This essay is an excerpt from my book The Way of The Karma Yogi.
Oftentimes, we are compulsively driven towards things that we relate to emotionally, for instance listening to sad songs after a breakup, or watching something that reminds us of our lonely lives. In the moment if it feels good, there’s no harm in participating in those soothing activities. Our goal during those tough times should not be to stop ourselves and suppress our feelings but instead immerse ourselves in that negative emotion so much that we surrender ourselves to it.
What we resist will persist. Once we’re done experiencing that negative emotion in its entirety, only then we are able to let it go. As the wise words from the book Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom go: “If you hold back on the emotions—if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them—you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid.” Once our cup gets empty, we can start focusing on doing things that ignite happiness and positive emotions within us.
We need to believe that the state of depression, sadness or loneliness is temporary, like everything in life. Once it subsides, we have to take charge and do things that align with us and make us feel good. Our mood is in our control.
Whenever we feel strong negative emotions like anger, rage or jealousy, all we need to do is accept and take baby steps to change those emotions in a gradual, innocuous way so that we are able to drift towards the positive scale of emotions.
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