Visitors in The Night

by | Apr 26, 2024

Sometimes I lay awake up in the middle of the night, it’s quiet and dark, and some part of my body may be hurting or uncomfortable. I’m restless. It is in the realm of being partly awake but not quite asleep. I am conscious that I am awake.  In this state, feelings often emerge for no apparent reason, like vulnerability, discouragement, or fear of some pending adversity. The feelings are not pleasant, they start a chain reaction, triggering my mind to launch into a cycle of scenarios that are born of these negative emotions. An endless spectacle of pending gloom and doom.

I become hopelessly entangled in this endless mental theater of what is going to happen to me. I can’t fall back to sleep, the relentless thoughts exhaust me, and it makes me feel even more tired. I just want to fall back to sleep, but I can’t shut my mind up. In the quiet of the night, these thoughts seem to be louder and more pronounced because there are no distractions. Exasperated, it just won’t stop, in sheer desperation, I scream internally at my mind, “Shut the f–k up!”, as if my mind were a separate intruder. This results in no real relief, but it does heighten my awareness.

In this shift of awareness, I try to breathe and relax, “Relax and release” I repeat over and over. Time seems to slow down in these situations because they are uncomfortable, and I don’t like the pain. I want to escape the discomfort of those feelings.

I realize that I am in conflict with my emotional state, I’m resisting my feelings, and I want them to go away. To banish them. But I also know that emotions and thoughts are part of me, part of my life expression. They are not there by accident. My fearful or anxious feelings are triggered by old memories that have not been investigated or resolved. I carry old emotional scars from painful situations when I was a child and throughout my life. They are still buried deep within me. They are no longer relevant to my life now, yet they are present and can influence my mood, and deplete me of energy. They are a distraction that prevents me from living a fully engaged vibrant life.

Is the answer to banish them? Can I view them without judgment in a state of neutrality? Can I listen to them, feel them? Can I visit the place where they were born?

Implementing the six heart virtues of appreciation, compassion, forgiveness, humility, understanding, and valor, is how I shift my emotional state.

When I am in the midst of emotional turmoil, feeling discouraged and drained and I can catch what is happening, I can refresh my state of being in the moment. This does not only apply to my example at night, but it can also be anytime, anywhere, and can only take seconds.

First, I notice that I am in emotional turmoil and my mind is like a runaway freight train projecting all manner of negative future situations or rehashing the past.

Then I step back, look without judgment, find a sense of neutrality, and apply or feel compassion for myself. I Feel the fear, discouragement, or whatever is being felt and I allow it to be felt fully. If I can sense myself as a child where the fear was born, I can hold that child or adult with compassion and understanding. I can feel appreciation for noticing the old hurt that still lives inside of me and I acknowledge my valor for showing up to help my younger self. The present me, can free and comfort the child or my adult self in the present moment and release the pain of the child, and love him. I don’t have to carry those negative emotions any longer. I release them with the virtues of the heart which is love.

“Each of the emotions that cause depletion of energy, creativity, intuition, mental acuity, and sense of well being can become calcified to the point that they interfere with your energetic field and its connection to the Oneness we all share. The negative emotions, like anger, envy, depression, chronic anxiety, and hopelessness, are like fundamental chords that we strike in our energetic field every time we feel them, and these chords resonate and activate other negative emotions, which can be our ruin.” 

“Negative emotions, at their fundamental level, are packages of history like balls made out of rubber bands. It is to these “packages” that you extend the invitation, and by inviting them into the neutral heart, you are, in a sense, awakening them to their pointlessness in your present reality. In this step you are not trying to force them to change or remove them, but rather you are allowing them to feel the new perspective and energy field you are assembling.”

Event Temples, pg 7, James Mahu

My history is not completely clear of old emotional scares, I will have restless nights again. My mind will rise up and do what it does best, to continue to recycle the past. But I have the tools to attend to this. I know that it is not about fighting, banishing, and resisting emotions, it is about the transformation of my emotional state of being.

Saying yes to what I’m feeling, and allowing them to voice their existence and reveal their outdated purpose born of the mind of the child. Then release them with love by introducing appreciation, compassion, and any virtue that is called for. It takes practice.

This is the shift I needed in the middle of the night to a more loving relationship with the reality in which I live, my reality–all of it–without exception. In that seemingly inconsequential lonely experience that happens to be in the middle of the night, I find my connection to my more expansive Self, if only for a moment. It is well worth it.

The universe will always show me the next step, or what I need the most. I may judge it, resist it, ignore it, or not understand it, but it is always there right in front of me.

It takes courage, awareness, and conscious action to look deeper for the gift it is giving me. If I can recognize that I am in communication and always supported by the universe, I am in a state of interconnectedness with all, which is the state of intelligent love, the highest state I can embody. My life unfolds from that state for …a while.

“Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don’t think about it – don’t let the feeling turn into thinking. Don’t judge or analyze. Don’t make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of “the one who observes,” the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens.”

— Eckhart Tolle

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