I’ve experienced surges of emotion in the past month. Euphoria, Sadness, Madness, Despair. As one who traverses the meditative path, I try not to let my feelings of life become the facts of life. But I’m human and when crisis happens the first thing that falls out of line is my emotional stability. I can only blame it on my moon in Pisces for so long, and then I actually have to put my big girl pants on.
What happens when we experience separation from our fixed identities is what the Buddhist tradition would call kleshas. Anger, Jealousy, Pride, Fear. Those are all strong emotions that occur when we separate from our former selves. Look at a very drunk college co-ed. She stumbles on her heels, gets upset when her phone dies, and cries when she can’t find her way out of the bathroom. That is the esscence of Klesha, all reactive and no clarity…lost and hurt for no reason.
My kleshas have a visual component to them. You are all familiar with a whiskey-loving pop star named Ke$ha. For those unfamiliar, her songs involve waking up in someone else’s bathroom, brushing her teeth with Jack Daniels, and becoming so crazy over a man that she likens love to a drug. She is my vajazzled force of self destruction with glitter in all parts unknown.
Is this your bathroom? I think I’ll sleep here tonight – Me, in College.
But what’s so interesting to me about my personal party demon? She’s seductive. Secretly we adore this hot mess. When Britney Spears was on the brink of suicide and getting into car accidents? We thrive on that story. When Lindsay Lohan gets away with another drunken incident? We want to see more. Not only are these kleshas of culture in my consciousness as the party demons of my past, but she’s in the collective consciousness of the world as what we all value.
Because if the world convinces us that emotional calamity is our normal, then we don’t have to be bothered with our infinity. If we are taught enough times that being crazy is what’s expected, then we don’t have to be responsible for our lives.
There are two sides to kleshas when it comes to going through hardships. There is the creative burn of this process, where we go through the veil of our emotions and fears and come out the other side as clear. Britney’s comeback? Getting over a loss? Doing what you love in spite of your fear? All empowering. We have equal opportunity to rise through the calamity and that makes us stronger and clearer. When we break through our emotional passages, we become human and we recognize that suffering in others.
Now here I am, at the age of 28 and my emotional calamities have not gotten any less complicated. Hurt, Regret, Fear, Lack. All of my Kleshas which appear to me like seductive club monsters who could turn my mental clarity into hazy weapons-grade jaeger bombs. An emotional hangover much worse than the physical. Self poisoning at its worst.
What I need to remember is this: all of this emotional Klesha, Ke$ha, and turmoil? Comes from a false image. It comes from an image that I am separate from infinity, love, and the light inside that guides me in the darkness. All emotional calamity is from a separation that doesn’t exist between me and infinity.
We are all beautiful creatures of this planet trying to become soul. We stumble, we cry, we get drunk and pass out. But we wake up and we try again. Every morning. Even if we feel terrible consistently, we slowly learn to detatch from that feeling and eventually it doesn’t bother us anymore. We are soulful beings here to learn messy love and life. Calamity is not our purpose, but navigating calamity through the strength of our path will get us there.
May this week be filled with clarity and healing. May all of your emotional turmoils be re-directed towards your inner light and burned out with the intensity of your truth. May you never feel sadness, fear, anger or hurt when your love becomes the place of peace. May your daily practice peel back the layers of your emotional pain so you may live your destiny and the destiny of a peaceful planet. Sat Nam.