Monday, January 9, 2012

Tiny Buddha book discussion: Day 1

"Of all the burdens I've carried around, the heaviest was the belief that I was wrong to be hurting---that enlightened people felt pain like a raindrop on their shoe, whereas I let it hit me like a self-contained tsunami because I was tragically weak. I felt certain I had to either hide or package myself in smiles and lies---otherwise I'd expose the ugliest flaw in my character. I've come to realize that the only mistake when it comes to pain is to assume life shouldn't involve it and that pain often starts to dull when I decide to embrace it, acknowledge it, and grow from it. Sadness, fear, disgust, and even anger can make the world a better place if we find the strength to channel them toward something good. 

Why is there suffering in the world? Because there is---the more important question is: what good can we do for ourselves and each other knowing that pain to be inevitable?"

I love this excerpt and it really resonates with me a lot. If you read my latest Tiny Buddha post, you'll see that I start it off by saying that I'm a very emotional person who feels things about ten times more intensely than the "average person." Several people have been writing me saying that they're very emotional too, so that definitely made me feel less alone.

On the other hand, a few people have said that simple breathing exercises can change how you feel and that the only person making you feel the way you do is you. I agree with that to a certain extent, but not completely. Like Lori said in the excerpt above, no one should assume that they're wrong to be hurting. In other words, they shouldn't feel like it's all their fault and they're bringing it upon themselves. When I'm upset, I can very rarely just take a few deep breaths and then be happy as a clam. I need to let myself go through it and feel it and understand it all. Because pain is inevitable. We all feel it. Even those people who say "just breathe and choose to be happy instead."

And on the part about channeling negative emotions into something good, I have always done that by writing. But there are an endless number of ways to channel your pain into something good. Art, music, sports, the list could go on and on. I keep a journal, I write lyrics, and of course, I have this blog. Whenever I need to get something out in front of me, I just start writing. That's my way of channeling negative energy into something I can be proud of.

I still make the mistake of hiding my emotions sometimes. I still find myself smothering my pain in ice cream and chick flicks sometimes too. But whenever that happens, I just have to remind myself that that pain will continue to sit inside of me until I acknowledge it. So I've gotten better at admitting my true feelings to myself. If I could just get better at communicating, I would be good to go...

<3 Madison

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