It is true that many things which used to bother me a great deal, are no longer of concern to me. It is true that I don’t worry like I used to. It is true that I don’t spend a lot of time in anger or resentment anymore. Heck, I actually feel pretty okay most of the time now. The extreme “highs” and “lows” of the past are just not a part of my life anymore. My attempt is to remain in “Presence”, and to remain in the middle.
But I need to say that I am human. I go through an array of emotions every day. Last week, Heather and I spent time with my mom and dad, and I had all kinds of feelings going on. We went to the lake near where my grandparents lived for years, and the memories flooded back. I miss them and am sorry that they didn’t get to experience my daughter Lily Belle.
But guess what? That is not the way things happened. My parents however, have gotten to spend a lot of time with her. I know that to dwell on the past and on what didn’t happen is simply a waste of time. So I readjust to NOW. I enjoy what is happening right now.
Then immediately I am faced with the fact that my dad was pretty ill last year and underwent a serious series of treatments, which he is still recovering from. He and my mom are doing what people do, we age. I know full well what is coming in the future, so again, I remember to enjoy the NOW.
Is it wrong of me to have these feelings? Since I believe so much in God, then maybe I should just be “okay” in any circumstance?
This is not so. Feelings are feelings and they are neither “good” nor “bad”. It is totally normal to miss people. It is totally normal to feel pain when someone is sick or when someone dies. It is totally normal to feel frustration with life. It is all totally normal.
What is different in my life now, is my reaction to my feelings. Spiritual growth is not necessarily about changing your feelings as much as it is changing your actions.
For instance, when I was remembering my grandparents and feeling sad that they never saw my daughter, I could have just drifted off and stayed in that sad emotional state, being unavailable for the people I was with. In the past, I would have said, “We are all dying and this hurts, so I’m going to get drunk so I won’t know what is happening.”
But that didn’t help. I always knew, and I could never get drunk enough.
Now I just say to myself, “It really would have been awesome if they could have seen Lily. They would have loved her like crazy.” I hope that they do somehow see her. I know that they are her. She carries their blood line. Then I look at her and my parents, who are still here, and standing right there. Now I move in to the moment of NOW.
Don’t ever beat yourself up because you have a feeling or feelings. Allow them, acknowledge them. Welcome them, even if it means you cry. Then keep your focus on “positive constructive action”. Keep your focus on NOW.
The best thing I can tell you about feelings or emotions, is that they move. Emotions are e- motion… in motion. So however you are feeling right now will probably change in the very near future. Know that your feelings will move. Know that they are okay. And pay attention to NOW and what you are doing.
That is what matters.