My first quote (I randomly opened the book and found this):
If there is unhappiness in you, first you need to acknowledge that it is there. But don’t say, “I’m unhappy.” Unhappiness has nothing to do with who you are. Say: “There is unhappiness in me.” Then investigate it.
Photo by me
For me, this is all about distancing – if I can distance myself from the power of the emotion I’m struggling with, then I can better deal with it (and even experience it in a purer sense). When I let the emotion become part of my identity, I almost always add guilt or pressure to the mix – pressure to be happy, guilt because I’m not recognizing my blessings, etc. But if I can achieve this distance, this ability to separate what I feel from who I am, then I’m able to let the emotion live its life without dragging me down with it, so to speak.
This technique has definitely helped with my night terrors. When I wake up, usually terrified because of something which has not happened, if I can find a way to put distance between myself and that terror, I can make it through. Sometimes it takes quite a while to do this…sometimes I can simply say, “There is fear in me,” and I’ll fall asleep while ‘investigating’ that fear. Other times, I might have to get up and pace or check on the kids before I can let the distance in.
What does the quotation make you think?