In our western culture, positive attitude and positive emotions seem to be a highly sought-after commodity How many times do you come across pictures and sayings in social media networks about the power of positive thinking and positive emotions? But is it all that good? In a non dual approach, emotions are not divided into positive and negative, they are just emotions. In the end emotions are impulses in the body and chemical reactions in the cells, but what makes them negative? It’s when we block them off, trying our best not to experience them. Isn’t it what we all secretly want – To experience only positive things in life and to avoid experiencing “negative” things.
And it is often hard for us to accept that our partners, family members etc. are experiencing those emotions – partially it’s because we want them to be happy and we are worried about them and partially maybe because we ourselves were denied a chance to experience/express our negative emotions without being told that “good kids don’t behave this way”.
Emotions are not even something we can control, not in the sense that we can’t control how and when to express them, but in the sense that we really don’t know when are we going to experience which emotion – they are like waves in the ocean, they come and go, sometimes there’s a big storm and more waves are coming up, sometimes there is no storm, it’s all so calm and quite. Those waves are the impressions from the depths of our consciousness, it’s good that they are coming up, but we only give them a chance to leave us and go away if we accept them and experience them with awareness.
The other thing about emotions is that they are like two sides of a coin – you can’t eliminate one side and only have the other, people who decided to never feel fear or shame can’t truly experience joy, unless they will let themselves go through those debris of emotions, they don’t want to feel.
All this information is not something new at all, but somehow I felt it might be useful to go through it again. While I was doing some sewing the other day I put on one audio talk from http://www.audioveda.ru , it was a talk about the nature of emotions and how to deal with them by Ruslan Narushevich, who is a vedic astrologer, psychologist and family councilor, unfortunately the talk was in Russian, so I’m sharing the essence of it here. Below are some main points –
– Most people in the process of growing up have been told/shown that experiencing fear-sadness-anger etc – is not good or is not appreciated by parents, we also started linking ourselves with the emotions and think that we are bad if we feel them.
– In modern society, people aim towards increasing comfort and material well-being – we want to enjoy, if we don’t feel joy anymore, we think it’s because we need to get more things or experiences that would give us more joy, we try to squeeze joy out of life, but squeezing the same sugarcane again and again will not give you more juice. What it means is that we need to accept that in life there is a place for both “positive” and “negative” emotions, we accept them as natural cycle or rhythm of life.
– It is a little bit ironic really, first we created society where people need to control emotions all the time, then we discover that is’t bad for our health, so we have to come up with all the various techniques to “release” the emotions. In fact if we can only get a chance to experience them in the atmosphere where it is safe to do so (“safe” – means that nobody will judge you or explain to you that there is no reason to feel this way ) we will feel that emotions just come and go, they don’t intend to stay with us forever.
– It’s a duty of parents to give this opportunity to their children – so that they can safely experience ”negative” emotions, without being labeled as naughty or bad. And children just like adults can experience negative emotions, that have the same intensity as our grown-up ones, and that come out of nowhere sometimes, just because we are tired, or because it’s a full moon, oh because we ate a strange food before. This reminds me of Kate’s stories from http://katesurfs.wordpress.com/ how she lets her kids cry in her arms.
– When it comes to dealing with negative emotions in man/woman relationship it is important to remember about the differences in psyche of men and women. While dealing with negative emotions men often need space, they need to zone out and to forget, immerse themselves in some activity that they like, so they can clear their mind and go back to dealing with the problem next day. For women it is important to just get it out of the system – often we feel better, less stressed or worried, just because we had a chance to talk about it, to tell someone exactly how something makes us feel.
So here comes the interesting thing – we, human beings, often think that others feel/react/understand the same way like we do, so men are often trying to give women some space and women are often trying to talk to men and find out exactly how it makes them feel :))) Like in that story when the fox invited a crane for lunch and served food in flat plates, which is very convenient for a fox but not at all for crane. Crane returned the favor by feeding the fox from a tall jug :)) So we act a bit like that crane and fox when:
– Women don’t give space to men (because women don’t need space when they are upset, they need supporting communication) and take it personally when men need to zone out and to clear their mind.
– When women are upset with something that their partner does or does not do, they wait and wait till their partner will GUESS what’s wrong, because if he loves, he should guess! He does not guess and sometime does not even notice. (Not because he does not care, but because he does not have an inbuilt ”function of guessing what’s wrong”)
– Sometimes it’s hard for women to express themselves in a proper way when they are upset, due to their emotional nature, if they could become aware of it before it will escalate and just say – ” I need some support, I m feeling this or that way”, trying not to blame the other side – there is more chances they will find understanding. (It sounds like a piece of cake, but in reality when we have a strong emotion, more often it makes us feel that it’s the other persons fault, and before we notice we start blaming, our partner feels like he is being attacked and attacks us back, we fight ). I will talk a bit more about this one in some other post , because it took me a while to start practicing it ;))
On the other hand –
– Men don’t understand why women are so emotional and have mood changes so they say something like – ”You should not be so upset about it!” ( really because they would not be so upset about it themselves so they logically explain why women should not be so upset.
– For men it’s hard to just listen without providing practical advice (which is sometimes the last thing women want to hear when they are upset ). They feel responsible, so they feel that they need to fix something, but the best way to “fix” your lady when she is upset is to patiently listen to her telling how she feels and why (sometimes over and over again LOL).
So, the proper way to serve food to fox and crane would be :- )
For women – give your man some space (it does not mean that he would not talk about the problem at all, but he probably would not go into the depth analyzing how he feels and why) and let him know that you believe in him, you believe he will deal with all the challenges
For men – give your woman a chance to talk about her feeling and just listen, let her know it’s ok to be upset and you are here for her, she is safe with you.
oh, well it’ s such a big topic anyway, and i feel that i will write few more posts to continue, but for now hope this was somehow helpful 🙂