I attended a mindfulness session last weekend. During the session we did an exercise where we were supposed to draw a circle, place things we liked about ourselves within the circle, things we didn’t like about ourselves outside the circle, and things we were beginning to like about ourselves on the lines of the circle. A couple days later I had an epiphany! I realized all the things I don’t like about myself are, as with most people, things I consider negative. However, I realized every time I’m angry, frustrated, irritated, etc., that is really just a clue that I feel triggered. Now, we all realize this but I thought about it further and realized when I’m triggered, I feel like I’m being told I’m wrong or there is something wrong with me/how I do things/how I think/how I act. I figure this is probably true for a lot of other people too.
What if, instead of getting upset about getting angry, we thought about whether we feel like we are being asked to be someone we don’t want to become. After all, when we are born, we are such perfect beings and I feel like we have incredible insight. Yet, usually, society and our families tell us we need to change, act differently, think more like them, conform, fit ourselves into the boxes which have been designed for us. I think it is probably pretty healthy to be upset, angry, frustrated, and irritable about being put into a box that isn’t ours.
Even before the mindfulness session, I had decided I shall live a life of laughter, love, and joy. Since the realization of how anger is a sign I’m feeling ignored or dismissed, in some way, I’ve found a lightness I hadn’t even realized I was missing. I feel child-like in the way I see the world around me. I am looking at all my belief systems and I am willing to change all my perceptions. I’m actually having quite a bit of fun looking at my perceptions of the world, which expectations I have been fulfilling, and which things I wish to continue doing in life and which I wish to change. I’m taking a playful attitude with all these changes and enjoying the process.
What would life look like if you looked at your life and chose to make it everything you ever wanted, letting go of everyone else’s expectations? Notice the next time you feel any of the feelings you consider negative, do you feel pressured to conform in some way? Do you feel like you are being judged? Maybe the negative emotion is an indicator you, too,are being asked to bottle, give up, or change some aspect of yourself.