Have you ever wondered how to purge yourself of a particular negative emotion that keeps repeating itself in your life? It’s not as hard as it may seem. If you are currently experiencing negative emotions in your life, this post may be particularly beneficial to you.
The first thing that you need to realize is that you are not your emotions. This may seem obvious when you think about it, but most of the time we take this for granted. You may feel a certain way in a certain situation and subconsciously you identify with it. That’s why people sometimes think, “I’m a depressed person.” Or, “I’m an angry person.”
Most of the time the truth is that they subconsciously believe they are a depressed or angry person which continually reinforces itself in certain situations. But do they have to continue being that way? The Bible gives us a pretty straightforward answer that is quite encouraging.
Proverbs 23:7 states that whatever a person thinks in his or her heart, so is he/she. This means there is a tremendous opportunity to experience positive emotions. The Biblical writer could make such a statement because he realized that his true self, the eternal aspect, is the power that gives rise to thoughts and emotions. This means that the true self can give rise to different thoughts and emotions, and whatever a person chooses to think, they become.
There is something that should be immediately obvious to us then: we are certainly not at the mercy of external events and the emotions they sometimes cause. We are magnificent beings with the power to express more positive emotions even in the midst of a seemingly unhappy circumstance.
But Doesn’t Time Heal Anyway?
You have heard the saying, “time heals.” If so, can’t we just wait it out? This is only partly true, and it’s not a conscious strategy. The negative emotion you might feel over a particular event, like a bad break-up with a partner for example, does seem to naturally dissipate in time. But that particular feeling is still buried in the subconscious somewhere and certain events can trigger it again. It hasn’t really been healed; your conscious attention just hasn’t been placed on it in between the circumstances that cause it to manifest. The same emotion may even rear its ugly head in a totally different type of situation that you can’t make any kind of conscious connection with. In other words, thinking time will heal you is only a temporary fix; you’re still going to be at the mercy of a particular pattern of emotion in the long run. Isn’t this the very opposite of the idea that time eventually heals everything?
I remember a person that I became quite close to when I was younger. We spent every weekend together. Often we went to the beach, went on walks, or just hung out around the house. I was very happy with her and enjoyed her company immensely. After a few months I told this person how I felt about her. She reciprocated and I believed we were both on the same page. But then I went out of town for a month over the summer and when I came back she had had a relationship with someone else. I had been downgraded from a relationship partner to casual friend just like that. As you can imagine, I was in shock. The entire time I was away I was looking forward to returning and picking back up where we left off. We had communicated during my time away, and I thought for sure we had something good going. To make a long story short, I became very hurt by the experience. But that wasn’t the particularly damaging part. Most of us have had a similar type experience. But the emotion that initially arose from such an experience became such a permanent part of who I believed I was that it carried over into my next relationship. It then carried over into the relationship I had with the woman who would eventually become my wife. I was very distrustful and it was a long time before I could tell the wonderful girl I loved how I really felt about her. This confused her and it definitely started us off on the wrong foot. Looking back now, I can see how much damage that did to the early phases of our relationship and marriage. So no, time doesn’t really heal. It just allows certain emotions to stay dormant awhile.
Becoming Conscious of Your Emotions.
I am going to propose a better solution: allow consciousness to transmute a negative emotion into a positive one. How do you do this?
The best way is to simply acknowledge the emotion when it arises. Hold it there. Meditate on it. Observe it. Just observe it. Don’t let a mental commentary begin running. The minute you let a mental commentary run you have identified with it. At that moment you are it. You have taken the eternal power that you are, consciousness, and identified that power with an emotion that does not uplift you. Remember, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he! (Proverbs 23:7).
Of course that is not what you want. But consciousness is impartial. It’s powerful, yes, but impartial. It becomes what you allow yourself to experience. This is part of what being an unconscious human being is.
Make sure you do not meditate on the situation that made the negative emotion manifest in the first place. This is what you are naturally tempted to do. But that is a mistake. That’s part of the running mental commentary and it only reinforces that emotion becoming more established in your personality.
Just let it be. Meditate on the feeling itself. Understand and acknowledge that you are not that emotion. It’s just a temporary experience. As you do this, the power of consciousness will begin to dissolve it. Its vibrational frequency will begin to change. Remember, just observe. No judging. No thinking. If you haven’t developed the ability of concentration power yet in meditation, (like I talked about in a recent series HERE), then I suggest you begin with this first. It won’t effectively deal with the negative emotion you might be having now, but it will allow you to later. We all have to begin somewhere.
Why does this work, anyway?
Consciousness itself is naturally at peace. Higher emotions, those of a higher vibrational frequency, are inherent in consciousness. When you shed the light of consciousness on a negative emotion, it must begin to change. This can’t be explained scientifically very well. Consciousness just is, and it is the beginning and end of everything.
For those of you that like analogies, I’ll provide a simple one:
Picture holding a magnifying glass on a hot sunny day over a dried-out dead leaf. The natural sunlight is your consciousness. The magnifying glass is the meditation. The dried up leaf is your negative emotion. As you hold the magnifying glass over the leaf, the sun’s light is concentrated into a beam that chemically changes the leaf. Without the concentrated sunlight the leaf remains. It would take quite a long time for it to break down naturally. But with enough concentrated sunlight that leaf must change. In the same way, when you observe your negative emotion, consciousness is turned on to that emotion and its frequency must change.
When you notice that the negative emotion is losing its power over you, it’s time to replace it with something positive. You are what you think. So think on something positive.
This process isn’t an instant fix, but it works. Let me know how it turns out for you should you decide to try it.
In the next post we’ll get a little more philosophical and discuss the true meaning for the symbol of Noah’s Ark. Hint: it’s not really a boat!