Extremes of emotion can be debilitating in so many ways. If you’re going through the heartbreak of a relationship that’s ended or grieving any other type of loss, then meditating can be really difficult. You may find that all you do when you try to meditate is sit there and cry. Or you may be so depressed that you cannot even get up the motivation to meditate at all. In my experience, it requires a certain amount of my-life-is-together before I have success with maintaining my meditation practice. If things have gone to sh!t then it’s way too easy to blow it off — especially if I’m feeling very down on myself already. When I get into the “I’m not worth it” cycle of self-blame and wallowing unworthiness then it can be downright impossible to do anything healthy and strong, including meditation or working out or all of that. Sometimes it’s hard to even get out of bed. How can you be expected to do something as life-affirming as meditate on top of such a Herculean accomplishment as that?
If you’re currently going through it and dealing with difficult times in your life, then that’s when meditation can be the most beneficial* — but you may not even know it. If you meditate when you’re depressed or sad or in pain, then it may often feel like you’re just spinning your wheels. It can be even harder than usual to find your focus. However, forcing yourself to sit down and TRY to meditate is actually doing a huge amount of good for you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. The fact that you put in the effort, that you took a stance and told Eternity, “Yes, I’m going to meditate, even though I feel like my world is ending” — this is a big statement. You’re asserting that you do have faith, that you do believe you’re worth something. And, very very important, if you sit down for your regular meditation session and you don’t skip it, even if you feel like crap, then you’re re-establishing that habit. This will make it easier to do it again the next day. Continuity on your meditation practice is one of the most important aspects to evolving. If you blow it off all the time, then pretty soon you will realize that you’re no longer meditating at all.
So, even if it feels like it’s not getting you anything or that you’re really out of it and being ineffective with your attempts to quiet down, it’s still tremendously important that you try.
And who knows, perhaps Grace will visit you and you’ll be able to slip away into the silence of your mind for a time.
And when you finish, then you’ll realize that there’s a bit more peace, and calm, and even a peek of joy coming through.
It’ll make you stronger, and make it easier to deal with the darkness or despair that you’re feeling.
Meditation brings light into your mind — or more accurately, it lets you experience the light that’s always there waiting. When emotions are painful and heavy, it can be very difficult to perceive that light. Sitting down to meditate, even when the challenges in your life are especially severe, can help you through them and bring you to healing. It may be all you need to let those emotions loosen their grip, even if just for a time.
Meditation when you’re emotional can be really hard, but just try. Focus on your heart, or if nothing else, then on your breathing. Watch. Wait. Listen. Say a mantra, or repeat a prayer or even a poem. Bringing yourself back to the center can help you remember the Truth of who you are, and that Truth is beyond all suffering.
If it proves too difficult, don’t force it. Let it go, and go do something else, like watch a movie or read a happy book, or talk with a friend. Be proud of yourself for putting in the attempt. Even if it seemed worthless when you tried, really, it’s not. All meditation is good, even when it feels pointless and hard.
If you’re having a rough time, then I wish you comfort. Peace is there, beneath it all, but sometimes we need to feel the anguish, as part of the process of discovering what’s real.
*ANY meditation is “the most beneficial” though!! Sometimes it’s even harder to get yourself onto the meditation pillow when things are going really great, since there’s no motivation to push us to fix it. However, that’s when you can make some seriously tremendous progress.