25) How Do I Not Run From Difficult Emotions? - Meditate Now
Video Version - Guided Meditation
Audio Version - Guided Meditation
Written Transcript of the Guided Meditation
Welcome to Episode 25 of the Meditate Now podcast.
We're going to take a beautiful mini deep dive into this topic, "How Do I Not Run From Difficult Emotions?”
After I say a few words about this topic, kind of set the tone, we'll do a meditation that I feel will be for people who are experiencing difficult emotions.
So it can be one of those meditations that you listen to when you really want to run away from what you're feeling. For those watching live after the meditation, we'll dive in a little bit more into the topic.
But, welcome! Excited to have you here.
This title, I scheduled this title a couple of weeks ago, and I feel like the broadcast of this is right on time. Given that the past two days, not today, but the previous two days, I was experiencing some difficult emotions, and I found myself just not inspired, not enthusiastic, not happy or joyful, just rather a bit scared and feeling that intrinsic emptiness, but with a flavor of terror about that. Kind of seeing how there's nothing to hold on to and seeing where I want to hold on, but I can't.
Then it was a great observational opportunity, especially in preparation for this session. But there are a couple of things that I want to mention that I think are always profound to reinvestigate.
How Do You Interpret Your Emotions?
The first one is the question, "am I experiencing the emotion or am I experiencing my thoughts about the emotion?" It's like "am I experiencing the reality of what this is or am I lost in my fears about it, my stories about it?”
That's a great question that invites intimacy with the reality of the experience because what you also find time and time again is that the real difficulty is not so much the reality of the feeling or the emotion. The real difficulty is our interpretation of it, what we think it means, what we think it's in the way of, and in that is an intrinsic pushing away.
It's like we think we're pushing away the emotion, but really we're pushing away our beliefs about the emotion. So we're hiding and running from that, blaming it on the emotion, when actually the emotion isn't nearly as bad as the mind is making it out to be.
The second thing to recognize and this is brilliant. When we start experiencing difficult emotions, naturally we ask "why?" Because we want to figure it out.
This is where our mind goes into blame mode, where we start saying, "oh, I feel this way because that happened. I feel this way because such and such didn't work out or that person said this or didn't do that."
Do you see we start trying to justify the feeling through naming external stimuli?
Naturally, what we're doing there is we are blaming those things for not only the feeling but also our interpretation about the feeling.
Now see that, that's pretty intense because you can have a feeling of, let's say, emptiness or a lack of purpose or passion or freedom. And you can say, "well, that means I'm not a good person. That means I'm less than. That means I'm broken.”
So, you can also blame that thing out there or that circumstance for that story. It's like, "I feel broken. I see myself as broken because of what you said."
One of the things that I constantly point back to as an invitation to really see is that our emotions are not responding to what is or isn't happening. Our emotions are responding to our interpretation.
They're responding to how we see and all difficult emotions, or you might call them negative, will always carry a flavor of interpretation that sees yourself as less than— it's that fundamental inadequacy in being human. And so whenever you see yourself in a way that diminishes your worth and value, you'll feel crappy.
Your Emotions Are Meant to Guide You
What's beautiful to recognize there is that, "oh, these feelings and emotions are responding to me. They're responding to how I'm interpreting what people are saying. They're responding to how I'm interpreting experience."
This is really beautiful because it shows you that you're not as much of a victim as the mind would or the conditioning would want you to believe.
That you're feeling this way because of the world or because of what other people are doing now. No, "I'm feeling this way because of an innocent misunderstanding and how I see myself.”
When I'm in that space, there's been the propensity to spiral those interpretations out of control, where if you're feeling less than then everything somebody says seems to reaffirm that perception.
So, as I've mentioned time and time again that these emotions are meant to guide you into a more clear or in alignment way of perceiving.
Because also you'll notice that when you perceive in a way that is in alignment with the truth of things, which is also the alignment of your inherent worth and value, there's a pretty amazing feeling of wellness that comes with that.
It's like perceiving, "I'm right where I'm supposed to be, all is well. I'm not missing anything.” And these things are inherently true.
You Are The Creator Of Your Experience
So, when those things aren't being perceived in your emotions, to let you know, they act as an alarm for you to come back to the present moment and clarify what you think you're seeing. That's, my goodness! Again, this is the opportunity to not run away from your emotion because it's a gift to clarify.
I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and there's just a brilliant question that asks, "what do I have to believe in order for me to feel this feeling?”
It shows you pretty directly about how you perceive yourself. Then, to further investigate, is that really true? Is that really true? I understand that I might think that I might believe that, but... Is it true right now? "Is it the truth of what I am? Or am I innocently, lost in my confused imagination, misinterpreting my experience?”
This is the beauty in not running away from emotion, to really meet it in its reality, in its authenticity.
To see what the real issue is, rather than spiraling through an avoidance that doesn't want to, let's say, take experiential accountability for what's being felt.
That this is my creation somehow, some way, even if I don't understand how. But I've seen it enough times that I am the creator of what I experience.
Hold Space To Meet Your Emotions
Okay, let's see what else can we say about running? There are so many creative ways that we have from running, from how we're feeling.
I think it's also wise in the most self-compassionate way, to see how a lot of the difficulties that we experience on the surface of our human is, a lot of it, if not all, can be attributed to our running away from what's being felt, from our hiding of what's sincere and authentic, which really speaks to a compassionate urgency that says, "oh, okay, so there is no running away. I can appear to run away, which is really just hiding. However, what I'm hiding from is going to show itself on the surface anyway. And so I might as well meet it in the best way that I can.”
I think it's also wise to note that if you do run away from your emotions, welcome to being human because that's what we do.
