If nothing changes, nothing changes. That’s when I first challenged myself with meditation as a practice, I was at a turning point in my life where I was somewhat hopeless. I was struggling to find where I fit into a world that from my perspective had a God that didn’t want me as a gay man in it. I had spent many years stuffing my feelings of hurt and anger until I was at the breaking point. I didn’t know how to relax. I did everything I could to escape how I felt at the time or to change how I was feeling only to find them temporary fixes at best. The pain never really went away, it was just on pause till I could really get a good taste of it.
The meditation was a totally new experience. I won’t lie, it was not a “bowl me over” kind of a thing. I felt like a poser just talking about it, but I persisted. What I found in hindsight was profound. You see, I didn’t understand my emotional self at all, much less my spiritual aspects. I remember doing a writing project about how I had disappointed my father by being gay and a few days later waking to a heavy depression that I realized was in direct relation to the things I had written. I was not in synchronicity with my emotions. In fact, I was days behind them. The sad truth is I had a lot of regrets because instead of trusting how I felt about something, I would often do what I thought most people would do because frankly, I wasn’t sure what I felt at the time. I believe there was so much unresolved backlog inside me for so long that anything new just got bogged down before the appropriate feelings could bubble up for analysis. The regrets came when I later realized what I truly felt and how I reacted did not match up. I have to own the fact that I have lost amazing people in my life by things I said responding “appropriately” instead of how I wish I had.
When I suppress my emotional responses, I run the risk of allowing them to come out sideways at the wrong person. My emotions are an integral part of my experience on this planet even if they are not correctly proportionate to the stimulus that spawns them. When i meditate, I give my emotional self the ability to spill over into the now. This is like when you crinkle a straw wrapper up and infuse it with a drop of water. The mashed up, pressed down emotions seem to inflate and unfurl through me. One morning the feeling of anger presented itself as a result of a meditation and I thought I was going crazy only to have my friend tell me that I’m finally doing it right. I didn’t really understand what he meant then, but I know now that I honor my emotional self as well as my spiritual self when I meditate.
I like to think I manifest hope in myself and that it is contagious. My hope is that I can give back more than I have taken from this world and others in my life as a whole. What I know is that through meditation, I am in real-time with my emotional responses instead of having a delayed or stunted reaction. I can align what I honestly feel with how I respond more readily because I can trust my gut now and know that it’s based on my feelings instead of an opinion of what is a normal reaction.
Peace be with you.