Suppression

You may have noticed in the news that the American far right is having their voice taken from them. On the face of it this seems like a good thing.

But it isn’t necessarily.

Without an outlet, things fester. They talk under the radar. They get more angry. Their plans don’t come under the scrutiny of the sane public, they are confined to their own echo chamber and become charged with more hate, more strength, more power.

What’s the solution and why am I telling you this?

The solution is to listen. To understand. To find out what deep-seated needs these people have that aren’t being met. To find out what’s really going on…

We know it isn’t immigrants. We know it isn’t a global conspiracy.

So what is it?

And the reason I’m talking about this is because it’s exactly what goes on within us when we have dark thoughts, or difficult emotions.

The tendency is to suppress them; to push them down, to ignore them, to silence them hoping they’ll go away.

But they do nothing of the sort. They linger, they grow in strength until they burst forth in a fit of dysfunction: maybe we shout at those close to us, maybe we go on a spending spree, maybe we drink more than we ought, maybe we get hopelessly depressed.

The solution is the same.

When we have the dark thoughts, the difficult emotions, those times when we think we’re bad, useless, not good enough, or just don’t know what we’re doing…

That’s when we need to shine light on ourselves. To love ourselves all the more. To feel the shame and guilt if we need to, but not to identify with the shame and guilt.

We have a dialogue with our inner world (through feelings, not words) and we discover what our actual needs are that are not being met.

Do we feel unsafe? Do we feel unheard? Do we feel frustrated and impatient? Do we feel lost?

Let’s become aware. Let’s feel. Let’s allow those emotions and feelings and thoughts to come up and realise that they don’t define us… let’s realise that we are OK, and that the emotions, feelings and thoughts are OK.

Let’s have compassion for ourselves as we do the difficult work of processing our experience.

And when our emotions feel heard… that’s when they stop being so insistent. That’s when we make peace.