Mary Carol Moran (aka Lady Awesome Sauce) is a frequent commenter on this blog. As a result of an email correspondence between us, she wrote up this beautiful piece explaining how she had found peace after having been thrown for a loop by current events. I asked her if I could post it on my blog, since it’s such an awesome example of how to honor and allow your negative emotions (instead of squashing and fighting them) and then releasing them to find your way back to your happy, shiny place.
Here are Mary Carol’s beautiful words:
For me, living in a happy place doesn’t mean always feeling happy.
I want to feel all my emotions. For me, sorrow, outrage, glee, grief, all these are part of our experience as beings on the planet. Feeling these emotions in a genuine, non-reductive way is empowering on all sides.
At the same time, we can’t afford to lower our vibration. How do we do both together? I believe even a difficult emotion can raise your own, others, or many people’s vibration. We know that happy emotions transmit higher vibrations. I think experiencing and then releasing a difficult emotion can do the same.
The cousin of a dear friend recently died. She was devastated. Though I didn’t know the cousin, I shared her grief with hugs and tears. Not “I want to help you”, but “I share your emotion.” I love the Spanish word for share – “compartir”: to divide with. After a few minutes, we looked at each other. She felt better, I felt wonderful. The act of sharing the pain raised both our vibrations. This is much more than sympathy – it is actually experiencing the emotion from the other person’s perspective. And it can be incredibly empowering for both.
If you are going to experience someone else’s pain, you HAVE to be able to let it go. My ability to detach, as a person slightly removed from the death, offered my friend extra energy for her own healing. Many people find release in the form of a prayer or brief meditation. The distraction of simple gratitude can also work, “I’m so glad you are my friend.”
As an aside, someone who remains detached (“in a happy place”) also helps raise a vibration. That’s a powerful wisdom Melody offers in Deliberate Receiving. She’s given me this gift, and I appreciate it greatly. What I’m talking about here is different. It’s not about maintaining detachment, but about letting it go and then finding it again.
A few years ago I almost stopped driving because of road kill. I felt the pain of each death so intensely that I wasn’t sure I could keep driving. I tried suppressing the sorrow, which of course didn’t work. Denying an emotion, locking it away in a secret room, only gives it staying power.
By trial and error, I found that I could experience a deep and acute empathy for one or two seconds, then release it completely with a brief benediction. Each release is so powerful, I wish everyone could empathize with and bless road kill. What amazing positive energy that would give the world!
The Catch and Release
I’ve learned in the last few days that many, many, MANY people share my horror at the death of the wild animals in Ohio. The anonymous outpouring of prayers (I haven’t been able to look at the news reports, only felt the grief and benediction) helps me find my own release. This has been the most difficult news situation for me since the Gulf oil spill (though the gleeful celebration over the deaths of terrorists ranks up there too). Coming from a basically happy place, I got thrown way off kilter by horror. It was so intense, my hard-won lessons of how to cope weren’t working. Along with meditation, deliberate gratitude, and seeking joy, the prayers of millions created a surge of energy that I could ride back to peace. Now I still feel sad but not emotionally drained, crazy happy with my life, and stronger than ever.
A last thought on LOA and Deliberate Receiving: Paradoxically, I think it’s not only possible but necessary to be able to be both profoundly happy and deeply sad at the same time. By accepting and honoring our genuine emotions, we open up space for all the goodness of life to enter. The key concept is “release.” Take the blast of pain, feel it for all it’s worth (not an ironic statement), and then release it with a benediction for the awesomeness of life.
Switching between poems and novels , Mary Carol Moran has many poems in all sorts of lovely magazines, five published novels (plus four which haven’t yet been seen in public), and two books of poetry, one of which, Equivocal Blessings, was named 2009 Book of the Year by the Alabama State Poetry Society. You can read some of the poems on her blog, www.savorpoetrytoday.blogspot.com.
Mary Carol currently lives an idyllic life in Colima, Mexico, with her dog Gemma. When she isn’t salsa dancing or practicing yoga, she’s learning wood and stone sculpture. Life is good!