When you name it, you tame it

Another lesson in the meditation app Calm today was about “leaning in”. It was discussing how to handle negative emotions that come up and how to practice dealing with them during meditation. The whole concept was to lean into them, get curious about them and accept them and get back to the breath. The narrator discussed the importance of paying attention to these emotions because they often are something that needs attention. She suggested not only recognizing them, but how they make us feel. Really getting in touch with the physical changes that occur. Do I feel sweaty? Is my heart starting to race? Am I becoming anxious? Recognizing and then by leaning into them we are able to sit with them for a while and then it seems they start to lose their momentum.

It can be very uncomfortable leaning into negative emotions. Most of us want to sweep them under the carpet and not have to deal with them. The narrator during today’s session told a story about a dragon. This dragon lived atop a mountain above a village and held his treasures in his cave. The townspeople tried many times to fight the dragon and take his treasures, but to no avail. One day, a young warrior approached the dragon and whispered something in his ear. The dragon gently stepped aside and let the warrior pass. The warrior gathered the treasures and returned to his village. All of the people in his village were blown away by his success and asked him what he said to the dragon. He stated: “you cannot fight the dragon to get in, you must simply know his name. Once you name it, you tame it”.

This concept particularly hit home with me surrounding the death of my brother, Pat, and then the subsequent loss of his two kids. As you can imagine there were so many negative emotions associated with this: grief, sorrow, anger, guilt…to name a few. I was 24 when this happened and I know I never dealt with this enormous loss the way I probably could or should have. I turned to drinking to drown the sorrow, which, in turn, taught my unconscious brain to turn to alcohol in times of sadness, depression, and anger, for the next 30 years. And as I’ve gone through this journey, I am realizing more and more the importance of dealing with this dragon. It’s time to take the gloves off and beat this down.

There were 2 quotes during this lesson, first, “the only way out is through” and, second, “what we face, we free”. So absolutely profound and true. I have already stated the emotions out loud. I’ve shared this pain in my journal, here in this blog and with my support group. By naming it and sharing it, I’ve already begun the way through. I’m facing the dragon and freeing myself to become a better, stronger person. I have named it and now on to taming it!

One response to “When you name it, you tame it”

  1. Wow!!! Great post today!! Relevant on so many levels. It reminds me of a saying that is so powerful to me:
    What you don’t change, you choose. That statement gives me so much power over things.

    Liked by 1 person

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