How to live your life as a whole person
Posted on Nov 22 2012 at 06:58:57 AM in How-To
Living as a whole person is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself and to others and it is the ultimate proof of unconditional love. But what does it really mean?
To live as a whole being implies that you accept all parts of yourself, both good and bad. Our society unfortunately still promotes a divided lifestyle. It rejects the bad and enforces the good. It also encourages (and sometimes even forces) you to be a more positive person, to think optimistically, to do good to others, to keep thinking and feeling happy thoughts and to say “no” to everything which is labeled as “negative”. Religion also plays a very important role in perpetuating this dysfunctional way of life.
Did you already dig your own grave?
But the outcome of this approach is that only half-humans are brought up and they end up living half-lives. This one-sided way of thinking and seeing things only prevents people from being themselves, as whole and healthy individuals.
Just imagine what it would be like to physically bury yourself in the ground from the waist down. Would you still be able to live? Perhaps, but you would be almost fully dependent on others for your well being and survival. Not to mention the fact that the unused limbs and body parts would slowly degenerate, causing you pain and a lot of discomfort. And if you could, finally, try to pull yourself out of the ground, then it would take a while until you are able to function normally again.
This is sadly what happens to most of us. At birth we are fully alive and moving, but until adulthood we manage to get buried down, some of us more than others. And we end up being emotionally or physically dependent of others and we give away our power over our own happiness to people, institutions, society and everyone else besides us. And we do it for such a long time, that we stop being able to see how wrong this lifestyle really is.
Dare to bury yourself out of the ground
The only way of coming back to life is by allowing yourself to experience yourself and your life fully, as it is. Just treat the negative parts of you like you treat the positive ones.
This idea dawned upon me yesterday, when I was going out to meet with someone. I noticed that I didn’t really feel that well. I was a bit sad and felt some emotional pain, even though I did not know what the cause of it was. My first impulse was to push it away and focus on the positive things and be happy about the fact that I was going out. But then I thought to myself: “Wait a minute, just a week ago, I had a wonderful time on holidays and I allowed myself to be immersed in such amazing positive feelings and emotions and I simply let them overwhelm and invade me and I enjoyed them as they appeared. Why am I not allowing myself to treat my current emotions with the same respect and love that I treated the positive ones?”
So I simply said to myself that it’s ok to feel what I was feeling and to fully experience that pain. And I did. Even though I am still not sure what its cause was, I was able to enjoy the moment and diffuse the negativity. I embraced it fully until it disappeared, leaving me feeling whole and happy.
Every emotion and feeling you have is ok
Every time you are experiencing negativity within yourself, just remember that it is absolutely fine and healthy to feel the entire spectrum of emotions. You don’t need to know why you are feeling it then and there, but just let yourself feel it and tell yourself that it’s ok for that emotion to be there.
Allow yourself to feel, to really get inside your emotions and then ask why they are there and what they want to show to you. The answer will usually come. Don’t dismiss them, but ponder them, play with them, turn them on all sides, explore them. Make it fun. You will learn much more about yourself with this process than if you go to the cupboard and have a cookie to make you feel better. Just give it a shot and dare to step out of the grave and become whole again. It won’t be easy, but with practice you too can be able to walk again.
The danger of shutting down your negativity is emotional numbness. If you refuse to experience a negative feeling, you automatically prevent yourself from experiencing its positive counterpart. No sadness means no joy either. They are simply opposite faces of the same coin. You can only have the coin as a whole. Even if you consciously choose to look at just one side, you still have the whole coin in your pocket and it still has two sides.
Who would you be without your negativity?
Just imagine for a few seconds what your life would be like without negativity?
Would you still be able to make the right decisions? How would you be able to decide without negative emotions telling you to keep away from certain things, situations or people and your positive emotions bringing you closer to the ones right for you?
How would you be able to show compassion and love to others? Actually, experiencing negativity makes us much less intolerant and opens up our hearts, filling them with compassion and understanding for those, who may at one time find themselves in a similar situation to ours.
How would you be able to enjoy the beautiful moments of life? Without terms of comparison, positivity turns to something common and loses its value. You are unable to rejoice of something for longer periods of time if you can’t see the other side of the scale.