my sisters, then the rest of the living world, and finally the ones that I do not like to even think of. It might take me time to actually even be able to think of them with, but I have been told that it is ok, I just have to keep trying till I can actually incorporate them into my Love and Kindness Meditation and send some love and kindness their way.
If you keep practicing this rewarding meditation everyday, and in time ( and I am told it can take weeks, months, even years for some) you will manage to get those negative repulsive feelings out of your system, and have only peaceful kind feelings towards those that you once felt strong negative feelings for. Our lives will be much happier and peaceful from that point on. And we will be able to live a different mindful life.
For more information on how to practice this loving and kindness meditation visit Metta Meditation.