Embracing What Is by Anja Morris (YTT Cohort 1)

We’ve all got a bag we are carrying that’s full of emotions, experiences, and even trauma. It’s our stuff. When we hide our stuff, or ignore our stuff that we wish we didn’t have, it doesn’t go away. Even if we think something doesn’t matter anymore, all we are really doing is stuffing it down somewhere in our unconscious, but it’s not gone. It will always be there. 

For a long time, this was all unsettling to me. I had a lot of stuff that I had packed away. My unconscious bag of unprocessed and rejected experiences was so heavy! I thought that nobody would ever understand. How could I possibly lighten my load? Every single day, the weight of that bag would nearly collapse me, and if I’m being real, some days it did. 

Our cohort had the pleasure of learning from Michelle of Runa Yoga this past month on our yoga teacher training retreat weekend at Camp Janette Pollay. Michelle made the point that the most painful times we experience are the times that we may be resisting our emotions. I’ve never heard anything more spot on! When I reflect on my life the most suffering I’ve ever experienced has been from emotions that I resisted; the feelings I tried to ignore because they felt too intense. That’s what suffering is, for me.

The scariest and most vulnerable, yet also the best thing I’ve ever done and am still trying to do for myself is allowing myself to feel those emotions. Sitting with our emotions can be so difficult and definitely a process that can take time, but we can find great healing there. 

The best part is that we don’t have to identify with our emotions. They don’t have to define us, or make us anything more or less. The only thing we have to do with our emotions is feel them! Emotions come, emotions go. That’s it. If we can let ourselves experience them as they are, they will become lighter. If not, they become heavy in our bag, and we are weighted down, and we suffer. 

When we can learn to be okay with whatever we are feeling in any given moment, there’s nothing we can’t do. We become resilient. We become empowered by the truth. We can simply be. We don’t always get to choose what gets put in our bag, but we can lighten our load by embracing what is.