Making friends with hard emotions

Thicht Nhat Hanh talks about feelings and emotions. When we are experience them we are those emotions. So acknowledge them, sit with them, and get to know them.

“We do not need surgery to remove our anger. If we become angry at our anger, we will have two angers at the same time. We only have to observe it with love and attention. If we take care of our anger in this way, without trying to run away from it, it will transform itself.”

I am working on recognizing and acknowledging how I feel right now. Drained. Sad (rather deelply sad). Disappointed. A little angry, but mostly frustrated. But also excited, energetic, restless and hopeful. These emotions obviously relate to two different areas of my life. I think I am finally (FINALLY!) on some sort of focused path for my ‘career’. Romantically, things are imploding a little bit. I can’t say that I didn’t set myself up for it, but I truly thought it would turn out differently. I actually think this might be the real end. We’ve gone through these pseudo-breakups before, where we talk about how he doesn’t want something that’s long term and he’ll only end up hurting me, etc. etc. ad nauseum. But the universe always throws us back together. Me needing to be taken care of after too many birthday shots (woops), him moving on from a job and needing support. Or just generally us enjoying one another and being friends who want to see one another, who enjoy physical affection, who value one another.

But this time feels different. I’m trying to sit with these feelings of sadness. I will breathe through them. I am trying to not hope that he’s feeling more sadness than I am, but I would be lying if I said I was succeeding. Because despite everything there is a part of me that has hope that if he is experiencing enough sadness he will come back. Realize what there is between us. Isn’t that the ultimate trap of getting over someone? Of breaking free? To actually WANT to be free is the hardest part. I don’t want to be free of him; I want him to want the same things I do. But he doesn’t – or he claims not to (I think the only person who is convinced of what he says is himself. Everyone who sees us together is convinced otherwise).

But this feels final. I’m not expecting to hear from him. In fact, I would be surprised if I did. This makes me sad. Incredibly sad. It’s time to sit and make friends with that sadness.

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