Often times when there’s inner or outer turmoil, we look to self-help books, fall back into old unproductive habits, or seek out a new spiritual practice.
Rarely do we look inward. We don’t take the time to really feel the crush of our emotions, or to watch our reactions.
Almost never do we have the patience to wait out the storm.
There are two reasons why we avoid going within:
1. Because conflict is painful.
2. We don’t trust that there is an ever-present reservoir of love, compassion, and joy within us.
What does vibration have to do with it?
The vibration of conflict, whether it’s an argument with your teenager or having to sit in heavy traffic, is painful as it moves through your body.
The natural tendency towards pain is to remove yourself from it. When we are unconscious, we remove ourselves from emotional, psychological, or physical pain by either pretending it isn’t happening or by telling a story about it.
For example: Imagine that it’s Christmas Eve and you still have three more gifts to buy. Unfortunately the mall is packed which adds to your anxiety. So what do you do, you start complaining to yourself in your mind. “Why are there so many people here? Why are there only 2 clerks available on Christmas Eve?” OR you call your friend and start complaining to her.
You may notice that you continue to complain, long after you’ve left the mall, making yourself even more anxious.
Ironically trying to avoid the pain compounds it. That is, rather than allowing the vibration of your anxiety to move through you, you wind up perpetuating it with the story.
Using conflict for spiritual enlightenment
You have the power to watch your thoughts and your emotions.
You can know when the mind is chattering away, and you can know when you are feeling angry or happy. Try it: what are you feeling right now? What does your mind say about what you are reading? Does it agree? Does it disagree?
YOU are in there, watching everything. Sometimes you forget about yourself and become lost in the situation, the thought, or the emotion. It happens to everyone.
The key is to use the intensity of the thoughts and feelings to become more present.
Rather than try and remove yourself, pay attention and be curious about what is going on inside of you. Become an explorer of self.
Remember the YOU that is watching everything is perfect, whole, and complete. Like the sun it is ever-present during the storm.
If you wait long enough this YOU will be revealed.
Photo Credit: Ben White