It is hard to change a lifetime of patterns and yet little by little the change is happening. When I first started meditating, it was pretty easy to connect to the breath and even the body. The emotions were a different story. Patterns had become ingrained over a life time. At one time, those patterns may have served a purpose – it was all I knew to do. If I was angry, I would clench my teeth, because I was taught not to be angry. if I was sad, I would fight back the tears, because “only babies cry”. The list would go on and on for each emotion, negative or positive. over time I developed the ability to discredit all my feelings.
I am learning it is okay to have feelings and express emotion. I now can note a feeling and emotion and, much of the time, I am able to observe and explore without getting caught in the net. I find this process easier with the negative emotions as I don’t want to dwell on negativity. with the joyful more positive emotions, I can be carried away with the pleasure and want to ride it out because it feels good.
Thanks to practice, little by little the change is happening. Do I do it perfectly? Of course not – after all it is practice and I am learning to be mindful of both the positive and negative. For that I am grateful.