By Yung Pueblo
A few reminders from Yung Pueblo.
Changes in the external world can cause great misery when we do not know how to engage and heal ourselves. Moments of pain and discomfort, or encounters with ideas that may break the mental images we have created of the world, are normally things we not only run away from but also things we build walls to defend ourselves from. These walls we build in our minds and hearts make sense when we don't know any better. We all have the right to protect ourselves from pain, but be aware that these walls can turn from protection into prison—the more walls we build around ourselves, the less space we have to grow and be free. We have a harder time releasing the habits that cause misery when we are surrounded by the psychological walls we have constructed, causing us to stagnate and fall into a rhythm where we are always running within a space that is slowly growing smaller.
There is an important difference between dwelling in misery and understanding that on the path of healing things will come up that sometimes cause us to feel the old emotions and patterns that we are working on letting go. There is great power in honoring the reality of our current emotions—not feeding them or making them worse but simply recognizing that this is what has arisen in this present moment and that this will also change. When we create this space within ourselves—a space of calmness that is undisturbed by the storm—the storm tends to pass more quickly.
Practicing such profound honesty within ourselves helps in all facets of internal and external life—there is no real freedom without honesty, and without honesty, there can be no peace of mind. Healing ourselves isn't about constantly feeling bliss; being attached to bliss is a bondage of its own. Trying to force ourselves to be happy is counterproductive, because it suppresses the sometimes tough reality of the moment, pushing it back within our depths of our being, instead of allowing it to arise and release.