In this article I will discuss the purpose positive and negative emotions. Both positive experiences (like falling in love with someone) and negative experiences (like being assaulted) have the potential to overwhelm our mind, taking us out of balance. Clarity is found by balancing the mind of misperceptions.
If a comet crashed into a planet and no one was there to experience it, it is just an event without meaning. If this happened to a planet in this solar system, or the Earth, we are going to have feelings about this. The mind gives rise to meaning.
Without someone giving meaning to things, all events are neutral. All types of events mean different things to different people. In fact for every viewpoint people have on planet Earth, someone else will have the exact opposite viewpoint.
For all of our most treasured values and virtues, someone will have the opposite values and virtues. The more extreme you are in your opinion, the more extreme resistance you will face when you meet someone with the opposite views to you.
Understanding the law of opposites (or duality) is essential if you want to master your life. This will mean letting go of the concept of right and wrong. It is not functional to live as a human being and expect no conflict, pain and bad things to happen in the world. It is important to accept real life, the way it is.
- For someone who is advocating peace, someone else is focused on war.
- Some will eat animal products, while some will promote veganism.
- For someone who says smack your kids, someone else says to never do this.
- Some people are focused on wealth, while others focus on minimalism.
When we get angry or resistant about someone else’s viewpoint, this is feedback from your psyche, showing you a part of yourself you are not yet loving. Stay with me here… The thing that you are most resentful for about someone, the world, or god is a part of you.
This feedback from your mind is guiding you to stop judging. When you stop judging life through your set of values, you have a chance to heal and move on. You see, you wouldn’t be emotionally charged about something you have already accepted and loved.
I will share with you the steps to overcome resistance and resentments in the last few paragraphs.
>>> Infatuation example. You meet a new person who you want to be with, you admire their beauty and intelligence. If you admire those traits and don’t see the downside you are infatuated. Over time their beauty may attract the wrong type of attention and they may take a long time to get ready. You may come to resent their intelligence because they always have to be right.
Resentment example. You have a friend who is regularly late or doesn’t show up at all. If you despise those traits, you are resenting. It is wise to look for the benefits of your friend being late. Were you relieved that you didn’t have to see them? Did it give you a chance to catch up on something that was important to you? Did you save money as a result? Again look for the way it served your life.
I sometimes hear people say, “I have the same boyfriend/girlfriend, with a different face”. They have attracted the same traits in a new person because they didn’t complete their lessons the first time. These lessons may keep coming back until we learn to love the traits in them, and in ourselves.
When you are infatuated and put someone on a pedestal, they will actually try to break your addiction to them; by leaving you, cheating on you, or displaying the opposite trait over time. You see, people want to be loved and accepted for who they are (not just the fantasy version you have in your mind). When you accept the positive and negative traits in your partner, you are truly loving them.
Every human being has every human trait.
>>> I saw a young lady at a seminar in 2013 who thought she had transcended anger. She believed in always be kind and compassionate and followed the Dalai Lama’s teachings. “I’m never mean to anyone, I’m always kind. I never raise my voice to anyone,” she said. To which the teacher asked, “well you must be really mean with yourself then?” “Oh, well, I’m in anger management.”
What happened here was she denied herself expression of anger and it became internalised. She was highly anxious about trying to be perfect and was simply repressing anger, rather than dealing with life. Be wary of any religion or therapy that claims you should eliminate part of yourself.
Many of the emotional problems we face as a society come about from people trying to be one-sided. Just happy, calm, positive, beautiful, strong and get depressed because the real world doesn’t match their fantasy. It’s time to let go of the lie!
Find healthy ways to express all your emotions, especially the ones you have judged unacceptable.
You are not designed to be a perfect person, you are designed to be happy and sad, mean and kind, weak and strong. The person who denies a natural part of their being is ruled by that part. When we look at some of the worst problems and crimes in society, they often come from a person who is highly imbalanced and repressed in some part of their life.
You can allow natural expression of your emotions. This does not mean we give permission to violence and the like. It means we accept it is a part of us and we work on our perspective to become more grateful. Violent behaviour often comes from; guilt, shame, fear and resentment. A person who is ‘in their heart’ does not generally have a focus on hurting others.
The Law Of Opposites: When I perceive someone is only disrespectful to me, I will have a hidden perception of where they are also respectful. When we search our mind for the opposite, it is always there. The bigger your emotional charge on someone, the harder it may be to see the opposite trait. Viewing both sides of someone is seeing the whole person.
- Don’t be surprised if a UFC fighter is extremely nurturing to their family and kids. As aggressive as someone is in one setting, they will display a complimentary level of tenderness to their partner, kids, or animals in another setting.
- Don’t be surprised if a spiritual person is both compassionate and mean. They will be aggressive to someone in the government, medical companies, meat eaters, their step children, or someone else. Their behaviour will be justified by their spiritual ego.
Balancing the mind is found by being realistic and seeing both sides of a situation, in full.
Consider the following scenario. If I said to you, “I have the most amazing life, I am always positive, never negative, I am so good looking, my life is just perfect, I am so successful, I am too good for this place”. Do you feel like praising me or criticising me? I don’t need any more building up do I! We will naturally want to bring this person down. This is why sports stars are humble when the camera is rolling, if they talked about how great they are, you would be less likely to support them.
Now consider the next scenario, someone you know says “I hate my life, everything always goes wrong, I’m hopeless, I can’t see any positives, I’ll never be successful, I’m ugly, I feel depressed, I have no skills, everyone hates me”. This person does not need to brought down more. We feel like lifting this person up now, because nothing is ever that good, or that bad, we are just sometimes blind to the other side. All humans have a natural tendency towards equilibrium – the truth.
Every person connects to a nightmare or fantasy in varying degrees. When you are judged or criticised, someone is showing you the drawbacks to your fantasy… When you are praised and supported, someone is showing you the nightmare is not so bad. There is always a middle point isn’t there?
The middle point between support and challenge, is love. Too often we crave for people to praise us, but don’t want the criticism. We don’t see how it serves us. To resolve relationship conflicts, see the support and challenge serving you equally, then you have something to be grateful for, and nothing to resolve in the other person!
>>> Whatever you see in others, whether good or bad, is a reflection of yourself. When you like something about someone, they are meeting your values. When you are irritated by someone, they are challenging your values. That’s great Jeremy, how is this useful?
The reflections that push your buttons offer you a chance to evolve. They also offer you a chance to let go of baggage. You don’t have to be controlled by the people and circumstances in your life. The next time someone gets on your nerves, take an hour to answer these three questions.
- Where have I done the same thing/similar thing they did?
- How does what they do benefit me? (Consider is it in; health, family, financially, career, relationships, emotionally, spiritually, your highest values)?
- Where has this person done the exact opposite, to the thing that gets on my nerves?
Start with this process and come up with 40-50 examples for each question. This helps you; own the reflection, see how it benefits you and dissolves the label/judgement of the person you are charged on. Be grateful for the life you have now, instead of living in a fantasy about how you want life to be. When you see both sides of the picture you have a balanced, whole (true) perspective.
There are more blessings in reality than there are in fantasy.
Jeremy Walker works as a Hypnotherapist and Demartini Method Facilitator in Brisbane QLD. He enjoys nothing better than seeing someone gain self-mastery in their life. Jeremy focuses on helping people with; addictions, weight loss, anxiety, psychosomatic health and relationship conflicts.