I clearly recall how I used to respond to experiences of depression or anxiety…
I would immediately label the experience as bad, and then try to end it as soon as possible through some means or another. This is the usual response most people have to uncomfortable states of being: judge them as bad and try to push them away. This activity amounts to resistance, a potent energy form that causes any barrier to become more rigid.
Nonresistance, on the other hand, maintains energy by not giving it away (certainly not to an opposing force). This is not to say that one shouldn’t push back under any circumstances, but consider when this is really the best course.Chinese military sage Sun Tzu is supposed to have said ‘A battle not fought is a battle won.’
An alternative to pushing an uncomfortable state of being away is to acknowledge and accept it. I am experiencing depression, and I accept it. I am experiencing anxiety, and I accept it. I am experiencing stress, and I accept it. I am experiencing annoyance, and I accept it. I am experiencing anger, and I accept it. I am experiencing fear, and I accept it.
The acceptance isn’t resistance, so energies aren’t being fed to the uncomfortable state to make it more robust. The acknowledgement aspect brings conscious awareness to the uncomfortable state. When these two approaches — acceptance and conscious acknowledgment — are applied to an uncomfortable state of being, the state typically loses its force and dissipates.
It’s important however not to use these approaches with the direct intent of ending the uncomfortable state, as in ‘I’m going to apply this and I want this discomfort to end.’ This demanding that the external conform to a particular desire represents ego output, and is resistance to what is. Resisting what is always leads to suffering.
Try to use the combination of acceptance and acknowledgment from the orientation of unattached observer. This is what is happening, and I am observing it. You are, in fact, the observer. This is who you are. Many of us have associated ourselves with the drama that plays out within the life experience. In truth we are above and beyond this drama.
You can step out of the drama any time you choose and simply observe it. This capability to detach from the drama of the life experience is proof that you are not it, and it is not you.
When an uncomfortable state of being is, allow it to be. Don’t deny it, don’t resist it, don’t embrace it. And do not judge it.
Judgment comes directly from the ego, and ego output blocks out your connection to your internal state of enlightenment. This internal state of enlightenment knows the genuine implication of what is happening in your life experience where your ego absolutely does not.
When an event occurs your ego compares and labels it — good, bad. Internal enlightenment knows however when the event your ego labels as good is actually hindering you from taking the next step in your development, while the event your ego labels as bad may be the exact impetus needed to elevate your existence.
Do not condemn your ego for its wrong judgments — we are responsible for the ego developing in ways detrimental. But remain aware that judgments and resistance are instances of the ego acting outside of its capacities and understanding, and that the ego is not meant to direct you through the life experience.
That is the job for your internal state of enlightenment.