Maria Jesus Marin Lopez
Learning the Language of Emotions
Love, sadness and happiness are not good or bad – they are just energies that we feel. We all need to feel the energy of our emotions because we are alive. If we did not feel anything, we would not be alive. From a spiritual point of view, It’s important that we feel anger, compassion, love or sadness, because they are all teachers. If I judge the teacher, then I am not learning. If I want only one teacher, then I am not learning everything that I need to learn. I feel very strongly that it is not these energies that make us do – destructive or constructive – things but that it is we who choose to do these things. It is my own doing that makes me either punch someone in the face or establish a healthy boundary.’ So I would like to clean up the name of anger and the name of love, because we are constantly putting unreal labels on these emotions. These labels are the result of our own perceptions. Anger does not make us violent – that is our own doing because of how we relate to that energy. In the same way, love does not turn us into a doormat. We do that to ourselves. The essence of all these emotions is that they are here to help us – to feel them and to learn from them. They are not here to be against us. That is our doing.
Releasing Our Judgement of the ‘Negative’ Emotions
We judge what we call the negative emotions because we think we feel these emotions overpower us. We don’t want sadness, grief, anger, but the truth is that by not wanting them, we are judging them and projecting our biases onto them. If, for example, my mother suffers from depression and I therefore feel abandoned, I then blame this aspect of my life on sadness. Or if I have a very angry father, I judge the anger that influences him. Anger and sadness are here to show us something about ourselves. If I am angry and I punch somebody, it is not the anger that makes me do this. I am choosing to use the energy of anger to punch somebody. In the moment of anger, I have a choice: either I can punch the person in the face, or I can tell the person that I don’t like the way he or she is disrespecting me. I work with the energy of anger because it is telling me to do something, but how I deal with that energy is my choice. The same could be said for the energy of love. Love does not ask me to be a doormat – I choose to do that myself. Love also does not ask me to be everything to everybody and then be absolutely exhausted. I may do that in the name of love, but it is not the true nature of love. Love means being kind to ourselves, too. Only when we are kind to ourselves can we be kind to others.
The thing about the human experience is that we want to experience and feel all the different flavors. It’s like trying different tastes: if you have sweet and sour, you react differently from when you try something salty. It’s not that the flavor of sweet and sour is good or bad because of its particular mix – it’s just a different flavor. In the same way, we can only achieve happiness when we are centred within all the flavors of life. Happiness is not about feeling joy all the time. Happiness is about being able to be in the energy of sadness – or any other emotion – knowing that it is what it is. Then we learn whatever we are meant to learn from it, and it passes.
The Positive Side of Anger
We can also use and experience anger in different ways, because when we let it in, then we can try to figure out what gift it is bringing us. How can one person trigger so much anger in another? Those who trigger our anger are not the bearers of that anger, because the anger is within us. They are simply showing us what is within us.
An interesting thing to do is to try to be thankful for your anger and see how that feels. Remember that anger cannot make you do anything without your consent, but you can let it in so that you can understand what it is trying to teach you. Anger that holds or judges an image equals destructiveness, but anger can also equal constructiveness. So be thankful for the positive – the constructive – side of anger.
Ask yourself: what would be the positive counterpart of anger? We have anger and we have passion, and they are actually the same thing because they share the same vibration. So if we are blocking anger, we are blocking passion. Depression and passion are also strongly linked because depression is anger turned inward upon ourselves. When we are not expressing our passion for life, then depression sets in. One possible way of getting more comfortable with anger is to try to work more with the energy of passion. Passion and anger are both very active energies. If you own your anger, you can be more constructive in your communication while still experiencing anger. So instead of judging it, take ownership of it, and then you will be able to feel comfortable with it. It is great, for example, to be able to say without projecting, ‘OK, I feel anger today.’ In my own experience, I’ve found that when I acknowledge the energy, I can then take ownership of it. At that point, the intensity of the anger disappears. But if I repress my anger and I don’t want to really experience it, and if someone then does something that annoys me, I may project my anger outwards by reacting. So if I were to be able to say, ‘You know, I am not in a good mood today’ – if I am able to get my real feelings out there, then that is a great thing because it releases the tension of the emotion, and then I can have a better day. There’s no harm in acknowledging your feelings out loud, and by doing this, you are being honest. It’s important to be emotionally honest, especially with the people who are close to us, because they are the ones who receive the brunt of our emotions. So allow yourself to be yourself without judgement.
