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choosing loveWhen we forgive our partner for being ego identified and for everything that comes with that, such as anger, unkindness, manipulation, judgment, or blame, that allows us to stay in Essence, which is its own reward and why forgiveness is actually not so hard to do. It feels good to forgive because goodness and Essence feel good. Isn’t it interesting how life rewards us for goodness, while following the ego feels really bad? Life has a built-in self-correcting mechanism!

Without forgiveness, we jump into ego identification and try to prove our partner wrong and ourselves right. Forgiveness, on the other hand, allows us to accept that our partner is in ego identification and to love him or her anyway, and this is what allows our partner to drop into Essence and out of the ego. Forgiveness allows us to stay in Essence, and it brings our partner into Essence.
Forgiving ourselves is just as important, for the same reason. To forgive yourself for being ego identified and all that comes with it requires seeing that you are ego identified, and this breaks the spell of ego identification. As soon as you see you are ego identified, you are outside of it and you have some choice—to either reidentify with the ego or not. At this point, you can decide to stop trying to defend your position. Instead, you see that your position was, in fact, the ego’s position and not yours at all! You forgive yourself for being human, and that forgiveness allows you to experience Essence.

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Being with Stressful Feelings

from stress to stillnessIn addition to investigating a particular feeling by asking yourself what you just said to yourself to create that feeling, you may need to take some time to be with a feeling to find out more about it and to calm it down. When the same types of feelings come up repeatedly, that means we need to spend some time with them.
Many of our feelings come from the hurt child that lives within us in our unconscious, and they come up whenever something triggers that emotional complex in the unconscious. Such feelings are healed by being with them with acceptance and curiosity, just as a good and loving parent might be with a hurt child. Without such a relationship to these feelings, they’ll continue to be triggered and are likely to be reinforced and even strengthened rather than healed, as we act them out in the usual dysfunctional ways.
Just as children need a patient, attentive, loving, and compassionate parent to soothe them when they are hurting, our feelings need us to listen to them patiently, compassionately, and lovingly. To heal and evolve, our feelings need us to just sit with them quietly, experience them, accept them, listen to them, and send love to them. This acceptance and receptivity toward feelings is often provided by a therapist or other healer or even a very good friend. But in many cases, we can provide this for ourselves.

Can Negative Emotions Be Helpful Guides in One's Life?

Someone wrote me recently and asked some very good questions about negative emotions, so I'm sharing my answer in this blogpost.
Question: I have some confusion about the role of negative emotions. On the one hand, it seems that negative emotions aren't good guides in life, and it is preferable to move through life from an inner wisdom, from what we could call Heart wisdom. On the other hand, so-called negative emotions seem to play an important part in my interacting with others.
The other day I was driving my car, and I got to a bend and suddenly felt a surge of fear, as I clearly was going a bit too fast. I listened to the fear and slowed down. I believe it was good to experience the negative emotion, as it contributed to warning me and helped with the survival of this body and character.
Another example is that I viewed a property to rent and left feeling uncomfortable after talking to the landlord, but I rented it anyway. Three months later, I discovered that the landlord had opened my mail, entered the property when I was absent, and was hostile. It became so distressing that I had to move. Once again, it would have been useful if I had listened to that negative emotion initially.
On another occasion, I didn't listen to anger when people took advantage of me. I saw anger as a negative emotion and not a good guide. Those people continued to take advantage of me. One day I allowed the anger to express itself, and I stated firmly and confidently to those people that their actions were unacceptable. Afterwards, their behaviors stopped. I expressed my needs, and the angry energy gave me strength. Of course, I had to direct the energy constructively. But the “negative emotion” was actually helpful to me.
I'm confused. How do I decide which negative emotion is actually helpful and which isn't? It seems to me that a negative emotion that serves me is more like a positive emotion.

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