I don’t want to be angry, it’s not good for me, it doesn’t help me get what I want. Yet, I find myself angry again. This is a situation that many of us recognize with different emotions and behaviors like anger, sadness, procrastinating, and criticizing. In this situation I start blaming myself and feeling hopeless. There is no mending, no growth. I ask myself “why did I do it again?” “what is wrong with me?” These are questions of despair, of rejection.
A small shift however, is available to me. Instead of asking these questions, I can ask “what is hurting me”. This question can support a shift in my emotional tone, by helping me remember a few insights that Yemima offers:
Nothing is wrong with me, there is something that is hurting me. According to Yemima, unwanted behaviors are not a product of our badness or inadequacies. They are a product of inner pain: places within myself that I feel weak, unloved or unwanted . For example: I am angry again. I ask myself what is hurting me? Slowly an answer arises within me that I am angry because I think other people don’t take me seriously. I am feeling disrespected and not seen.
I can change my focus from trying to suppress and fight unwanted behaviors to moving towards a deeper understanding of those places that are hurting. This is a switch from trying to control myself to trying to understand myself.
What is needed is healing not criticizing or shaming. The path to healing is through awareness with strong love and affection towards my existence. Continuing our example: I try to cultivate slowly and patiently a warm, loving awareness of a child within that wants to be loved and accepted. I try to hug that weak part inside of me. “You are beloved as you are”. I try to accept that part within.
Warm awareness and acceptance are key to healing. When I don’t suppress and fight those weak places, something different happens. When I shine the light of my warm awareness and acceptance on these weak places, I feel different: less frightened, less stuck, more connected, and more myself. My system can self repair, and mend incorrect beliefs such as I am not good enough, or I am not lovable. As time passes I react less and less from these weak places within. It happens on its own with no struggle.
Try asking yourself “what is hurting me”