Finding Positives/ Letting Go of Negatives
The other night I was in the city of Puchong doing a meeting on Dreams with a group of about 10 people. One of the women there had lost her husband to cancer a few months back. As I was speaking to her about her dreams and about her self, it was just so apparent that her true self was full of some wonderful qualities like gentleness, kindness, and love. In one of her dreams her husband appeared so she went up to him, gave him a big hug. and said how much she loved him. His response to her was to say that sometimes she loved him too much.
What did he mean and how does she get on with her life?
When someone you have loved so dearly dies, 5 months is like it happened yesterday. It is still so very fresh. How does she get on with her life that will most likely have a number of decades without him.
It seems to me that there are 2 complimentary processes that always go on with any challenge that we have. The first is being able to acknowledge, express, understand, and let go of the negative feelings that exist in the current reality. For her, there will be a lot of sadness and also fear about the life ahead. It doesn’t seem to be very helpful to tell people to just get over their feelings. Most people can’t do it so they stuff them. In the HBO series, The Pacific, which recounts the story of several marines during World War 2, many of them came back after the war, held all of the feelings that they had in, one for over 35 years before he started talking about it. I am absolutely certain after watching the series that had they been able to express all of the horrors of war and the effects it had on their beings more fully, that we would have never gone to Vietnam.
So why does she need to talk about what is in her and then let it out? What did her husband mean? What her husband meant was that she spent too much time with his life and not enough with her own. Now he is gone and she is left alone to face her own life. When she expresses and starts the letting go process, then she can face her own experience rather than just facing someone else’s.
People like myself, who grew up in the Vietnam era, who were offspring of the WW2 generation never heard the horror of war, only the glory of victory and the defeat of the oppressive forces of the world. It is what people did? Everyone was somehow just supposed to get on with life as if the really bad stuff never happened. Somewhere in the midst of expressing the grief and the fear, something interesting begins to happen. So here this woman is facing the grief inside of her of her great loss. When she lets it out, new underdeveloped or hitherto unseen positive energies begin to appear. I am not sure if there is any other way to do this process, but this one works.
So what will appear to her. What was obvious to me was that she had a huge amount of love to give out to the rest of humanity and that others would be so attracted to her because her gentleness just invites people in. Somewhere after acknowledging the negative and letting it go, new energy begins to appear in a positive manner. You can get to the new stuff by acknowledging and talking about it in the same way that you do the letting go. When it starts coming out, it will want to be recognized so that it can gradually become part of your character and development.
In the case of WW2 the new virtue that was supposed to come out was love for the rest of humanity and the preciousness of human life, but for the most part the marines had to stuff what happened. So then we have had to go through Vietnam and Iraq with countless Marines having post traumatic stress generation after generation. The problem, as I see it, with most current therapeutic approaches is that it is ok now to experience and talk about the trauma, but the second part about loving humanity and the preciousness of each human soul is not being acknowledged. Every soldier must eventually come to this virtue inside of themselves because they have seen the darkest side of life and lived.
This year I lost the position I have been doing for the last 5 years in what I considered to be an extremely unjust process. I went through bitterness, anger, and host of other negative feelings. At some point after expressing the feelings and constantly dealing with them, something new began to appear which was that God has given me some extraordinary gifts, and holding in bitterness and hatred only really affects me in the end. Being angry at the person doing the injustice doesn’t change anything even for a second and especially not the perpetrator. It is a tough lesson. I am actually thankful for the experience, but I never thought that I would be saying that.