Emotional Balance

Emotional balance has been unfolding in my life for 50 years.  One of the biggest hurdles has been letting go of the belief that my emotions define me; that I am what I am currently feeling.  I now define emotion as: e-motion = energy in motion.  When I am experiencing a specific emotion, I realize that it is energy moving through my entire being.  It is energy that has been given a name such as happiness, sorrow, anger, etc.  Remembering this helps me release judgement about the nature of that energy.  Energy is energy; it is neither good nor bad; it just is.

As practices for the body and mind (yoga, meditation, healthy eating, exercise, fresh air, loving friends, etc.) have become consistent in my life, my emotions have become more consistent as well.  For the most part, my emotions fit what I am experiencing in the moment.  When each of my parents died, I was deeply sad and grieved.  I was also profoundly grateful that I was with them in their transitions. I was proud to be their daughter. I was also grateful for everything they had given me over the years.  So many emotions flowed during those times and I felt them all. Intense and fulfilling all at once.

In releasing judgement, I view these experiences in terms of intensity.  Seldom is overwhelming happiness described as bad, yet it is every bit as intense as sorrow and can be just as exhausting.  My granddaughter’s birth was so intensely joyful that there were times I didn’t sleep very well.  There were times when I quietly cried for happy.  Intense.

On the other end of the spectrum, I choose not to take in news about things like child abuse because the depth of anger I feel on behalf of these innocents is almost frightening to me.  But is anger always “bad?”  Not in my opinion, because there are many people who have been inspired to acts of bravery because of the anger that arises within them.  Anger and frustration with things I had allowed or created in my life have given me the courage to make very difficult changes.  Intense.

Intensity is seldom comfortable, which is why these energies are judged as bad or unhealthy.  The key, is – guess what? – balance!  It makes more sense to realize that imbalance in the emotional body creates confusion and can be destructive than to set the goal of never feeling these things.  When I feel angry, can I allow myself to be in it in a way that leads me to action, forgiveness or compassion?  If so, I will quickly return to peace and tranquility.  My actions will be appropriate to the situation and to my desire and intention to live lovingly and compassionately.  It is when I avoid and stuff or hide my feelings that my behavior becomes inappropriate and possibly destructive.

Balance is the key. Here are a few reasonable goals:  Feel without being thrown against the wall by the intensity of emotions. Be willing to sit with the discomfort in order to remember that energy in motion does not define me; it is something you are experiencing in the moment.  It will diminish, shift, transform because that is the nature of energy.  Embrace the experience for what it is:  a human experience that does not change or define your True Self, a spiritual being. Be patient and remember that it takes time and maturity to come into this awareness in every aspect of your being: physical, mental, emotional.  You don’t have to change everything at once.  You don’t have to fight yourself and judge yourself.  You do not have to be perfect.  You can be in this moment, experience it, and be all that you are.  You can unfold into True Self as naturally as a healthy tree matures and produces perfect fruit.

One of my favorite responses to myself when I explode into emotional intensity and catch myself in the midst of it is:    Well, Catherine Ann, welcome to the human race!

 

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Perfection – Good Luck With That!

A book could be written about where this idea of being perfect originates but let’s just deal with what is in this moment. I have been involved in countless conversations over the past forty years about how to be a better person, how to meet some standard that has been set, how to please God, gain God’s favor, etc. I began looking into myself at a relatively young age. The Judeo-Christian standard set for me left me sad, frustrated and extremely good at judging myself. All of this self-flagellation brought little lasting change and an ongoing battle with low level depression. Ultimately, I became a bible teacher and was fortunate to receive solid training in how to study and interpret the bible. Seeing the importance of things like historical context and word studies began to set me free.

For example, an Old Testament verse commands that a man must not wear women’s clothing. When that was spoken and recorded, everyone wore the equivalent of a dress! This historical data makes it necessary to look further and interpret context as well as multiple references. There are no other such admonitions, by the way, so the verse is best considered metaphorically.

Word study absolutely began to set me free from this idea of perfection. The meaning of the word “perfection” as used in the New Testament of the Christian bible is quite far from what we mean by perfection today. Jesus said we were to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. OK, I’m done then because that will never happen if I am to meet today’s standard of perfection. When properly translated and understood, the biblical use of this word means to fulfill our purpose, to mature into the fullness of our true nature. For example, an apple tree produces fruit once it has matured. When it produces fruit, it is fulfilling its nature – which is to produce apples – and that is perfect. A healthy tree produces healthy fruit. An unhealthy tree produces unhealthy fruit or none at all.

Now hope arises in me! Being perfect as a human being means to mature, to grow up and live a healthy life! It means to find out who I am, to recognize my True Self and live from my true nature! The Dalai Lama says we are created for happiness so, as I mature, I learn what makes me happy or what brings inner contentment and joy and I do that all the time! This is beginning to sound like fun.

God is Love. God loves me. Divine Love brings me into being. I am Love manifested in human form. Perfection or maturity is recognizing and believing that. Relax, Catherine Ann, be what you are. There is nothing more perfect that that! Everything exists in the wholeness and oneness of the Divine.

In the Oneness of All That Is, I am Whole.

In the Wholeness of All That Is, I am One.