Friday, June 9, 2017

Feelings

Feelings are what is most real about us...
                                           Barbara Muhl (Infinite Way Teacher)


Discouragement comes easily to my psyche. I welcome it with open arms. Once it enters it takes on a life all its own – and every success, every hope, every vision is diminished for the moment.

As I reflect on my life, there have been many disappointments. I remember reading a quote that disappointment brings discouragement and discouragement makes room for depression. This is something to which I thoroughly relate.

It's also something we don't easily embrace or acknowledge in our culture. Happiness is the commodity most pushed on us. Images in the mass media – happy, smiling faces. Perhaps there are some of us who fit that model. During my work as a child therapist I recall having a group of children make a collage of feelings using magazine photos. One little boy wisely commented: “Gosh, all the people in these magazines are happy.” That was my last use of magazines for collages.

Hopefully, we have each experienced moments of happy, and I add, hopefully, we have also experienced moments of sadness, discouragement, hurt. We are a canvas of multiple feelings – and embracing each with the honor and validation they deserve is what makes us not only whole --- but paves the way for empathy toward others.

My goal has never been one of happiness but one of gentle peace, comfort and satisfaction with each moment and the ability to welcome all feelings that visit me. Today, it happens to be discouragement...and it's okay as I welcome it with kindness and compassion.

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Rumi says the above best in his poem:

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Jellaludin Rumi,

translation by Coleman Barks

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