5/30/2020 Anya van Til
Being a mother of three I have seen my kids get hurt innumerous times.
As a mother of course I had to help them.
I should say that I have become better at this with time as I learned through practice all the do’s and don’ts.
In the beginning I panicked just as hard as a kid would and my actions would be compulsive and hectic. That did not really help.
Time passed, kids kept coming up for help, I learned that they survive most of their damage so I learned to distance myself from their injuries and stay calm.
By child number three this is what I would do with my screaming kid (by the way, the harder they scream, the less real damage has taken place).
First of all I would stop and pay attention.
Then I would sit down, stay calm and thus help the little one to calm down too.
Then we would take a look at the wound. We would see what needed to be done (cleaning, treating) and do it.
At last we would talk about why it happened and how they can avoid it next time.
If you think about our anger and fear it is pretty much the same.
When we are young and unskillful we let anger and fear overwhelm us. They take control over us and devour us.
All we can be is angry or fearful.
It takes practice to learn to take a step back from our anger and worry.
That is what we do in meditation.
We learn to stop and to calm down and take a look at our feelings without drowning in them.
Thus while meditating we train to become skilful in treating emotions so that we don’t get quickly overwhelmed by them in our daily life.
Stopping and recognising a negative emotion is the first thing we do when it comes up.
Afterwards it is better not to deny it, try to push it away or make it look or feel better. Just recognise it and accept it.
“You fell down. It hurts”, I would say to a child.
Then next thing comes naturally. Every mother would embrace her child.
What is an embrace? It is an act of love and kindness but also mindfulness. Love only flows where your attention goes.
So with the negative emotion like anger or fear we need to embrace it by paying full attention to it.
Only kind attention can dissolve our negative emotion.
When we are calm we can look deeper at the wound, at our anger, fear, worry etc. What was it that had brought it up? Where does dis-ease and dis-comfort come from?
Looking deeper at the situation we get insights. What is it really that is bothering us? Maybe we are tired, maybe we sleep not enough or are too busy, maybe we are deeply dissatisfied with a job or a relationship. When we realise the underlying causes of our anger and worry, we can choose to act upon improving our situation.
Try treating your negative emotions as if they were your kids and uncover deep unconditional mother love for yourself.
Over time, having discovered love for yourself will help you recognise pain and suffering underneath anger and fear of others and help you learn to respond in a gentle, loving way to it instead of getting ignited by eruptions of anger and fear of others.
Guess what will happen to the world when everyone starts to uncover his love and kindness?