Staying with feelings is like putting together a puzzle. At first we sit in front of a jumbled mess. But puzzle makers trust that if they contemplate the pieces, they will begin to see patterns and how pieces fit together. Do you remember the feeling of sitting in front of a puzzle and suddenly understanding how the triangle filled with yellow and white fits into the whole? Working with emotions is the same, except that as we observe ourselves, we will have to tolerate both the confusion and the intensity of our feelings. Building a puzzle is fun; feeling our anger, fear, or sadness—not much fun. But the rewards are great.
Don’t doubt your process. You will begin to understand the confusing emotions within you. Write about them, talk to a friend, or simply contemplate while sitting or walking. The puzzle will come together. Maybe not completely, and certainly not quickly, but mindfulness brings clarity. With practice we begin to uncover the different mixtures and intensities of our emotions. We begin to recognize the triggers that produce emotions. We begin to understand our unique inner landscape.
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