Tuesday, April 15, 2014

When Things Feel Wrong

“When you lose yourself, even though you have difficulty, there is no problem whatsoever.”
Shunryu Suzuki

When things feel wrong, when I get depressed or afraid for no reason, I am glad that I have this blog.  I have often mentioned its healing properties.  There are few things more effective than taking action when one’s mind feels beset by fear or anxiety.  I’ve been in a battle for my mind for the last twelve hours or so.  At points I was fine, even quite peaceful and happy.  Then the negative feelings resurfaced.  
Nothing is really wrong.  Actually, there are some things that are problematic, but those aren’t the things that are bothering me.  What’s bothering me is imaginary.  What’s bothering me is something I’ve made up in my head.  It’s not real.  Even if it were real, I’d still work towards my house on the beach.  I wouldn’t stop.
In order to work towards my house on the beach, I need to do the following:
·      Study
·      Read
·      Save money
·      Read books on personal financial growth
·      Pray
·      Exercise
·      Write blogs
·      Do my jobs well
·      Give thanks
·      Drink water
·      Eat
·      Smile
·      Deal with my fear
·      Focus on my inner body
·      Listen to uplifting music or audio books
·      Repeat key phrases as reminders.  Mine is “House on the beach.”
·      Remember that the purpose of all battles is to have a victory.  In other words, there may be a lesson I’m supposed to learn through this particular battle.

The important thing now is to keep doing my work and to keep my eyes focused on my goals. Whatever I’m going through will pass. 
One of the advantages of negative feelings, like sadness or fear, is that I usually stay more focused on my work.  I recognize the value of staying focused and getting things done.  In fact, there’s a joy in it, because it keeps my mind off my fears and it keeps me productive.  Whenever I have been through great difficulties, it has often been action that has relieved my pressure.  I am grateful for these blogs. 
I’m also grateful for my health.  Being physically well allows me to work.  I am truly blessed.  I’m grateful for all the opportunities that are out there.  I just have to take them.  I just have to take one of them.  I’m grateful that I slept well last night.
Here’s the thing.  Sometimes emotions don’t matter.  Yes, they can be indicators of something that is genuinely wrong, but most of the time they are just feelings.  Here’s what I understand about feelings:
·      They are just feelings.  They aren’t right or wrong.
·      Though they often do, they don’t have to, nor should they, control our actions.
·      It takes courage to overcome the negative ones.  Courage means recognizing that others need me and that I have a purpose in life and that I don’t have the time, need or luxury to fight unnecessary battles.
·      It takes training.  As a society, we have not disciplined our minds.  So when my mind wants to take over in unhealthy ways, I have to train it like a pet or a small child.
·      Recognizing and acknowledging feelings is 90% of the battle.  Sometimes we have to recognize that we are afraid of the fight, or afraid of being sad or even afraid of being afraid.
·      It sometimes helps to fight feelings with facts.  For example, I have been sad and afraid before, but it has never lasted.  Eventually, usually sooner than later, I come out of it.  That is a fact.
·      It’s okay to acknowledge the feelings of fear, sadness or other negative emotions, if they come back in the midst of an inner battle.  By acknowledging them, I accord them respect.  If I try to run from them, they will chase after me like a hungry dog and they will overpower me.

Because I love myself, I’m going to do two things.  I’m going to finish this blog so I can go to work and I’m going to conduct my day in a calm and peaceful manner.  As I said, I am grateful, extremely grateful, for so many things, especially the ability to Get Started and Keep Going.  Even though things feel wrong, it doesn’t mean they are.