Respect the Shadow

I have been in the midst of a glorious and necessary hardware upgrade. As a result, my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual systems are recalibrating. I have been most present to this upgrade beginning August 1st. It was the day before my birth date and the eve of my shift into a number 7 personal year. Unprompted by me (but not my Spirit), my numerologist sent me a series of comforting and very telling voice notes detailing the impending shifts this number 7 personal year may present. At some point, I will write in detail about all of this. For now, I am sharing a note I found in my email drafts.

I have been in Tulum, Mexico, since October 31st. I intended to be here for two weeks, but here I am, still in Tulum. Still listening, still learning, still deeply trusting God. Still shedding, ok so a part of this shedding inspired me to clear out my inbox, and that’s when I found the note, this note:

March 19, 2018

You don't actually have to choose joy if you are not feeling internally joyful. It's ok to choose the exact emotion you are feeling. By choosing what comes, you ultimately release judgment and allow yourself to feel the more vulnerable emotions like sadness, anger, fear, malice, envy, and shame. These emotions are real and deserve to be welcomed just as freely as we welcome joy and happiness. After all, to experience true joy and happiness, allowing their shadow cousins to help expose where joy and happiness are not present is most beneficial.

The concern that inevitably arises for me when falsely choosing joy or using the mind over matter technique is that it is a temporary fix, at best, a bandaid, if you will. Choosing a more amicable or acceptable emotion is in violation of our growth and healing. It's inauthentic. It's a flag on the play. Unnecessary roughness. Flagrant! Really… it is. It does not heal anything. It does not transform. It does not enlighten or enliven. It does not give you the space to allow your emotions to provide you with information or reveal the source of your pain.
Suppressed emotions are at the root of much dis-ease and illness. When an emotion is not allowed to pass, it is suppressed. Also suppressed is your opportunity to get to the other side of whatever you feel. Our path is not linear; like with roses, there will be thorns. The fullness of joy you will experience in this lifetime is directly correlated to your willingness to allow your emotions to come and visit freely. Sad days will come; honor them. I am not suggesting that you make sadness your home. Instead, be curious about what may be ready for healing. Cry. Write about how you feel. Talk about how you feel. Forgive. Don't just choose joy for the sake of avoiding discomfort; you do not have to. It's ok not to be ok. And for heaven's sake, please stop telling people to be happy or to choose joy when that is not their genuine and honest emotion. Don't stunt their growth like that. Let them get to joy in their own time by releasing anything, unlike joy—bonus points for looking at why you feel so uncomfortable in the presence of certain emotions.

Love you!

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