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Ask the Loveologist: Feeding Your Demons

Ask the Loveologist: Feeding Your Demons

I have been out of my relationship almost as long as I was in it but I canít seem to go on. I have dated a little, but am so afraid of being hurt again that I find some excuse to break it off before anything can happen- good or bad. †I feel like I am just going through the motions in my life. Why canít I just accept my husband leaving me and move on?† Any ideas about how to re- start my life?

Thank you for sharing this very personal and challenging question that I believe is experienced by millions in one form or another.† Perhaps the most normal and least helpful response that we humans have to our emotional pain and fear is the habit of looking away or trying to suppress our feelings. Most of us are not trained or adept at dealing with the fear, rejection and pain that life and relationships often present. Emotional injuries from childhood that were never processed become silent filters that impact how we perceive and understand our entire lives.

Our feelings can seem so large and overwhelming that they threaten to consume us whole. When we refuse our emotional experiences, they grow into demons that become the lifeblood of our identity. The demons that run our lives become an infinite number of manifestationsÖ They are as unique as we are in personality yet universal in the needs we all share. The problem you mentioned of broken-heartedness can include everything from conflicts with people we love, to anxiety about communicating, discomfort with our appearance, the terror of being abandoned, or the shame of feeling worthless.We demonize our emotional experiences by our inability to attend to them. Anything that calls for our attention and is continuously rebuffed will become an active demon inside of you.

The issue of demonizing our fears and pain is as old as recorded history. It was first recorded in ancient Buddhist practices one thousand years ago. The practice has been translated and modernized for our times in an extremely user friendly version called Feeding your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict. Written by a former Buddhist nun, Tsultrim Allione, the book provides a helpful five step process to identifying and attending to the experiences and emotions that prevent us from joining life.

Although the idea of feeding and nurturing our internal enemies flies in the face of the conventional approach of overcoming and eliminating our weaknesses, getting intimate with the parts of ourselves that we generally unsuccessfully cut off from ourselves makes great sense.† Instead of battling with the places that scare us, we invite them in, take a good look at them and try to find a way to give them what they need. If ever a Buddhist path offered a way to true liberation, this is it. And you donít even have to sit, you just have to be courageous enough to embody your feelings and listen.

Dismantling and integrating our internal demons has the added benefit of developing the skills of attending and turning towards our feelings before they become the monsters†that can control us.

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.† In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,† she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative advice.†It has been called "the essential guide for relationships." †The book is available on ebook.† Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

14 comments

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1:05PM PDT on May 14, 2014

I learned to embrace myself and am the perfect loner. I love spending time with me! I don't "need" a partner or husband or boyfriend. Actually I prefer not having one. My friends are all the same way - they have learned to LOVE being alone, too. Nobody wants the hassles of a relationship...we've all been there, done that. I am the only one who currently has a pet. I've always had my animals my whole life and they provide amazing companionship and unconditional love. My only demon right now is a sugar "jones".

12:53PM PDT on May 14, 2014

I'm not sure I want to feed my dragons. But I agree that the only way to tame them is to face them squarely head on. I was taught to do an exercise where I try to honestly face whatever my fears are; imagine the absolutely worst case scenario for each one, then decide how I could still live in that scenario. Anything less becomes a piece of cake, which has freed me.

8:28PM PST on Feb 24, 2014

Great share, thanks.

9:38PM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

thanks?

3:22PM PDT on Apr 7, 2013

thanks

2:20AM PST on Nov 4, 2012

weird

6:54AM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

Nice.

9:21AM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

thx

4:13AM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

Thanks so much.

12:28PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

noted, thx

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