I just had a conversation with a friend that left me feeling very angry. I don’t want to feel this way, and I’m experiencing some guilt about it. My mind tells me, “If you really walked the talk that you write about and teach, you wouldn’t be feeling angry right now!”
I’m asking myself how this emotion fits with my topic for this column. I can see that it’s pretty simple. Rather than resisting the angry emotion and trying to make it go away, I can relax and allow it to be here. I can accept it without judging it as wrong or bad. I can embrace the anger simply as “what is.”
Having just written that, I can feel myself relaxing as the acceptance takes over. Resisting the anger, attempting to keep it away, creates tension. As I sit here allowing it to be, I’m noticing a most amazing occurrence. I can feel the intensity of the angry feeling diminish and peacefulness increase. It appears that accepting the emotion decreases the drama around it.
I’m reminded of Byron Katie’s book, Loving What Is. She invites you, the reader, to question the truth of thoughts in which you wish something were different. She invites you to ask, “Is that thought really true?”
Thinking that something should be different – as in the thought, “My friend shouldn’t be talking to me about this!” – signifies a failure to accept what is. When I apply Byron Katie’s question to that thought and ask, “Is that thought true?” I have to say no. It isn’t true.
How come it’s not true? Well, others do have the right to talk about whatever they choose. And I can already see that good came from the discussion with my friend. First, she gave me an opportunity to explore my own reaction. (After all, it’s the reaction I chose; it’s not about her.) Second, as a result of my exploration, I’m relaxing and calming down. Third, I’m connecting some dots about fully embracing “what is” that I hadn’t seen as clearly before. Fourth, just in time, I now have a personal example for this column.
So perhaps my friend “should” have talked to me about this upsetting topic. Her doing so supports me to drop a false belief that doesn’t serve me: that my anger means I am flawed in some way.
I invite you to take a look at your circumstances, situations, thoughts and feelings. Name an experience in each category and ask yourself, for each one, if you are accepting what is. As you do so, notice if any tension arises in your body. Tension likely indicates that somewhere in the circumstance, situation, thought or feeling, you are resisting something. With this realization comes an opportunity to relax, let go of resistance, and embrace what is.
You may find it challenging to accept what’s so in this moment. Simply let that be okay. Accept your inability, and refuse to “should” on yourself.
After all, that’s just what is.
Dr. Marta practices as a Life Coach in Communication and Consciousness. To contact her, call 928-451-9482 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.