Over the years I’ve redefined what prayer means to me and I’ve shifted my ideas from an antiquated belief of how one should pray and what one should say. By expanding my previous exclusively-religious definition, I realized what prayer actually is and how it works.
After a week of pastries and refined sugars, I was regretting my food choices because I knew I was ignoring what my body wanted. But instead of shaming and judging myself, I decided to reflect on why I was eating more sugar and meat, even though my intuition was telling me no. I realized that I was using food to comfort myself. The pleasure of taste is comforting and I enjoy the chemical reaction in my body from the release of endorphins. While pleasurable sugar rushes feel good in the moment, in the long run, being aligned with my absolute truth is more important to me. So I stopped to ask myself, “If I’m leaning into sugar more, why do I need it to feel good right now?”. The answer I got back was because I was
Throughout the centuries, countless minds have philosophized about the ethics of “right” and “wrong.” Religion is based off of principles of “right” living and oftentimes condemns others for oppositional lifestyle choices. But where do these codes of ethics come from? When it comes to ethics or morals, it is dependent on circumstances. I fully believe that our choices are dictated from our experiences, and it is only through awareness that we can make new choices.
We currently live in a system that is designed to keep us from feeling. From the junk food that is advertised on television to the prescription medication epidemic, we are constantly being told not to feel. The systemic infrastructure of western society encourages and promotes the suppression of emotions.
Self-love is a hot topic in the spiritual community. People are constantly searching for the newest trend or product to promote and encourage self-love. When we don’t love ourselves, every action we take can be excruciatingly painful as we sift through the self-doubt. If we don’t trust ourselves, our actions have the potential to cause us to doubt whether or not we are a good person. When we try to do something good, it can have a negative ripple effect that we didn’t anticipate. For instance, lending money to a friend can be seen as a good deed. However, by doing so, one could unknowingly be enabling a response that would prevent that friend from truly freeing him or herself from poverty in the long run.
When it comes to depression, I can’t want it to be different or want it to be gone because, ultimately, this desire creates an adversarial relationship. By wanting the feelings to go away, I am subconsciously (or consciously) creating a resentment towards my depression and, in turn, a resentment towards myself. This animosity to my sadness and pain causes my depression to become defensive. Like an emotionally guarded Fort Knox, it locks itself down, putting its walls up, unable to be penetrated. When something is so guarded, there’s no way to release it and to be free from it. Any hostility creates a barrier and an impediment from being able to address the root of what is actually happening. Emotions need a hospitable environment and space to feel safe in order to be expressed. When a traumatic memory rises to the surface and I try to suppress it because I don’t want to deal with the hurt, I am holding an energy of resistance, which results in the pain staying stuck inside of me.
Emotions are not inherent causes. They are actually triggered by something more substantial. Our emotions are triggered because of our belief systems. However, it is usually the emotions that we recognize, that we are aware of, not the underlying cause of the response.