One thing which drive spikes into my heart is how the language of spiritual traditions have been co-opted into this self help jargon. Spiritual texts are chopped up into bite sized pieces and presented in such a way as to make truth a commodity, something to be consumed, a marketable product that fulfils a need or a fix.
I have found quite prevalent this need to project an aura of ourselves that masks what we are really feeling. I am not sure as a culture at least here in America we celebrate our full range of emotions. We do not like to acknowledge our vulnerability, our anger, our sadness. We are are often in denial of a lot and we hide behind labels and empty actions as a sort of shield. At time we can find quick emotional satisfaction by telling ourself well worn platitudes that all is love, that in the end it will All work out etc
It took me a lot of help from family, loved ones, and a therapist for a brief period of time, to be able to be sad if I am sad and to be happy if I am such.Once I accepted this feeling and that it was a passion clouf. It opened up a lot of the spiritual literature to me in ways I would have never imagined. I think as hard as the ramifications of spiritual practice it has done a lot in that its does away with the need to attach ourselves to happiness or joy, and just to accept whatever we are given in the moment and not hold onto it with a death grip.
When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable.
To that end here is this really cool article called: There is Nothing Wrong with Negativity.
When Pema Chodron was Deirdre Blomfield-Brown she said, “There is nothing wrong with negativity.” Poet David Whyte writes, “Deirdre saw her depression as a thing in itself, like a mountain or a cloud, with its own life, its own necessities, and therefore worthy of respect, more like a doorway than an obstacle. It was a path to follow, not an error she made that she should eliminate.”
As one who reads Pema often and as one who habitually embarks on a “flight to the light,” I’ve learned there is no shame in darkness. It’s in darkness where we feel safe to explore the parts of ourselves we may hide in the glare of the light of day. Maybe, it’s why I like when the days grow shorter and the sun rests lower in the sky. There’s more time for darkness, reflection and tears. I’m often struck at how quickly people apologize for crying and see their sadness and darkness as a beast to be tamed.
Why fake some happy version of yourself or why wrap yourself in cynicism in order to shield yourself from arrows if your heart is breaking and life is kicking you hard? What good does this do in the world?
- The Spiritual Power of Eckhart Tolle (Interview) (nondualityamerica.wordpress.com)