Remember also that you are not responsible for other people’s emotions and feelings. Allow others to go through what they are going through, but don’t feel that you have to take it on board. We can meet in a place of integrity once we become aware of what is happening, and this allows everyone to be themselves without judgement. The same thing is true when it comes to helping people. In my own life, if I can help my friends, I will help; and if I cannot help, then I won’t . In the same way, if I need help and someone can help me, then great; but if they can’t, then that’s OK, too.
We have the right to be angry, and we are going to explore how to become friends with our anger. The power of anger, when it is constructive, can be very positive. When we judge our anger as being bad, we are depriving ourselves of life force that could be used in a constructive way.
Anger can mean ‘take right action’. When you feel anger, you have to do something to make a change. That’s what anger is about. When you learn to use that anger in a negative way, that’s when it becomes destructive. That’s not the nature of anger. The nature of anger is constructive. Anger says there is something wrong, something unfair, something unjust … take action – make a change. Every time you feel that impulse and you feel you should do something but you don’t because of what people will say … excuse you. You are disempowering yourself. Act in a productive way. If you feel that an energy does not match your energy, then leave that situation – go. You are responsible for your own safety. If you don’t feel safe in the company of some person or group, remove yourself from that situation. These energies need to flow through us in a positive way. In the same way that fear can flow positively, so can anger, sadness, grief – you name it. It’s a continuous process. You’ll never stop learning with anger, just as you’ll never stop learning with fear, with sadness, with grief, because every time you deal with these things, you become more empowered, more of who you are. The whole process becomes faster and you end up dealing with these energies in such a way that they start to help you. They are actually supporting who you are. At that point, you start to live your life in an amazing way. You flow with life, and life flows through you. You can choose life or you can choose death – ‘life’ meaning being and becoming empowered, being who you are, and ‘death’ meaning being lost or stuck.
There was a situation in my life at one point that was causing me to feel rage. When I felt this rage gathering, I thought, ‘Oh, my God!, I am sure everyone can see the rage that I’m feeling.’ So I thought, ‘OK, I feel rage, and I have to just go with it because it’s what I’m experiencing right now. If I feel rage, then there is a reason why I’m feeling it. I’m not being destructive towards anybody – I just have this energy boiling inside of me. I am feeling the pure energy of rage, and my mind doesn’t really need to understand because I’m not engaging my mind – I am just working with the energy.’
I was doing a meditation one morning soon after that, and I got the message to surrender into anger. So I surrendered deep into the anger, and it was beautiful. At first, I had such a resistance when I heard that – I thought, ‘I’m not surrendering to anger!’ … but I went deep, deep, deep into the anger, and the energy underneath it was beautiful. I felt, ‘OK, I can really use this. I’m not judging my anger, and I’m not judging my rage. It’s actually a beautiful energy that is here to tell me that there is a situation in my life where I really need to speak up. That’s the real issue. There is something in my life for which I need to take action, and I’m afraid because I feel that if I really say what I have to say, it will disrupt things. That’s what’s holding me back, and that’s what I’m really angry about. This is an opportunity for me to be empowered with someone, but the courage is not really manifesting because of my fear of what will happen. I know that if I don’t say anything, it will be a happy vibe, but I won’t be fully satisfied. So the energy that I’m feeling inside is telling me that what I have to say needs to be expressed compassionately and constructively.’ When I surrendered deep into the rage, that was what I found. I found that voice that encouraged me to speak up, and it was beautiful.
Surrender is a really powerful tool for exploring any emotion or quality. I was talking to someone about gratitude, and he was saying that he was totally into gratitude. I suggested that he surrender more deeply into it, and he responded, ‘What do you mean? I am grateful for things.’ But why just stop there when you can go even more deeply into gratitude with your whole being ? You can be grateful with your Heart, Mind, or with your whole Soul. Go deeper – gratitude doesn’t stop there – go deeper until you connect with the Universe. Sometimes I think we make a mistake when we just say, for instance, ‘I am a generous person.’ Don’t stop there – go deeper into generosity. In fact, it never stops – you can always go deeper. You can always be more generous, you can always love more, you can always be more peaceful… That is what I am learning about surrendering. Surrender more deeply, and when you think you are there, surrender even more, because it’s endless. If you stop at a certain point and think, ‘I cannot be more generous’, then just surrender even more; or if you think, ‘I cannot be more grateful’ – that’s great, but surrender even more deeply into gratitude, or anger, or whatever emotion or quality you are exploring. I am finding it to be quite amazing and actually quite freeing, because there is now no wall I know of – I can go more deeply into anything. It gives me a great sense of the infinitude of the Universe. So go into it more and more deeply until you are everything. Never stop.
“When we unify the polarities of anger within us we are at easy and we can be present using our discernment. When we turn anger into passion we are full of life allowing ourselves to take right action at all times”