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Fear becomes anger, anger becomes hatred, hatred becomes suffering – Yoda
Wise words Yoda, coming from an unlikely source on Saturday afternoon while watching Star Wars with my boys. The message to me from this highly regarded (if you are a Star Wars fan), insightful being is that when you live your life fearing something, whether it is making a decision about what you want to do with your life, how to solve a problem you are facing or trying to motivate yourself to do something other than sit and worry you are in a negative emotional state, one that is not easy to move away from.
So how does it turn to anger?
Anger is a primitive response in our emotional brain and it is a reaction which happens when we feel out of control, and powerless. Essentially we hand over control to our instinctive ‘caveman’ brain which can only respond in three distinctive ways, anxiety, anger or depression. Fear and worry create a stressful situation which your brain believes that it needs to react to, and it does, but not in the way you want. An angry response is often a response from within that you are losing your grip on a situation, hands up who has shouted at their children and realised that it wasn’t them that made us angry, but the way you were feeling inside, what the children did, or didn’t do was the last straw which tipped the balance *raises hand*.
So what happens next?
When we are consistently responding in this angry or frustrated way;
Why can’t my husband be home on time, for once to help with the children’s bath and bedtime?
Why am I the one picking up and tidying everything, including the socks which seem to have a life of their own?
We start to think, what is the point, why am I doing all this and we go into ‘victim mode’, believing that our negative feelings and emotions are a response to everyone elses behavour around us, so that, if they get better, more timely, tidy up after themselves, hear us, we will feel happier.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
If you are trapped in a cycle of worry and fear about what has happened in the past and what might happen in the future then its coming from you, you choose the responses you give.
So whats with the hatred and the suffering?
Ever been in a situation where you have reacted in a negative way, shouted or said something critical and then beat yourself up afterwards about what you said, or did, knowing that you didn’t really mean it *raises hand again.
That is the hatred, a horrible emotion that leave us feeling really rubbish about ourselves, why can’t I change? Why can’t I be that calm, serene parent I promised myself I would be?
And there goes the suffering – those constant negative thoughts that you are not doing a good enough job, that everyone is doing better than you that whir round and round your head, stopping you sleeping, stopping you enjoying life, knowing you are over-reacting to the small challenges but just can’t stop yourself, feeling a burden on others for the way you are thinking and feeling.
But what if there was another way?
What Yoda is saying beautifully is that this set of circumstances can be the case, but it can be different. The Jedi Knights worked on addressing this cycle, recognising that being kind to themselves and others was the best way for peace and calm throughout the universe. Yoda also highlights in the film that he senses a lot of fear in Annakin Skywalker and guess what, Annakin moves over to the ‘Dark Side’ and becomes ‘Darth Vader’, his fear takes over and rules his life and his destiny.
Movie drama over, I am not suggesting in any way shape or form that the way you feel is you moving over to your ‘dark side’ but know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that the way you feel is not your fault and it can be different, it is your mind telling you that it can’t.
A client of mine texted me at the weekend and shared the following;
I am so much better Clare, and you were absolutely pivotal in my recovery. I look back at that time of hell and you were the one person who had faith that I was okay and could get better. Which I did.
Do you want to find your light at the end of the tunnel? Come and join me on my facebook page
Love Clare x