Sunday, April 22, 2012

Non-Love ... The Only Real Problem

I'm learning that the only thing that stops me from feeling good ... is me.  It's not my job, the lack of money, my health, my partner, or my social life that affects my good feelings, but my feelings about those things. And more importantly, my feelings about myself with regards to those things.

I would be the last person in the world to judge you for feeling scared about money, frustrated about your health, or angry at your partner. So please don't hear that you're doing it wrong if you're feeling these things.

In fact, I'd say that allowing ourselves to acknowledge these feelings is the best place to start. But often, that's the tricky part. If you're anything like me, you start suppressing your feelings before you're even aware of them. It's an automatic, mostly unconscious response, a habit we've created to defend against bad feelings. Left suppressed and unacknowledged, discomfort grows. You then might start trying to figure out what you're feeling, why you're feeling it, and start trying to fix it. You might even engage in some technique you've learned to get rid of your negative feelings.

While all of these efforts are well-intentioned, they all smack of the same thing  ... non-love. They say, "I don't like you feeling. Get out of here. You don't feel good." And, underneath it all is, "I don't like you Shelly, when you feel this way. What's wrong with you? Why can't you fix this? Why can't you be happy?" I wasn't aware of this for a long time. It's subtle. But I've noticed with myself and in my work with others, that underneath that first layer of feelings, is a disapproval of ourselves for having them.

Using non-love strategies to get rid of non-love feelings just doesn't work.

Only love works. Only love heals. Only love can transform non-love energy. Maybe loving my angry feelings or my fearful feelings is a stretch. Maybe I can't love myself when I feel stuck or depressed. But I can start with forgiving myself, allowing myself, and just letting myself be. I can be with myself, comfort myself, and wait for that still small voice which says, "It's going to be okay." Because it always comes, eventually, if I just sit with myself and be with myself, right where I am.

So when I say that I'm the only reason I don't feel good, it's because I've learned that beating up on myself, resisting what's happening, and judging it as wrong, is the only real reason for my unhappiness. My unhappiness is merely a symptom of non-love. And while I agree that loving myself, accepting myself, my life or my situation, the way it is, is not always easy, there's freedom and power in knowing I have a choice .... the choice to love, the choice to open to love, the choice to surrender to love, no matter what.

Much, much love and approval to you, wherever you are and whatever you're feeling,

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