Intention is of key importance. Let’s use the example of a murderer.
Imagine you are the murderer.
To start, simply, you just murdered a person. Because they made you mad I guess and, in the raw spiraling emotion of that moment, you murdered them for whatever reason. Now, you feel bad and regret it, but you run from the scene. Uh oh. Naughty…
You spend days rolling inside with guilt, but surprisingly, there is no police knock on your door. Weeks go by and it becomes a cold case. Soon, you are well in the clear. You are the only one that knows what you did.
What can you do, outside of turning yourself in, that can quell this feeling inside yourself?
One idea might be to throw yourself into community service. Perhaps helping enough people might mitigate the fact you are a killer. Or you could become a vigilante, hunting murderers in hopes that their justice also counts as your redemption. You might even become a cop bringing legal justice to the wrong doing in your community. There is an opportunity for you as a preacher or spiritual leader to bring life lessons of sin and wrongdoing to a congregation of people in your town. You may even just shove it down and become a regular person in the hopes that time will erase the feeling that resides deep in your gut.
But despite all of these empty efforts, the feeling still comes up. That feeling still rises like a strong acid up your into throat and into your idle mind.
There is not a religious lesson here as much as there is a logical one, a psychological one: That we have to address our feelings straight on. We have to deal with our undealt, directly. We cannot dance around these feelings or they become even more inflamed and undealt with. Much like a garbage bag nobody wants to take out, these bad feelings begin to swell and smell and become more of a problem than they ever were originally.
Dealing with the undealt has become a staple of fields like psychology and coaching for years. Unconscious forces as they are more familiarly known. Carl Jung, the famous early 20th century philosopher and psychologist used the analogy of our “shadow self”. He firmly believed through his experience that if we don’t accept all of us, we don’t really accept ourselves at all.
So what are your shadow forces? Your undealt? How do we free those suppressed feelings and let them go?
Here are some ways that have worked for me, maybe they’ll help you too.
Talk to someone that you trust.
It is important to talk to someone that you can confide in like a best friend, family member, a coach or trainer or a therapist. This allows you to get it off your chest, and it is also to help them really help you and deal with root causes. Honesty out loud can be the cure itself.
Gain some perspective.
There are plenty of books and movies that hit on these feelings. There are also adults that have lived these “scenes”, you could say. One of the hardest things that I have ever done is to devote some level of faith to the lessons I have learned from art and older people. Life is short, and older people know this, let them help you so you don’t make the same mistakes that they have.
Find a way to talk to yourself.
This is the most important and the easiest step to take. It requires courage to ask questions or meet people, or to be vulnerable in front of others. Being upfront with yourself, though, is between you and you. For most of us, this is a required first step. Find a journal, take time in the park, go on a walk, sit down in the shower, turn off the radio in the car. Wherever you can be with your own thoughts, make it a point to understand yourself first.
Make sure you are not doing good deeds to make up for a bad feeling you have inside.
It is hard to build your future if you are always filling the holes of your past.
Live abundantly, discover your true intention, leverage others for progress and become more.