A hidden and ferocious type of suffering is a mental or physical pain that is stigmatized. It differs from any other pain in that it’s not socially accepted to talk about, or feel. The person is left alone with the pain and the resulting self judgment. The feelings are most particularly associated with those we call shame, and shame is cultural. Not only might the person who feels ripping envy or jealousy feel terrible about it, he or she has to feel bad for feeling bad too. What is shameful is entirely cultural and a huge oppressive force as we see it.
If it’s physical suffering a good example are those connected to the stigma around sex, existing pretty much in all cultures such as infertility, erectile dysfunction, vaginosis a painful vaginal infection. The mental type of suffering I wrote about in previous blog – when one can’t be happy for another’s success or good fortune – is seldom mentioned but everyone has at one point felt it, if we are “well adjusted culturally”, that is. I believe envy and jealousy are rooted in our system of competition, starting in between siblings, later in school, even more at university and further in competing businesses that are entirely structured upon competition, and our market economy wouldn’t even function without it. Wherever we go we see publicity telling us that we have to get better, fitter, smarter, or whatever is in for the moment. Our culture is marketing the beliefs for how to look, be, who to love, live our lives and even die.
People suffering from envy feel upset when others celebrate. A feeling of competition arouses and can flip over to a sense of entitlement or a sense of failure. It consumes many to the verge of self-alienation, harming behavior such as gossip, back-stabbing and or in the worst cases harming the lucky guy or suicide. No matter how they try to feel happy for the successful other the jealousy or envy pokes them. Many movies, social media and news forums make sure that the feelings are stigmatized even more and it’s portrayed as “the bitchy” attitude. These type of competitive feelings are probably one of the most twisted, both hated and justified. The worst and most shameful feelings one can have, specially if it is towards a loved one, a sibling, a child or a good friend, but nonetheless is very common one I believe we have all felt.
As one guest put it: “It is horrible when that feeling comes over me. I don’t think I have ever felt good when my sister did. A battle takes place within when I try to stop myself but I can’t. I feel false when I smile and say congratulations, but in reality I wanna cry and I feel I should have the same. The others notice it, they ask me if I’m ok, I lie and say yes, because I can’t say, No, I’m not f** ok, I’m miserable because I hate your success, but I love you! It’s very confusing and it doesn’t make sense, I don’t make sense. It’s such a great burden to not feel joy for others and I can’t take it anymore”.
When these feelings arise it’s often connected with huge suffering. They hear or see others through themselves, they keep it to themselves, appointing themselves as the sovereign judge, and of themselves too. A vicious circle, accelerating into broken relationships. The law applied here, and the punishments that follows are the famous success BS we are told to believe since the Disney culture dominated our lives, as toddlers.
This particular person made a huge effort with herself to see her issues, dig into them and see the root causes. She took on a practice to catch herself every time she felt envy arise and to stop filtering what she heard and saw through herself, comparing to herself, but to stay with what the person said and felt. She’s doing great today and as many who do our Mind & Soul Detox work, feel the flow come into their lives after, and pursue what really matters to them, not what matters to others. Then we start finding a creative source and keep doing it, as opposed to doing what others want them to do, which we consequently wouldn’t enjoy doing no matter how good or bad we are at doing it.
Quote by Ray
Tips for a great Mind & Soul Detox, to get the flow of a creative life:
Remember that your feelings are not you. Your thoughts are not you. They come and go.
1. Allow your feelings and those of others. Don’t oppress them, but don’t act upon them either, just feel. Observe them as you feel them arise, put on your “glasses” of love and compassion, and don’t become the judge. Leave the coat and the wig of the judge in your past, allow the now. Remember, there is nothing to win, nothing to judge, only feelings to be respected and to be felt. They are there to be felt, to make us aware and to find the root cause to understand them.
2. Be alert of your own feelings by noticing changes in your body, feel your body, so that you can allow them and observe them arise. Notice how your body responds to the feeling – your breathing, your heart rate, your neck stiffness, etc. This practice is an internal work in the moment, so for now don’t engage in how others feel or what they say. Silence is very helpful at this stage, even if it’s a few seconds while taking a deep breath.
Family and old friends are the hardest to be with but also the most gratifying when it is good. We have so much history together to potentially be judged by but also to be potentially loved by, and so many feelings that weren’t allowed to be felt in the past carried in the backpack of life and doomed to pop up now and then. Hence they are also the best to practice soul cleansing on.
If they try to engage you, provoque you or even bulling you, stay neutral as much as possible. Be calm. Don’t engage, let them be rude, bad, sad, happy or whatever they are. If they are, remember that it’s an expression of suffering. Later you can help them, but for now it’s your soul detox not theirs. If they push you to engage, kindly say that you won’t now, maybe later, but not now. In worst case walk away.
3. If you want (need) to express do it by yourself. Go to a room, out, or the WC. Breath deeply feeling your lower belly extend and then write or paint your feelings. Always carry a note book for this detox. I find writing enormously healing, and for me it’s very different when I feel the pen and write on paper, or if I take notes on my devices. The pen and paper is so much more personal and I can draw as well. The notebook can become the most valuable possession if you later on decide to take your suffering and create a tangible act of hope. Suffering is an amazing energy for creation. Whatever your expression is, we are here to help you launch it.
4. Finally, imperative to this soul work – stay away from toxic food and drinks. Alcohol is not numbing, it only makes us more upset, it’s a poison. Processed food creates processed minds and painful lives. Remember the O8 #3 Biochemistry is Boss. Whatever you put in your mouth is going to create your body and brain, and it will eventually come out as words and doings.
Enjoy the Holidays as a time to practice.
The best Christmas present is a good Soul Detox 💖🎄🎁