Rising Above

“May I rise above fear and sadness” – Young school girl

I saw the above message written in coloured crayon on piece of paper hanging proudly on the basement wall in a local church. It sat quietly among a collection of writings and drawings by young children that stretched along a corridor. I was touched as I read it. I could imagine a serious young person inspired to overcome some difficulty in her life.

Upon further reflection, I wondered how that young person might go about “rising above” these difficult emotions. As adults, ‘rising above’ often means pushing away or denying what feels uncomfortable or unacceptable within us. Many of us have spent a lifetime doing just that only to have that unwanted feeling sneak up and bite us from behind, over and over again. Others might have given up the struggle altogether and be spending much of their lives gripped by fear or anger – victims of what is often considered to be ‘negative emotion’.

I have learned over the years that ‘rising above’ difficult emotion is not about struggling with or ignoring them. It requires the ability to patiently sink into our emotions; to really listen to what is going on inside ourselves. We can only rise above our feelings after we have fully owned and integrated them. It is more like becoming friends with our own experience. This ability brings a lightness which allows us to acknowledge and gently release. This is something that we can learn to do.

How does this particular quote touch you?

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