We are living in very challenging times. Many people are experiencing a personal crisis due to economic misfortune. Others are dealing with divorce, health problems, or have suffered an injustice at the hands of another. Some have experienced losses in more than one area. If you are one of these people, you can have the feeling that the proverbial rug has been pulled out from underneath you. When you feel backed into a corner, there is only one thing you can do. Be still.
At this point, it’s very easy to be overwhelmed with feelings of fear, anger, despair, and bitterness. If you feel this way, first of all, let yourself. Pretending you have to hold it all together—pretending you don’t have certain feelings because they are “bad” or inappropriate is not productive. In the stillness, let yourself have those feelings. Be okay with them. You are human, and human beings FEEL things. You are not your feelings anyway. You are the awareness, the essence behind your feelings.
Once you have experienced the feelings, let them go. They may come back again, but just keep letting them go every time. Feel them, let them go—feel them, let them go. Acknowledge what has happened to you. Accept how it makes you feel. Then let go.
Letting go simply means you have decided not to allow destructive feelings to have control over you. They may hang around for a long time trying to coax you back. When this happens, just trust the process and know that you are not a slave to your feelings. It is the other way around. Feelings should be acknowledged, but they do not define you, nor do they have to control you. You decide whether or not a particular feeling or emotion serves your best interest. If it doesn’t, let it go.
Each time you let go, pray a silent prayer for help. Ask to be liberated from the destructive feeling. Ask for help to see clearly the next best step to take. Whatever you do, do not ever believe that you are alone in this process. You have the power of the universe at your command if you would only ask. So ask, believing you will get the assistance you need.
If there is ever a time to put blinders on so you can’t look back, this is it. This is not denial, it is acceptance. You have already acknowledged your feelings and perhaps analyzed what, if anything, you could have done differently. Letting go, means you are willing to accept something new and different in your life. A part of your life is over now; something new and better is on the horizon. Move forward. It takes courage to do this, but deep inside you have a knowing. Trust that knowing.
This is also the time to count the blessings you do have. Whatever is going right, whatever is still not broken, whoever is still by your side, remember these things or these people now and keep them continuously in your thoughts.
Being grateful can be hard when it is so tempting to wallow in bitterness and anger. But bitterness and anger are addictive and destructive. While you don’t want to judge yourself for having these feelings, if you allow them to take up residence inside, they can harden your heart to the point you are no longer receptive to your inner voice of truth and peace. So be vigilant and resolve to keep letting these feelings go.
As we overcome hard times, we develop our spiritual muscle as well as our wisdom. Wisdom comes as we apply the knowledge we have to the incidences that occur in our life. Knowledge is gained through learning, but wisdom is gained through experience. Good and bad times offer us the opportunity to turn knowledge into wisdom. Bad times just make it more challenging.
Your hard-earned wisdom will bring you joy, and joy runs deeper than happiness, which by comparison is superficial. Joy is the by-product of an underlying calm spirit that knows that no matter what happens nothing can shake it because it is eternal.
Below is a formula for dealing with inner turmoil due to difficult situations beyond your control. At first glance, it may look simplistic, but it isn’t. If you can actually implement some or all of these suggestions, you can expect miraculous changes in your life.
Rx for Inner Peace:
- Be Still.
- Allow yourself to have whatever feelings come up.
- Do not judge yourself for what you are feeling.
- Practice seeing yourself as separate from your feelings.
- Let destructive feelings go. Close your eyes and imagine them floating out of your body through the top of your head.
- When the same feelings return, repeat the above steps as many times as necessary.
- Ask spirit for guidance.
- Expect an answer.
- Trust your knowing.
- List the people and things you have to be grateful for. Dwell on this list daily.
- Embrace what is, even as you know you may want to improve it.
- Resist the urge to isolate. Reach out to your friends and community.
- Don’t look back. Do not fall into the "if only" trap. (But if you do, don’t judge yourself for it, just recognize it and then let it go.)
- Move forward. Take action in the direction of the new life that presents itself to you now.
- Challenge the limits of your beliefs. What belief do you hold deep inside that needs to be evolved?