I have recently re-read a book by Dr Ulla Sebastian entitled Growing Through Joy. I first read this book when I met the author while living and working in the Findhorn Community. I was struck by her vibrant energy. I read her book then (2010) and found myself in a space of ‘seeking’ a desire to ‘find the joy’ as though ‘joy’ was my goal.
Today (2022) 12 years later, I read this book through a new lens. My perceptions of emotions and their value has shifted since that time. I recognise the growth I experience and the aliveness I feel from allowing all feelings to be valid. Releasing the judgment that one emotion is preferable to another and allowing myself to feel rather than resisting the emotions has been life-changing.
While I accept that some feelings are more comfortable, and emotions such as joy and happiness are pleasant and socially accepted, they are no longer my goal. My willingness to feel the discomfort that comes with sadness, grief, pain, while these emotions may be unpleasant, I am no longer resisting but instead being present with feelings as they emerge. I notice they pass by more gently and swiftly as I allow their flow.
I have grown through this wiliness to not judge my emotions as ‘positive or negative’ but rather, be present with what is real for me in the moment. It is in these times of discomfort that my relationship with the Divine is strengthened. I am able to listen, receive healing, feel peaceful and understand that all emotions serve us if we allow them to. Tears have healing properties. Our bodies have an inner-wisdom and know how to heal pain and trauma through emotional release.
As I read this book today, I am grateful that I can access a full range of feelings and tap into my emotional body and listen carefully. Today my growth is beyond Joy.
Pip Lee Meer