Resisting what I experience is escaping what I am?

Contribution made by Isabel Hernandez Negrin. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

In my life, I have great amounts of emotions and feelings, such as anger, sadness, fear, happiness, shame, jealousy, envy, melancholy, pointlessness, etc. We consider that many of those feelings are negative because they make us feel bad. We react by trying to get away from them as soon as possible, even though we don’t know how from where they come from or how to confront them. I just want them to disappear, to run from them. I resist to what I’m feeling. But it’s like wanting to get away from my own shadow. It does exist, because I exist. It’s like, let’s say, my shadow and I are part of the same phenomena. So wanting to escape my shadow is impossible, wanting to get away from my feelings is like wanting to rum from myself, and that’s, also, impossible.

Since we try to fix everything is our minds, and our minds chop everything in small pieces to analyze later, we treat those discomforts as if they are “things” that are invading me. As if they are a dress that I wear and take off when I don’t like it anymore but they are not related to me, as if they are things separate from me. I know it sounds weird, but it’s like that.

However, there’s not a “me” separated from my sadness. I am that sadness and it’s all that there is. Is my mind, my thoughts, that separates me from it; it gives it a name and says, “I don’t like feeling like this.” My mind’s action is what makes the illusion of separation. When I deeply comprehend that I’m not separated from my experience, I stop resisting it and I start living in a continuous state of openness to it. My resistance generates a great amount of emotions (i.e. anger, resentment, envy, hate, etc.) and behaviors (aggressiveness, violence, defense of my ideas, etc.) that have a profound impact on my relationships with others. Therefore, it’s my responsibility to deal with said resistance and its actions, since they have the potential of being very destructive for others.

But how can I stop resisting my feelings? Well, don’t. Let’s make an example of something maybe you’ve lived. Let’s say you have a headache. There are two things you can do: fight the pain and end up angry, or don’t fight your feelings; let the anger go, feel your body and relax, and let it follow its course. If I don’t oppose my feelings, I stop resisting them. The pain is mine, it’s I, it didn’t come from somewhere else; it came from me.

We have a multitude of situations like the previous one throughout the day, on a higher or lower degree. If you pay attention to them without fighting them, they will disappear quickly. You fighting them are what gives them energy and let them last in the form of a discomfort.

Try it. When you’re feeling anger, discomfort, anxiety or even a headache, stop for a few minutes and watch your attitude. Maybe you’re trying to run from something. A boss that bullies you, a great work pressure, an angry client, your boy/girlfriend is complaining about something, you feel overwhelmed… Let go of that combative attitude, it will only make you feel worse and take energy from you, and then you won’t be able to give a logical and friendly response to yourself.