Over the past week, I have been experimenting with Saying Yes to my anger, shame, guilt and fear. It has been interesting. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But, it’s been weird for sure.
Let me explain in Peaceful Momma Cliff Note Style:
Buddha, in his enlightened awesomeness, defeated the big scary dragon Mara by allowing him to be there. Mara was used to scaring people so they would just run away. Instead, Buddha allowed him to fly around all scary and stuff and proceeded to invited him to tea. Mara kept trying to scare him, realized it wasn’t going to work, and flew away frustrated.
Pretty weird story huh? I know! Here’s what it means:
Naming and noticing your emotions release their power over you. You realize that you are experiencing anger and shame, not that your are angry or are ashamed.
If you are angry and ashamed, you are a bad person.
If you are feeling anger and shame, you are a human being feeling an emotion.
See the difference?
Saying Yes to a feeling means noticing it. When you take the “I am a terrible person” part out of the equation, it is easier to make a change in your life.
Still with me? It’s okay if not, let me give you an example:
I am a mom pushing 40, and as such, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep. Normally, when I notice that I’m awake I get mad. My internal dialog goes something like this:
“Damn it! Not again?! I hate not being able to get back to sleep. Now I’m going to be grouchy tomorrow, and I have work to do. Damn! Let me just roll over and try to get back to sleep. Okay. Trying. Relaxing. Breathing. Damn it’s not working! Damn. I hate this. Why can’t I get back to sleep? What is wrong with me? I bet it’s because I’m not exercising enough during the day. Geez – I need to do that more. Or maybe it’s because I stayed on facebook too late drinking wine and talking about the school stuff until right before bed. I totally suck! What is wrong with me? I should really know better than this by now – I’m 38 for crap’s sake. What kind of a terrible mother doesn’t even know how to take care of herself. And I’m supposed to be peaceful momma. I am so mad at myself. “
In contrast, here is how my Saying Yes internal dialog went two nights ago when I woke up:
Oh, I’m awake, okay. I wonder how that saying yes thing work right now. Okay I’ll try it. Yes, I am awake. I see that…yes. I’d like to get back to sleep. So, yes, I see that desire. Yes. Yes, I’m awake. Yes, I desire sleep.
Now, I admit it’s possible I just bored myself to sleep, but who cares? It worked!
In all fairness, last night it didn’t work. My daughter’s asthma was bad and we needed to give her a breathing treatment every 4 hours. My hubbie was a rock star and got up at 3, but then he couldn’t find the puffer. We had been using the nebulizer but thought the puffer would be better for 3 a.m. He came back in the bedroom, and I asked how she was. He told me about not being able to find it, and I got up and helped him look for it. We couldn’t find it. He told me to go back to bed because he knows how hard it is for me to get back to sleep, so I did. But then I remembered where it was. I got up and told him…and so it was harder for me to get back to sleep. Plus, I’m a momma and my baby is sick. It’s just hard to sleep, and I think it’s just fine that I was worried. Asthma is awful…poor babies have trouble breathing. It’s so scary.
So, I’ll be continuing to be Saying Yes when other feelings come up today, like perhaps – I see you sleepy grouchiness. Yes. It’s pretty cool.