Wallowing in negative whiny thoughts for too long can be devastating to your well-being however that’s not what I’m talking about today. There is a difference between wallowing and diving in. Diving in and embracing the negative allows it to flow through you leading you back to your shine, your smiling face that your friends, family and fur kids love.
It’s not generally our emotions that cause us problems, it’s our judgement of them that cause them to be stuffed inside only to pop out and smack is upside the head later when we least expect it! Allowing feelings/emotions some space to exist without piling on our own judgments about those feelings can be enormously healing! I remember we were taught as kids to never ever never hate, hate was a very bad word. Here’s the thing – fighting against hate in my heart makes nothing but more pain. There are things in working with animals and people that I hate. I hate abusive acts and ignorant practices that harm the innocent. I hate how hard it is to convince America that lopping off the body parts of dogs and cats is reprehensible and it’s embarrassing that our cousins across the pond banned a lot of these practices a long time ago and we still dock ears and tails daily and declaw (although the no declawing thing is gaining traction fast!) I hate that it’s an uphill battle in many areas to treat feral cat colonies humanely and really cats in general still are fair game for heartless folk.
Hate is inside me without a doubt when I encounter these concepts. I’m not sure who originally said it but often the phrase “the white hot heat of a thousand suns!” comes to mind. Judging myself for that hate response only creates a Tar Baby situation that builds more and more layers of negativity for me to deal with later. Allowing that hate some space for acknowledgment and understanding is the equivalent of a good friend saying you know what? It’s ok. We’re doing what we can do today to fight the good fight and it’s all normal. Ahhh. The deep sigh of acceptance can be given to yourself right now!
More often I am a chronic whiner and mostly about First World problems. I get cranky because my coffee isn’t right, or traffic is ridiculous or the restaurant can’t get my order right no matter how many times I’m in there. I can get down on myself for that too but again when I honor it, when I allow that I’m a whiny little brat in that moment and that’s ok, I am led to a gentle chuckle and it’s very easy then to refocus on the gratitude to be able to buy fancy coffee at all, that I have a car to be stuck in traffic in and can afford to eat out that day.
On an even simpler level of acceptance: Tonka the Naughtiest Cat in The World and I used to go round and round about him getting on my keyboard. Cat owners know the drill – remove cat, return to work, cat leaps out of nowhere onto keyboard causing the computer to panic and shut down – remove cat, return to work, etc. Now though I keep half an eye out for him. When I see him coming I quickly hit sleep on the computer, the screen goes dark right at the time his naughty paws hit the keys. Because I’m no longer playing the Merry-Go-Round game he sits there less than 30 seconds and leaves. Brilliant! He’s happy, I’m happy because working with a situation is so much easier than fighting the tide.
Acceptance is key. Allow space for the tears of pain and sorrow. Allow space for the hot heat of anger. Allow the clouds of dark emotions to go through the sky so the sun can shine on your lovely face once again. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat and go advocate!