Things have been going pretty well for me. And this blog helps a lot. But it also obscures a lot. It lets me get away with hiding. It allows me to feel like I’m doing the work, but I know, I know that this is just the surface work. It’s “doing” awareness, and that’s still awareness, better than nothing and all that, but it’s a form of running.
There’s this notion I’ve been reading about in several places about sitting with the uncomfortable feelings. I’d like to think that I’m good at that sort of thing, that I don’t hide from myself the fact that I’m sad – I’ve even been pretty open with the rest of the world about suffering from depression and other mood disorders. But. I’m not really good at sitting with the uncomfortable emotions, because “sad” is not an uncomfortable emotion for me.
“Sad” is like a worn old blanket for me. Nearly comfortable in its familiarity. I’ve met “sad” feelings in myself so frequently at every stage of my life. And there was certainly a time when I resented and rejected those feelings and sought to eliminate them, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve felt that feeling sad is truly wrong.
There are other emotions in me that I find way harder to accept in myself, that I find nearly impossible to “sit” with. Other emotions, that – if I’m truly honest with myself – I want to eliminate.
Anger. I’m so uncomfortable with anger that it actually usually manifests itself as “sad” in me. I find it really hard to accept angry feelings. But I have been aware for some time that I’m not good at that one. So it’s not completely hidden.
Guilt. Oh my God, guilt. I really run from this one. I would do anything rather that hold onto feelings of unassuaged guilt. And what’s worse is that I feel really powerless to do anything about my own guilt and I put it on the people I feel I’ve wronged to have to forgive me. God knows I can’t forgive myself!
Irritation. There’s a spiky little Hedgehog Assassin inside of me. And when I get irritated, it’s like I can feel spikes on the inside of my knees. It gets hard to sit still. My little Assassin wants to shoot down whatever’s causing the feeling. Filled with hate and retribution and an absolute certainty that whoever is the source of the irritation is wrong, wrong, WRONG.
Stupid things irritate me. I know on one level that I shouldn’t get all wound up and irritated by these things, but I am so immediately and without warning blended with my Assassin Hedgehog part – I don’t really know how to find the space before that happens.
Eating noises, loud people, tapping sounds, fidgeting – usually sound-related stuff, but sometimes to do with some particular fidgety motions as well. I know that, objectively, it’s not the sound, because if it’s not attached to a person then it doesn’t summon the Hedgehog. The one exception might be the feeling of being overheated. And, in fact, experiencing any of my irritation triggers tends to evoke exactly that same feeling in me as being overheated. My skin crawls, my legs can’t stay still, I feel trapped and panicked.
I don’t know why it happens. I know there’s some part of me that puts blame or judgement on the person who is the source of the irritation. Generally if someone is making a noise that I believe they genuinely can’t help, then I don’t experience the irritation so strongly. But when I believe someone to be carelessly creating annoying ticks and sounds, my wrathful Hedgehog wants to shoot them right down.
Anyway, I have felt an underlying sense that there’s strong emotions roiling under my surface right now. Like some part of me on my insides is having big big feelings and would quite like to cry them out.
I tried to check in on myself with a bit of meditation tonight. Part of me wants to say “it wasn’t successful'”, but that’s not something I really believe. I kind of believe you get something when you meditate, just not always what you expected to get. All I seemed to be experiencing was a huge whack of irritated feeling. There was a lot of noise out on the streets and I was really visualising my Hedgehog taking them all out. And I was too hot too. And I did try to sit with it, but boy was it hard.
I’m not coming out of today with any huge conclusions – other than this: I think I’ve been ignoring my less desirable, less accepted negative emotions recently. So, c’mon. Do the work.