As we discussed in the previous article, I Didn’t Mean That, ‘Emotional Containment’ here is the exercise to help with attaining this freedom. The problem is that it sounds simple, but if taken literally and applied without wisdom, it can be dangerous.
The first step is in understanding that everything is and isn’t at the same time. At one moment the correct response could be totally different to the very same question or situation than in the next moment. Every thing is relative to the conditions at the very moment, and those conditions are as varied as there are grains of sand in the desert.
With this in mind, if sincerely accepted, your consciousness and awareness will automatically open to a level far beyond the normal conditions that you function with from day to day. This alone will increase your objective awareness of all situations and in this, many of the problems in your life will dissolve as the relative reality is seen rather than the normally accepted imaginary importance which is often purely subjective to you alone.
Next, we take into account the objective reality that we are all prejudice to some degree. Prejudice means having a fixed opinion of a negative nature against a person, culture or anything at all. We have our fixed opinions and views of life and people and cultures, and the pains in our life cause us to become negative or selfish to some degree even if that is so minor you would not notice it.
Relatively low prejudice is still prejudice. Prejudice of any level or sort prevents you from seeing individual things or people as they are. Innately you know that your feelings could be wrong, they could be right, but they could be wrong. This is a problem which causes inner conflict.
Now we see the problem; we think things yet we know they may be wrong, but we still think them. They will leak out as mentioned in the previous article, even though we do not mean it. This becomes a character trait and habit, to let out random thoughts without thinking. When this happens often enough, you will develop a fear of speaking, and that fear builds up even more pressure and ironically could make you put your foot in your mouth even more often.
It is normal that we will have random and ridiculous thoughts from time to time that we really do not believe or agree with. This will happen because there is so much material coming into our mind through the media and general conversations. Information and thoughts go in, we process it, decide what we think, and then either reject the thought or make it part of our life.
If you have many thoughts that you believe, the subtle prejudices, and yet feel a conflict knowing they are not valid, your mind will always be strained to keep them down when they try to pop up but that straining eventually gives way. The problem is that it may give way and let out a random thought that was passing through which you do not really believe. You get in trouble even though you really are innocent, because everyone knows, if you said it, you must really think it.
The exercise to fix this problem has the result of eliminating the internal conflict with what you really believe and your desire to deny it. If you have a thought or opinion, then you must accept that you really do believe that to some degree. And to believe it a little is to believe it a lot, there is no fine line, it either is or it isn’t.
When you accept the truth about what you believe about everything you think or encounter and no longer deny it, but rather attempt to change your beliefs, then you will not be containing your thoughts. When this happens, you will not use so much energy to hold yourself back and thus not be faced with the times when you have no more strength to hold back, and let something slip out.
Although this sounds counter productive, meaning that I am saying by letting all your thoughts out is the way to be able to purify your mind and control your words, it is the way. The analogy is in letting the air out of the ballon to make it small enough to fold up and put in your pocket.
It is the pressure we are letting out by being honest about our true thoughts. Steam built up in the kettle will burn when it is contained and focused out of the kettle through a very small hole. The danger is obvious. If I hold the kettle closed and only let the steam out through a small hole, it has more pressure and will go further and for longer than if I just open the cover and let it all out at once.
However, even by opening the cover, the steam will still burn if you are close enough. And this is the warning about this exercise, if you are not careful you will still burn some people when you let out your true thoughts and feelings as you discover them.
The exercise is to:
1 Accept that you have many thoughts that you do believe, despite your denial.
2 People generally do not accept what they really believe and rather live in denial of their true thoughts. Acknowledge that any thought in your mind is in fact what you believe, then test and prove if that belief is valid or not.
3 Look for as many negative thoughts as you can find as quickly as possible, not just once in a while when they come up. Make this a large part of your waking life, to look for your true beliefs.
4 Express your thoughts openly but ONLY to people who you have explained this exercise to and are willing to accept you no matter what thoughts you express. Destroy political correctness, be open and honest.
5 Maintain as much wisdom and self control to not speak out at the wrong time to the wrong person who may get offended or hurt.
You will notice that point 5 becomes easier to do over time. That is the proof that you are progressing with the cure of emotional containment. It will take time, but the time it takes is in direct proportion to how free you are in how you speak and the removal of fear of what people will think of you based on what you say. As well of course, in how honest you are with accepting what you really believe.
You will always have some thoughts that should not be said, but you will eventually find that holding back or pushing those thoughts away will not take any effort at all and you will never put your foot in your mouth again.