So I don't want to perpetuate some sort of illusion that you're going to find a space where you never run away from your emotions.
It's totally fine. It's what we do. But also we can recognize, "okay, there is a safe space within what I am that can hold space for what's being felt.”
"I can meet it and realize that it's not as scary as my mind wants to make it out to be." So what we'll explore in the meditation is connecting with this safe space within what you are and discerning the difference between the reality of the emotion and your imagination about it.
Start of Guided Meditation
Thank Yourself For Showing Up
Let's dive in.
Welcome to this moment.
I'm really honored that you're here, given the title of this meditation, recognizing that within you is a sincerity that truly wants to meet yourself, that truly longs to discover courage that can be present amidst any internal storm.
So thank you for showing up.
We're going to ground into the present moment and really allow ourselves to be here to honor what appears to be a decision to show up.
We're going to open up on the inside and allow ourselves to experience more love and compassion for whatever is being felt.
Let's begin by just taking a few moments to acknowledge the breath that's happening.
We can just breathe together.
Regardless of what you might be feeling, let's be aware that we're just showing up to whatever degree that we can show up.
There doesn't need to be an expectation that you should be calm. You shouldn't be feeling what you're feeling. You should be more relaxed than you are. No, we're just going to allow the authenticity of what we are.
In that allowance, we're going to just connect with the breath, see that it's flowing in and out to whatever degree that you are becoming more and more present.
I just invite you to recognize that at this moment right now, regardless of what's being felt, you are okay.
I'm not talking about the story of you. I'm not talking about your thoughts about the past or your fears about the future.
I'm speaking to ‘right now.’
So if anything, can we recognize that there is wellness here?
There is great permission at this moment for you to feel however you're feeling.
You Are Allowed To Feel
As we rest here, naturally, the mind will want to dig into the stories about how you're feeling. But we're just going to focus on this moment, stay connected to the breath, and just recognize that great allowing that lets us feel whatever we feel.
If you find the mind, wanders into those stories into the fears about tomorrow, that's fine. But let's just come back to the breath.
And as you breathe, breathe into the allowing.
I hope that you can recognize that there's a space here, a space that doesn't judge your feeling. It doesn't think it should be different.
It just holds it. No demand, no expectation… just allowing.
I invite you to feel that allowing all throughout your body.
Everything in this moment is allowed to be what it is.
Notice that it's only the mind that says otherwise.
If the mind is saying otherwise, you can also recognize that something is afraid, and that's okay too.
But feel into the reality of this moment. It's allowed.
It’s Okay To Be Scared
As we're resting in this space, I invite you to, whatever degree that you can, discern the difference between the reality of the feeling and your stories about the feeling.
You might even find it helpful to place your hand over your heart and just recognize the reality of this moment, the reality of the feeling.
Maybe there's a tension in the chest, maybe the stomach is tied in a knot. But just feel into it here and now.
Then also notice the unending stories that could be told about this feeling, all of these projections about why, all of these stories about whose fault it is.
Then come back to reality and feel yourself.
I invite you to recognize something else.
Do you notice that in the pain of this feeling, underneath it all, you're just scared? And that's okay.
But see if you can recognize that.
At the root of that fear in some way or another, it's a fear that you are not enough.
Not enough to hold on to what you want to hold on to, not enough to get to where you think you're going. Not enough to make someone else like or love you. Not enough to control the future, or not enough because of what was.
In the intensity of this fear, the mind tries so hard to figure it out.
”Whose fault is it? How do I become enough?” And on and on and on.
Well, we're not here to figure it out. We're here to meet the reality of what is felt. Because most of the time, trying to figure it out is simply trying to get rid of it.
But the invitation here at this moment is to meet yourself and give yourself what it is you actually crave— to see that the world can't give it to you.
You Are Already Whole and Complete
You have the opportunity to see that at this moment, you are enough. To see that at this moment you are supported and you are taken care of.
Maybe not in the ways that the mind wants it to be, but in the reality of right now, you and me here together, you're whole and you're complete.
Nothing real is missing. There's only thought about something missing.
And in the land of imagination, we can always imagine something missing. So let's come home to what's real.
As we've been hanging out here together, I invite you to recognize that this emotion, what is being felt, it's not nearly as bad as the mind makes it out to be.
Sure, maybe it's uncomfortable, maybe there's even some pain, but it's not more than you can handle. And the remedy to this pain is your own love and attention.
The mind can imagine so many scary monsters about what's being felt. But those monsters aren't here right now.
What is here is an open space that fully allows you to be you.
This love that is craved, this support that is desired. It's here right now as well.
You are that space that will hold you.
You are that safe space for whatever is being felt.
Come Home To Your Own Heart
So I invite you to look within what you are and see that you are the answer. You are what you crave.
So come home to all parts of you, even those scared parts, and show yourself that you're really okay.
This forever is a journey of coming home to your own heart.
When we run from our emotions, we are rejecting the sincerity of what is felt, which is rejecting parts of what we are. We don't need to do that right now.
There is a strength in you that can hold space for you. But you got to show up for you.
In these last few moments of this meditation, I invite you to breathe into wellness.
Not a wellness where everything looks how you think it's supposed to look, but wellness that honors your heart.
Wellness that releases the expectation of how you should be. Wellness that loves yourself without any condition.
Let's just breathe into that space, my friend.
Forever, this difficulty is simply an innocent misunderstanding. We get confused, and that's okay.
We're swimming in a big miracle and we have a big imagination.
But luckily for us, there is the truth of what is real.
So as you've been invited time and time again, be still and know. Discern the difference between what you imagine to be happening and what is really happening.
In this recognition of reality, you just might recognize that you have everything that you crave. If anything, we just didn't see it, and that's okay.
Thanks for meditating with me today.