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Water will never try to flow through a rock in its way

Unsplash - River - rocks

What if I tell you, sadness can become enjoyable? How could this possibly be? It will take some time to practice allowing all of your emotions to be while giving up resistance to whatever emotion comes along. To no more differentiate between welcoming and unwelcoming emotions.

I’m sharing this recent experience I made, since I know how pointless sometimes it feels when someone tells us: Let go. Accept you’re being sad right now. Lean into it, and so forth. These words make little sense at that moment, since we don't know how to put them to use. Hopefully, it gives you an idea of which direction you should aim for when finding your own way of developing acceptance.

A couple of days ago, I watched a movie named “A beautiful life”. The story contained so many indirect, hidden parallels to my life, especially regarding the father-daughter relationship, that made me cry uncontrollably. That moment when a wave of sadness overran me, suddenly shifted to a moment of joy.

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance. ― Steven Pressfield

I’ve started Tai Chi as an alternative to Yoga because of my back problems. And I fell in love right away. Connecting with the ground and moving with the flow, loosening any tension and noticing each part of your body and their role in the move.

Since February, I have been practicing accepting, not agreeing, with what happens each day, and the progress has been remarkable. “Negative” emotions couldn’t drag me on forever as they did before. Until now, I could let go of resistance with my mind. Tai Chi helped me to get into the feel of releasing resistance against everything, even if it feels uncomfortable. And I only had 5 lessons so far!

This underlines again the time needed for the practice to flourish. We understand a lot with our mind and we think we know, but that doesn’t mean we have a feel for it. A feeling needs to develop and only then comes the “Aha!” understanding. That’s when you know you made the experience. No difference when dealing with emotions. You also need to develop a feeling for it.

Unsplash - Magic lights

While I felt sadness and tears rising, I’ve let them come with no second of resistance. The feel of guiltiness because of not having been mentally present enough for my daughter when she grew up just overwhelmed me. The feel of having failed as a father. Like a growing knot rising in your stomach and moving to your chest, getting bigger and bigger. I took some deep breaths to create space for the knot to grow… to be welcomed. I’ve let out all my tears and sorrow, knowing this was the way it was and the only thing I could do when I figured it out was to talk honestly with my daughter about it; which I did.

Leaning into the feel, giving space to it, suddenly the knot resolved as quickly as it’s risen, followed by a moment of bliss. Not agreeing with how it went, but accepting how it was. Painful tears have transformed into tears of joy.

I paused the movie, sat there, and allowed myself to indulge in this moment. Thankful for the experience, for being alive, for the ability of being at peace with myself, my past.

Think about a river. Water will never try to flow through a rock in its way. It expands and breaks through the rock's resistance while making space for it. Naturally flowing around it and rejoining afterwards.

Enjoy the moment

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