Letting all appearances be as they are means relaxing into your present experience, in whatever way it is appearing.
At first, emotions (especially negative ones) may seem like barriers to relaxing into our present experience, until we start to see them differently.
When emotions arise, we are often in our heads only—running through the viewpoints on which we usually rely (i.e., blaming, complaining, reacting, excessive storytelling).
Letting an emotion be as it is means being aware of it directly, without trying to analyze, alleviate, neutralize, or get rid of it. Don’t think about emotions. Feel them!
Just noticing internal resistance to emotion can be enough. The viewpoints of blaming, complaining, reacting, and excessive storytelling are internal resistances to the direct experiencing of emotions.
Resistance may also be physical. Our muscles may tighten up when we are angry or fearful. Tension or stress can arise along with emotion. Another form of resistance to emotions is the movement towards some external food, substance, or activity to make us feel better.
Letting an emotion be is not the same as acting out on that emotion. Our usual way of dealing with emotion is directing it towards ourselves or others. This merely perpetuates the blame game, keeping us locked in separation and conflict.
In all of these situations, we are resisting, mentally and physically, the natural flow of energy that comes with the arising of emotion.
These movements of tension, stress, physical reaction, and viewpoints surrounding emotion have been largely unseen for most of our lives. All of these movements of resistance come from a basic belief that negative emotions are bad and that we need to be free of them all. This belief just keeps them around and keeps them recurring. Whatever we resist persists. Whatever we suppress remains dormant within us, waiting for the next trigger. Until we begin to allow emotions directly, without resistance and without relying on viewpoints, we continue seeking the future for release. We continue avoiding, resisting, using substances to feel better, and blaming others for our emotions.
To let an emotion be as it is means to fully allow the energy of the emotion, without the filter of thought, to arise freely, uninterruptedly, and openly within the space of the body. Just noticing the space around an emotion is a good start. Notice that the space has no agenda towards the emotion. It is not trying to blame others or even get rid of the emotion. That space is not even labeling the emotion as “fear” or “anger” or “emotion.” That space just allows the energy to be there fully. This is acceptance.
The simple act of noticing these previously unseen movements becomes an opening to relax as the open space in which everything comes and goes. In this way, emotions become a doorway into the recognition of awareness, not a barrier to it.
*Pic Shlomi Nissim
READ next article: The Boomerang Inquiry