How hard do you find it to let go of thoughts, words, opinions, impressions and perceptions. All of these add up to emotions – which, as we shall see, are just like a spot (or zit).
Think back to when you were a teenager – the start of a small spot or zit – it may be hardly anything below the skin, just small enough to feel or sense, but nobody else can notice it.
HOWEVER – temptation grabbed you, you returned to it, time and time again, exploring, poking and prodding it – you couldn’t leave it go, so from what was hardly anything at all, started to become inflamed. It started to hurt, maybe caused you embarrassment, worry, anxiety. It grew and grew until you couldn’t see past it, it was THE WORST THING EVER.
Just as it seemed to be at its worst, full with poison or puss, it made your eyes water, there was only one way to deal with it, because then it has developed out of all proportion, it couldn’t be left, something had to be done.
Squeeze, pop, and you looked in (or on) the mirror – huge relief.
Whilst the worst was over, there was a mark, an obvious pointer to what was once there. If you had then left it alone, it would have repaired un-scarred and over time, would have been un-noticeable. Of course, you may not have been able to have left the spot alone, so you picked at tit, again and again, and eventually scarred.
The same applies for emotions.
If you can find a way to allow the thoughts to settle, without making up stories of woe and misfortune, without replaying everything and reading too much into every situation, without attaching fact to someone’s opinion (their view of the world – not yours), the emotional zit goes away without anyone noticing.
On the other hand, if you cannot do this, and dwell on the situation, mull it over, give it attention, and spiral onwards, the emotional spot grows and grows, become evident to everyone, until…
… you’ll either explode, react to it, release the tension (not always in a good way), or acknowledge it, and do your best to leave it alone. Either way, you’ll end up looking in the mirror.
The even more difficult, long term attitude then, is to leave that emotional spot alone. The situation either subsides and disappears, or, (literally) comes to a head. Rather than make a scar, the action then is to accept what has happened, without judgement, and move on.
Of course, as always, this is far easier said than done. Mindfulness practises such as meditation and yoga moves towards having the ability to let the thoughts go and the feelings be. Every now and again, an emotional spot may come along, but just see, if you can resit that temptation to squeeze it next time.
A couple of great places to start are the Headspace (meditation) and FitStar (yoga) apps – both of which help me. It is a journey….