There Are No Wrong Feelings

by Edmund Celis, November 4, 2017.
newport coast
Photo by Edmund Celis

This article is a tribute to Chester Bennington and to all who feel depressed at times. I grew up listening to Linkin Park and when he passed away, it was heartbreaking.

It’s ok to hurt. Feel it and embrace it. We all experience pain and depression, it’s normal, just as we experience happiness and joy. Trying to always be happy is like, as Alan Watts says, trying to put everything up instead of down. You can’t do it. If everything was up, you wouldn’t know what down was. One exists because the other exists. If you take away one side, the other ceases to be. This is the duality of life.

In another light, all the “good” people in the world need to have “bad” people to know who they are. The in group versus the out group. Just like sound needs silence. It’s the interval of silence that makes sound audible, just as you wouldn’t know light without darkness. Life without death is impossible just like death without life. The vibration of life is a constant up and down cycle.

Essentially, the two are actually one with the appearance of being different. It is the beautiful play of the universe.

Sometimes we may put ourselves down for feeling a certain way. There’s this idea that feeling depressed is a bad thing. That death is a bad thing.

We’ve grown up learning that there is a good side and a bad side and that one side must win.

This is especially true in Western cultures. However, if you look at the yin yang symbol, it shows the two opposites needing each other. You cannot have one without the other.

Trying to make everything right in the world is a futile attempt to make the good win and the bad disappear from existence. It cannot be done. One exists because the other exists.

You cannot have life without death. You can’t have good without bad, nor happiness without sadness, dark without light, up without down.

We have learned to feel guilty when we express negative emotions such as anger or fear, when in reality, they are just as normal as feeling compassionate and courageous.

Once we experience large amounts of joy, we now know what it feels like to feel good, so when we experience its counterpart of depression, we may think there is something wrong. But there is not. It is all in relation to one another. If you feel like hurting someone, it doesn’t make you a bad person, it is just a feeling that you have. Of course, if you actually do hurt someone physically then that may not be the best path of action, but the feeling is as normal as a hurricane or tornado blowing through nature.

There is no need to feel guilty for what you think is the wrong feeling. If you flow with your feelings, you notice that they are as temporary and ever changing as the wind and clouds. They come and go. Just because you felt it one day, doesn’t make you that person. It is what it is. And the day goes on. When we come in resistance to our expressive feelings, then we create the problem of trying to control what cannot be controlled.

Trying to suppress your anger for example will just build up more energy for it to be expressed later on. Even buddhist monks or catholic priests get angry or have a lapse in their so called spiritual life. It doesn’t make them bad people, just as you have lapses in your emotions from day to day. Driving in traffic is infuriating, just like someone yelling curse words at you. There is a more peaceful way of going about things in a proper manner but expressing how you feel such as feeling angry or frustrated is normal. We shouldn’t get so held up in our feelings of negativity for it is fleeting and will pass.

Now let’s say that you just had an argument with someone and you feel angry. As you depart yourself from them, you may find yourself thinking a lot of angry and negative thoughts about them and also about how you may have acted. This anger can quickly turn into guilt and then you might make amends. If it settles then great, you move on. However, if you keep those thoughts in your head and keep the mental dialogue going, then you are just creating more problems.

If you look at the situation as, “Oh, there goes the anger again,” and let it pass, then you are moving with the current of emotion.

However, if you keep the memory alive by replaying it over and over again, then you are in total resistance to the flow of the moment, which is not where the event in your mind is.

Don’t be so afraid of making mistakes because simply, everything is happening the way it is, there is no right way of action or wrong way, it just dances. The real thing is to realize that you are the dance, the process of this whole cosmos, with no purpose except this very moment.

So next time you are feeling restless or depressed or angry, just let it flow without judging it as you do when you are happy and content, but the key is to also allow others to express themselves too without exclusion.

Here is an audio of the article as well. Video and audio by Edmund Celis.

Please read my article "An Illusory Self" to better understand what is meant by saying you don't exist.

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