For many it has been a year of transition, change, loss, emotional upheaval, grief, confusion, disappointment, and, for some, devastation.
Whether we personally have experienced upheaval this year or not we can all relate to the universal experience of transition, change and the associated heightened emotions. What is also universal is that when faced with upheaval, often we have no idea how to deal with it.
In our lives we all experience heightened emotions for different reasons and during these times we might feel like we are dealing with the situation poorly, that we should be more in control, that we are not getting over things quick enough, that we seem to inherently be doing it all wrong.
In Buddhism the intention is to observe our emotions, our behaviors, our thoughts, from a place of non-judgment, witnessing the responses that we have to any given situation, and in doing so we notice that there is a shift in how we feel.
Impermanence is a core tenant in Buddhism, and when we are in a state of emotional distress we often feel we will never be happy or “normal” again. Our human tendency is to become attached, caught in looping thoughts, held prisoner by negative thoughts and beliefs about the situation.
When we take the time during times of heightened emotions to meditate, we are able to connect to the compassionate heart. When we connect to the compassionate heart and view ourselves from a place of loving kindness, the shackles of negativity fall away. Likely, we will still need to deal with the cause of our grief and turmoil, but it does help us bring more love and acceptance to ourselves, helping us move through it more smoothly.
It is important in these times to remember that there are no wrong responses, and that the pace at which you are dealing with emotions is perfect. And you will be surprised by how much you grow from it.
Is change painful? Yes. Is it also life-changing in the compassion that is unlocked – yes, too! We’ve all been there, right?!