This is kind of intense, but let me ask you plainly: have you ever plunged into the abyss of sorrow? If you have been there you know what I am talking about.
“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”
– Carl Jung
What is Sorrow?
Contrary to common belief, sorrow is not an emotional pattern but a mental one. Sorrow has to do with those old “mental tapes” played over and over again in our heads.
This mental over burdening of the nervous system by sorrow leads to emotional sinking and disconnection from the present moment. When this happens we are prone to move our awareness to events that happened in the past and caused us sorrow. For a moment we drown in helplessness and lose sight of our coping skills. It is no doubt negative-thinking, focusing on the part of the past that did produce sorrow.
The Power of the Past
Sorrow is a pattern that lurks silently and unnoticed into our awareness. When we least expect, old experiences of being deeply hurt become vivid. The present moment fades and is invaded by past thoughts and feelings. In general, those thoughts and feelings have to do with early childhood experiences of abandonment, and disconnection from primary love figures (caregivers), like the mother or the father. To some, these experiences take form as traumatic events, piercing our most loving nature to the core. The experience of love becomes a distorted pattern and a painful one.
This early experience of being deeply hurt generates disconnection from our primary love figures.
This is what happens on the outside. On the internal side, in our psyche, we feel disconnected from our capacity to engage in deep love relationships. Sometimes it is numbness, sometimes it is just pure avoidance. We can rationalize and say that we don’t trust in our loved one, or that he or she is not good enough for us. What is really happening is a deficit in trust.
Trust becomes difficult because the amount of hurt was so unbearable that our “psychic immune system” will protect us against future exposure to Love. Dissociation is a defense mechanism that is often found in such cases.
The person feels unable to expose themself as fragile with a loved one, and as such, to fully experience love. Doing this blocks the present deep experience of love and the sweet nourishment of being loved.
When we engage in replaying old tapes in the present moment we are not only reliving those traumatic moments, we are also doing another thing to ourselves that goes unnoticed.
By moving our awareness to the past we are no longer embracing and living in the present moment. What we are doing is: we are abandoning ourselves, our present self, and dwelling in the “prison of sorrow”. That is, not loving ourselves in the present moment.
The Paradox of Love
Although most people in this situation want to find love and engage in meaningful relationships, there is another part of themselves that blocks that. The part that blocks is well intentioned but at the same time creates more suffering.
On one side we have the avoidance of love, not to be hurt again, on the other side, the longing for love to be deeply and fully alive. So, how to deal with this paradox, and be able to find, and fully experience love in our lives?
Love Thy Self
As you know old habits die hard. One of the most dynamic ways to deal with the sorrow mental tapes is not to avoid them, but to accept them. Just become aware that you are doing it.
So, when you find yourself conscious that you are replaying sorrow, don’t blame yourself, don’t try to stop, just accept that your are doing it. Yes, accept that you are doing it.
Accepting the process brings back your awareness to the present moment although the mental content is in the past. Also, by becoming aware of what you are doing restores your personal power. What I mean by personal power is that you are in control of the amount of time you want those tapes to be played in your head. You can start to make decisions, either to continue or to change direction.
Instead, of avoiding those “sorrow tapes” you can balance them with a broader view where you add loving caring moments in the same proportion as the sorrow ones. Another way of dealing with those “sorrow tapes” is to understand that you are not going to abandon yourself in the present moment. You will not allow yourself to be dragged into the past.
Stating that you decide to be in the present moment is a declaration of personal care and love. You are not abandoning yourself. You decide to be fully in the present and love the moments you are living in. Finally, when you are able to tap into the sacredness of the present moment, and of yourself, there is a definite change in frequency. This is one of the most powerful statements you can make in terms of change to Love Thy Self.
So, what is missing when we engage in the sorrow replay tapes? We are just focusing on the moments that cause us suffering and lack of love. We are editing our life through a narrow spectrum: the sorrow, and lack of love.
To balance this pattern and expand our views, it could be interesting to begin to look for moments where, if even for brief moments, you felt the opposite: loved, connected, cared for.
List of Loving Moments
If I may suggest, try something practical that can change the way you think and feel.
Try to make a list of moments in your life where you felt:
- Cared for
Try to write those moments down, stressing how you felt. Remember the colors, the warmth, the sounds and the smells, even the sensations.
Search for old pictures that evoke loving moments. Presents or deeds that were offered to you when you were a child. Bring back to your consciousness important people to your heart. People that made you feel whole and loved.
Heart’s Precious Moments Board
Get a board. Assemble all this, the writings, photos, gifts, souvenirs, on this board. You can even add fictional moments from books and movies (our minds doesn’t make distinction between reality and fiction, if you can think it is real for the mind).
Hang the board on a place where you can see it everyday, even meditate on it daily as a heart medicine.
Doing this you are sending a powerful and loving message to your unconscious, one that is creating wholeness and balance in your life.
This is a powerful way of editing and rewriting your personal story with consciousness and much love.
Tips to Deal with Sorrow
Besides, the board you can do simple daily tips to deal with sorrow:
- Accept what is happening (no denial)
- Add moments when you felt cared for and loved
- Stay in the present moment
- Connect with your inner Love Thy Self
“Never will a lover’s chest feel any sorrow.”
Love to know how these suggestions and tips impacted in your daily living and if they improved your life. Please share your personal experience You are most welcome.