Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Post #55: That "Between Worlds" Feeling

Has this been an intense year for you so far? For me, as well as many friends and acquaintences, it's been a period of deep reflection, a time when heavy or old emotions or energies are bubbling up into consciousness, and  a time when past relationships are resurfacing unexpectedly. I've heard that this is a period of universal housecleaning, and that any unfinished business lurking in the recesses of our minds must now be brought to the surface and released. For many of us, it's no longer an option to hide from ourselves, live in denial, or continue running away from what we don't want to look at in ourselves or the world.

To me, it feels like the veil is thinning. The nature of time is changing, speeding up. Our dreams are more vivid and our life purposes more urgent. We're more open to spiritual messages and less tolerant of the thoughtless things we and other people say and do. It used to be normal to waste water and throw paper in the garbage, but now it unsettles us. It's as if we're between worlds---an old world where we were blissfully unaware that smoking and taking three-martini lunches would eventually hurt us, and a new world where, perhaps, we wouldn't even be attracted to those behaviors. Who knows what's to come? What we do know is that this "in between" space is not always an easy place to reside.

So, what do we do with this state of unrest? Like a scientist, I've been busily experimenting with various formulas for moving through the energetic maze so that we can get closer to the cheese (or at least not remain stuck in a dark, tight spot). As it is with any well-designed maze, success is not always easy, but if you keep trying you'll eventually get there). There are promising-looking paths that lead to abrupt dead ends. There are moments when you know you're being tested and when you worry that the other rats are much better at this game than you are. And there are times when you don't even have the energy to try.

What to do? There are no quick fixes. This "being human" juggling act is a process, and it's designed so that we have to hang in there and work things out through trial and error. That said, here are a few things I've learned over the years about managing one's emotional life:

What usually doesn't  help:
  • Running away from, denying, or "medicating" your feelings
  • "Affirming" the feelings away (flight to the light)
  • Getting sucked into the abyss of the old familiar feelings 
  • Trying to "think" your way out of the feelings

What usually does help:
  • Breathing, and calmly allowing the feelings to be there (without doing the above)
  • Calling in spiritual support through prayer, surrender, etc. 
  • Being compassionate and nurturing toward yourself
  • Remembering that "this too shall pass." (Relax, you won't be stuck in this place forever)

I'd love to hear from you. Are you having that "between worlds" feeling?