Once we start to recognise that we all want the same things, that we all experience emotions such as fear, sadness, love, joy and happiness it's all a little clearer. We all want to be happy and feel at ease. So much time is spent avoiding suffering and sadness but unfortunately these are inevitable at times in our lives. What changes our response to difficult emotions and trying experiences is our awareness. Avoidance of engaging with feelings often makes them tougher to deal with and they appear stronger. Generally emotions don't dissipate until we allow ourselves to feel them. If we don't welcome the bag of feelings and emotions they get trapped in our bodies and will find some other way out.
The fear of allowing ourselves to fully embrace emotions is more often than not greater than the experience itself. We have trained ourselves to avoid pain and suffering, and this is important to our survival. However, to stay well we need to feel things, and when I say feel things it's in the rawest sense. Stepping out of the analytical mind and into the feeling body. Once we explore the feeling or emotion in the body it naturally shifts and changes. The tension often releases quite significantly and aches and pains can change and move. Holding on to emotions creates a lot of discomfort, both mentally and physically.
Starting to embrace emotions (during suitable periods throughout the day of course) can be supported greatly with compassion. Love and compassion change everything. Developing a sense of compassion towards ourselves and others brings strength and courage to all that we do. Love isn't a soft emotion, love is strong, courageous and forceful. What happens when an organism lacks love? Compared with being full of love. Perspective, view of the world and the way we approach everything changes. Difficulties and trying times are viewed differently. That's not to say we don't experience sadness and heartache but the experience is different and the wisdom of the situation changes. Love and compassion also enable us to grow and develop, become less focused just upon ourselves and more aware of our surroundings and experiences. Developing compassion enables greater strength to move through emotion and avoid getting stuck by fear.
Compassion is there, in all of us, we don't need to create it, just cultivate it. Engaging with compassion meditations is an excellent way to bring more your way. Just sitting and wishing those around you well, visualising others happiness as well as your own is the start of a greater experience of compassion. You start to appreciate things at a greater level, feel appreciation in a deeper sense. Courage and determination increase and any barriers you built up in your mind towards people and the goals you want to achieve, shift and change. Something so simple and gentle gives powerful and beautiful results. We spend so much time and money on the hunt for happiness, it's right there in all of us, it just needs to be uncovered.