Lesson #61: The lessons in feelings
Today, on Instagram, a psychologist I follow, Susan A David, Ph.D. posted the caption
Distressing feelings can teach us valuable lessons once we stop trying to smother them with positive affirmations or rationalizations.
And then here I am, sitting with uncomfortable feelings that I’m not even clear on .. and, though I had another lesson started, this feels like it must be today’s lesson.
In so many ways I live a charmed life. I live in a place filled with natural beauty, not far from the ocean, and a long way from war zones.
I have a 15 year old son who is smart and sensitive .. though heavily addicted to screens.
I have my own home, a house built by my late partner, which is spacious and inspiring .. but unfinished and overly cluttered.
I’m healthy and fit and have a positive mindset.
And yet .. and yet ..
Maybe I think too much. Maybe that’s my problem.
But some days, I struggle.
And today .. a day where I’m not ‘working’ but have SO many unfinished things that I could be doing .. but the overwhelm of piles of paper for sorting and clearing, a messy house, a son at home from school with coronavirus, chaos in the world, and an ongoing desire to come up with a solution to help people that will use my gifts and have me in flow .. and the ongoing struggle I’ve had to make that happen .. while I scrape by and pick up casual jobs ..
Desire for contribution
Perhaps it’s my type 5 nature that has me put too much emphasis on finding work that makes a special contribution. Perhaps I put too much emphasis on finding meaning to life .. wanting to believe that I have some more reason to being here than to live, consume, and die.
The gift of knowing my values
One of my biggest breakthrough in the past few years was narrowing down my top three values. Finding clarity and focus has been one of my biggest challenges. But clarifying my top values was like discovering a roadmap for what brings meaning, purpose and satisfaction to my life. And I could see how my judgements of these values has held me back.
My top three values: curiosity | creativity | connection
I was in a very overwhelmed mental state when I started this ‘lesson’ earlier today. And now my spirits have lifted thanks to two drops of ‘Mullumbimby Madness’. My perspective has shifted. And this is really the big lesson I’ve been learning and wanting to teach others .. that of ‘shifting perspectives’ .. but I’d rather it didn’t require illegal means.
And writing that here is a sort of breakthrough because thc has been my private affair and I’m aware of the stranglehold and power it gets when pushed into the shadows. And because of this ‘secretive / shameful’ aspect (that is not there with alcohol — a societally condoned drug) I think it is time to be brave and “come out”.
For a long time I’ve wanted to talk about ‘all those years I struggled with weed’ .. as a thing of the past and a challenge overcome. This was my way of avoiding the shame aspect. And I’ve gone through innumerable reframes (rationalisations) for why weed isn’t a bad thing. And it isn’t. And it is.
Holding two opposing feelings at once is an important life skill. I’ve been practicing it a bit lately, though not deliberately. I can see I could adopt it again with regards to my relationship with weed. and it seems I need to adopt it once again. Because while I see myself as addicted to weed, a slave to it’s charms, and feel somewhat weak and helpless in the relationship, I am also grateful for the support I feel it offers in helping me to appreciate life. Perhaps the push pull makes it more appealing. I love it for it’s simplicity, it’s natural magic and reject it for it’s complexity, it’s illegality and all associated seediness, and it’s addictive sedative qualities.
In my shifting of perspectives today I also tackled some clearing of my overwhelm of paper clutter as well as rearranging some furniture to create more clarity. And all in all I’m feeling a whole world better than when I started this piece earlier today.
This was where I was at at the start
can teach us valuable lessons
I’ve been searching for lessons today. What I’ve mainly been looking for in order to make myself feel better is to get clarity on what I can offer the world in order to feel a sense of meaning and purpose.
once we stop trying to smother them
Except I did effectively smother them .. with the soothing and uplifting buzz from thc ..
with positive affirmations
But the thc wasn’t an overriding with positive affirmations ..
Nor was it a form of mental overriding. But it was a form of escape .. a shifting of perspectives through chemical means.
But I’ve created a shift. I’ve started to feel some hope. I shifted out of a state of hopelessness. I feel inspired to make some videos. I feel I do have something to offer.
Have I missed the lesson?
Did I learn anything from today’s distressing feelings? I learned how I escape them .. or transform them. They take me to my edges. They help me to break through. They take me back to old ways of seeing the world (chaos, confusion and despair). Maybe I missed the lesson.
Ah well. I know it will come round again.
If you can see the lesson, please let me know.