Letting Go and Sincere Living

Letting go is an art form. It requires releasing your attachments, and thus, what you want. You have to open yourself up, be vulnerable, patient, and quiet inside. With letting go, you can’t have what you want, but you can have much, much more.

The Toxic Nature of Wanting

When we obsess over goals and wants, we can become blind to the internal conditions we’re in and that we’re trying to avoid them. By letting go, we let in the moment and all the feelings that are a part of it.

When you want something, it isn’t present, and this identified lack becomes a focus and a driving motivation for all action to obtain said desire. Even if you are an ethical person, you still look for a way to meet all your standards for ethics while still obtaining your desire.

Yet, all the while, as you travel to your destination, there is a sense of lack, a sense of things not being right. Maybe when you hit progress goals, then you get a little boost of happiness, but it can easily subside into more dissatisfaction. You want things to be better. There’s still more lack.

So why is this toxic? Because it avoids the present. If you notice how you are in the present, you can see the manic states, the lack of peace, the impatience, the annoyance, the pride, and even the spitefulness towards perceived obstacles in your way. You become embittered and embattled, stressed and straining. You end up hanging your hopes on progress towards a non-present goal, and all this takes up your time as again and again you pursue it. You can even end up basing your worth on how close you are to a goal. This is a toxic place to live in, and no matter how much you pace yourself, at the very least, attachment to a goal leads you out of the present moment, and things are going to fall through the cracks.

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The Connection between Negativity and Depression

NegativeConflict

Negativity towards a conflicting feeling seems like it can keep an inner conflict from getting resolved. Above is an example of two such situations, where negativity shuts down a feeling due to its own priorities, refusing to listen.

Not too long ago, I published an article on the potential connection between inner conflicts and depression. It seems to me, though, that negativity also plays a large role, specifically in suppressing and thus prolonging inner conflicts.

Let’s say that a person is in an inner conflict, where one side of them wants to do one thing, and another side is resisting this direction. If this resistance is ignored, it won’t necessarily go away, but may linger even as choices and decisions are made. Essentially, this practice involves shutting down a side of one’s self that is creating resistance.

But by shutting down any one side of an inner conflict, one may be shutting out whatever those feelings have to say. Even if a feeling ends up being supported by¬†false reasons, that doesn’t mean you can accurately assume that from the start. Until you hear what a feeling has to say, how can you know whether it’s worth listening to or not? Continue reading

The Deep Darkness of Desire

The Darkness of Desire

Like a black hole, Desire tries to consume and destroy what makes it uncomfortable, including your own willpower! Stumbled across him while doing creative visualization.

Loneliness, fear, sorrow… being doubted, questioned, mistrusted, rejected… in pain, powerless, dead inside….¬†tragedy… loss… What do you think about these feelings?

For most of us, myself included, we’d rather not feel these things. And since certain circumstances bring out these feelings in us, it’s only natural to want to change our circumstances so that we have to feel these things as little as possible.

Yet when we’re not willing to feel certain things, we ignore ourselves during our times of greatest need. Our desire to not feel something doesn’t show us how, in our pursuit of something, we trample over our own spirit, the part of ourselves to whom it feels natural to feel those ways. All Desire can see is the goal.

Desire, to me, is the embodiment of ‘the ends justify the means’.

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Impatience

Today I discovered at least one of the major sources of my impatience. There is a force in me that wants to avoid negative situations – physically, emotionally – and is constantly on the lookout for when they might occur. He doesn’t care much about my fancies, or imagination or any of that crap. He just thinks “ok, what’s the next task I need to do in order to avoid humiliation, or physical discomfort, or disappointment…?” and he goes to great lengths, trying to boss me around to get me to do these things. He likes when I have very low self-esteem, because then I don’t get funny, dangerous ideas in my head that might put me in a bad state.

So I took a stand against this rather negative mean guy, and basically argued that

  1. I didn’t have to abuse myself in order to look out for my well-being,
  2. In looking out for my well-being, I could just listen for signals that said “Hey, I’m hungry” or “oh, I’m getting cold” or “I’m feeling uncomfortable”, etc. and just respond to them rather than adopt a plan of some kind to fend off the hunger or discomfort from ever occurring (like: “3 meals a day at precise times, gotta make those portions right! Oh and 8 glasses of water. That’s what experts recommend… gotta do it…”)
  3. If not abusing myself caused those previously repressed parts of me to overwhelm me, and cause me to do crazy things, I would allow this guy to abuse me again. He got excited at this, but I told him I have no intention of ever letting him abuse me. He got the point. Basically, I feel as though if I stop abusing myself I can hear those inner feelings better, and thus respond to them, and know why they might act in unhealthy ways, if they in fact do.

This whole thing strangely resembled the conversation Harry Potter has with Lucius Malfoy at the end of Book 2, when Dobby earns his freedom. This may just be my overactive symbolic imagination, but I feel like there’s a reason why stories resonate with people, and I’m experiencing those reasons in my own little ways. And everyone with little disgruntled negative people inside them can do the same, too! Hurray!