How do we honour hate, anger, sadness, guilt? Perhaps more to the point is why would we want to honour “negative” emotions? To negate a part of existence is to deny the human condition; it is what it is.
When we bring light to darkness, we can see that all of these emotions are fear based. What do we do when a child or someone we love is fearful or angry? We offer compassion, understanding, consolation, kindness, support, a listening ear, hugging arms or a caring shoulder. Why would we be angry at someone who is hurting?
Honouring these “adverse” feelings by turning and facing them means acknowledging that they arise in us. In this arising, we have the choice to transmute the base metal of contrary feelings into gold; the golden light of understanding and compassion. In doing so there is an invitation to look beyond the arising feeling to what lies under.
Questions to ponder include where do these feelings come from? What is the purpose of them? How can I use my anger, sadness, guilt in a creative, productive way that could initiate change both inward and outward?
Finally, the truth of these so-called “bad” emotions, the anger we feel to others we know on both a subtle and not subtle level is deeply harming and stressful to all, particularly ourselves. More conflict does not end conflict, fighting for peace is an oxymoron.
Learning to find equanimity in the face of all of life’s challenges and joys is a healing practice. It’s not easy. It’s a practice that requires patience and forgiveness and a willingness to go beyond.