The next time you feel yourself starting to become frustrated, angry or scared, do your best to confirm this vital insight: Negative emotions cannot exist without having something to blame for their punishing presence.
The clearer for yourself you can make this spiritual fact — about the dualistic nature of spiritual weakness — the better prepared you’ll be to take your next step toward higher spiritual strength. Your discovery leads you to this totally new action. Whatever it takes, don’t express that surfacing irritation by naming or blaming anything outside of you as being its cause.
Even if you have to remove yourself physically from the developing situation, then do it. Find some way to temporarily isolate yourself — along with your smoldering emotional state. Please note: Isolate yourself along with your agitation.
If it helps to make what appears to be a bitter pill taste better, think of these inner-trials as the pause that spiritually strengthens, for a new strength is exactly what you’ll win for yourself each time you elect to work with this step.
Voluntarily isolating yourself along with your irritated thoughts and feelings doesn’t mean cutting them off; nor does it mean that you should pretend that you’re not on fire. Suppression of these weak inner states is just the opposite of angrily expressing them, and every bit as harmful. Don’t express — or suppress — any negative state. Besides, either one of these opposite approaches always produces the same results; nothing changes except for what’s being blamed. Choosing to not blame lifts you above both of these losing choices.
Your conscious non-action turns you into the objective witness of what are your own superheated emotions. And from the safety of this higher awareness you see about yourself what you couldn’t see before because of all the inner fire and smoke. Your discoveries empower you to cancel the real cause of your inner combustibility. Not only is your self-command restored, but it’s heightened. Each discovery of an unseen weakness heralds the coming of a greater spiritual strength.
Listen in to an enlightening and entertaining spiritual story about a young woman who gets carried away with “dance partners” (thoughts and feelings) that don’t have her best interests at heart. After being “mugged” three times, she tells one more potential partner, “thanks, but I think I’ll sit this one out.”
Have you ever seen rage in yourself? Generally, we don’t want to see certain states within us because we’ve been conditioned to think of them as being morally “wrong” for us. We don’t understand that these dark states are part of an interior world that can be changed when the light of awareness is shined upon them.
What happens when we see things about ourselves that we don’t want to see?
In order to avoid looking at itself, the mind will seize on the rage it has seen, and it will try to explain it. It will take the initial darkness, the negative energy, and because it seems to be basically out of control, the mind will try to make of it something that it can deal with. When we live from a nature that does not want to see its “self,” then there’s no chance that this level of self, this nature, can ever change. When we hide from ourselves the way we feel, the only thing that we’re accomplishing is the assurance that these feelings will return again… only more of them! It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: we condemn and doom ourselves by being afraid of the darkness in us. We have one thing to do with our own states, and that is to see them as they are, to catch the part of us that’s afraid of being what we’ve just seen, and to stop trying to hide anything anymore… because we’re on this earth to learn.
As with all that exists, negative states are created to be transformed; part of their purpose within us is to be changed into something new and true. Everything that happens within us is all part of this beautiful process: anything that we are willing to bring into the light of ourselves will be changed by the light we bring it into.
So instead of going along with the answers that you give yourself for why you feel the way you do, and instead of making excuses, rationales, or justifications for your state (which are the mind’s way of trying to deflect the state) — don’t hide it. Just simply see it. If you don’t explain yourself to yourself, then all that’s left is yourself and your awareness of it. You’re not talking to yourself anymore about what you see. There’s just seeing. Don’t hide anymore. There is something beautiful that doesn’t have fear in it that wants to touch you. Its touch is what changes us. We cannot change ourselves in a truly whole and meaningful way. Our tired old excuses for these still-in-the-dark parts of us are a part of the darkness itself, which is why they change nothing real. Stop negotiating with negative states. Bring that dark thought or emotion into the light of your awareness, and allow higher awareness to do what it is intended to do, which is to change it, the moment, and you.