Here’s a personal story from a few days ago.
I woke up feeling pretty terrible, a bit physically but a lot emotionally. I drank some beers the night before (and it'd been awhile), and slept not well and woke up stress-thinking, and hugely hearing that voice of having messed up, not just small picture, but The Big Mistake … whatever that’s about.
The intensity of that voice is amazing. It said something like “You’re a piece of shit loser and you’re never going to do anything right.”
A lot of the internal work — or awareness whatever you want to call it — I’ve been doing lately is around seeing what happens when I fully to that kind of darkness. Yielding to that very voice.
And yes, yielding meaning not saying affirmations, not making a plan for the day that involves me achieving something to prove what a champ I really am, not manipulating my energy to feel better. Any of those things may come, but first … first it means yielding, like “yes.”
Perhaps of course to you, dear reader, but I’ll explain anyway … the work is not just saying “yes, you’re right, I’m worthless” and feeling in the dumps. That’s a huge, huge pitfall here. It’s the conceptual seeds for really deep depressions.
If it’s not that, but it is a kind of yielding, surrendering the fight against that voice, then what is it?
So there I am … feeling a self-loathing belief system fully up and on board.
Step one: what’s the belief underlying this?
Of note: this answer will almost always come as a feeling - knowing, which may include but is not primarily a cognitive, verbal answer; words are not the language of the brainstem.
As in: you’ve got to feel it.
And so, in this instance, I’m the one who had to feel it: my own, intimate, very personal version of this.
So step one begets step two: feeling it.
By even asking “what is this darkness?” and honestly being interested in an answer, you’re feeling it.
And then … ?
I’m amazed — nearly every time — how radically my whole biochemistry changes.
(“How long does it take?” is a question off on the wrong foot. There’s no answer to that because the question assumes something untrue.)
It’s such a wild thing to talk about … as I know many, if not all of you in your own way, know … but how a problem can evaporate without being answered. It’s not like “oh, now I feel sunny and wonderful!”
But it is like “oh, the sting … the deep power that darkness had while it was being held down in the ‘oh god, please just go away’ place … is now a movement … and the movement has a feeling, a trajectory, a nature-based wisdom just like rivers and wind.”
This is all grist for the mill, if anything, for your own life and experience. That’s the only reason I share stuff like this.
Also, a few days I recorded this 15-min guided inquiry / meditation practice around allowing the impact of not getting what you want. That’s here if you’d like to do that practice with me.