Emotions are a part of being human. But sometimes our emotions can get the best of us. Often we try to hide our feelings, either for the sake of others, or in the hopes that if we bury them deeply enough they’ll eventually go away or stop hurting. The problem is, those emotions never do go away, unless we’re willing to put the work in to help them heal.
In order to grow, you must first and foremost develop an awareness of your mind-body-spirit relationship. What does it mean to feel? What emotions are you holding onto? Why are you feeling this way? And once you begin to acknowledge your emotions, you must allow yourself to express them.
The Taoist way tells us to do good and accept the bad. You must want to change and you must make a choice. People often use their past as an excuse for not changing, because deep down they really don’t want to change and/or don’t have the courage to do so. But if you really want something, you will do whatever it takes to acquire it. If you need to do something (like go to the bathroom), you just do it. Imagine how powerful we would be if we could harness this same urgency for our spiritual growth!
We all have our stories—our bright sides and our dark sides. Some may stem from a traumatic experience as a child or a young adult. Others may stem from a deep loss that you haven’t yet fully processed—even though you think you’ve moved past it. Being aware of our emotions means stripping down the barriers we’ve created to protect ourselves, and getting down to the raw emotions that can untangle us in seconds.
This process of self-discovery often brings tears, and lots of them. You may find yourself crying out of the blue. Allow the tears to flow. Soon you’ll begin to make connections, for example, papaya reminds you of your grandmother who you are missing on her birthday. You might not have realized it at the time, but deep down, your spirit made the connection. Let the tears flow. They’re healing tears and they will help you process your swirling cloud of emotions. Start with the less threatening emotions, and begin to accept them. Little by little you will be able to accept your more uncomfortable feelings and emotions. Don’t expect to accept your dark side immediately—that would be instant enlightenment! Have patience with yourself. Work the process slowly and gradually. And congratulate yourself on taking this step to making deep, lasting changes. Continue on! You will see—and feel—the shift!