A Personal Story of Being with Difficult Emotions

“I’ve got to get out of here”  I said to myself.  I was feeling down, depressed, sad, anxious, and just uncomfortable in my own skin.

I had spent the day driving back and forth to the mechanics getting my car fixed and spending far more money than I would like on it.

I was upset because it was raining, I was sad about my bank account, and felt alone that I didn’t have anyone to support me in this moment.

My mind was giving me all sorts of advice about how to escape my feelings: “go out and meet friends,”  “just stay in and watch Netflix,”  “maybe eat some chocolate!”  I tried the last one and that didn’t seem to help.

But I knew what I needed to do.  I knew I was ignoring my inner world, trying to push away my feelings, and needed to spend some quality time with myself.

I sat on my meditation cushion and began.  I directed my attention within.

I said to myself: “OK emotions, I see you are here, and now I’m here to pay attention to you.  What would you like to say to me?”

At first there was nothing but then sadness spoke: “I’m sad that you had to spend all that money fixing your car, I’m sad that you feel alone, I’m sad and feel hurt that your friend didn’t pick up their phone.  I feel rejected.”

“Yes, I hear you sadness, thank you for sharing.  I care about you.  Anything else?”

Anger spoke: “I’m fricken angry!  Things aren’t going the way I want and I’m pissed.  Your career is not where you want it to be, you have no wife and family, and how are you going to pay the bills?”

“Good points anger.  I feel you.  I’m upset about those things too.  Anything else?”


“For sure.”  I said.

Now it was fear’s turn: “Ahhhh, you are going to be alone forever!  And you will never make all the money you want!  Quickly do something about that!”

“Yeah, I hear that.  It does feel that way.  Thank you for sharing.  I appreciate you.”

Anger wasn’t done:  “I’m angry still!”

“Ah, yes, OK, what do you need anger?”


I took a few deep breaths to slow and be still.  Angry smiled and felt more at ease.

Joy jumped in now: “You should just be grateful for what you have!  You have so much!  Don’t forget to be happy!”

“A good point Joy, thank you for that perspective.  I love your presence in my life :)”

“Any other parts of me need some attention?”  I asked within.

Child Ellis chimed in: “Don’t forget to have fun in life!  No need to take everything so seriously!”

I smiled and knew he was right.  I took a deep breath to integrate that one too.

I sat for the next 10 minutes just being with my inner world, inviting all parts of me to speak their truth.  I listened to and validated each one. They were all valuable parts of me, each with something to say worthy of attention and care.

I breathed and let them all be there.  I gave them space to be, to be heard, to be seen.

I invited my future-self, higher power, and God into the mix and asked for their input.  All had something lovely to say about me, reassuring me that I was wonderful and loved.

All part of me were welcome.  And all were given love and attention.

At the end of this meditation I felt much more at peace.  I knew that what I really needed was to connect to my inner parts and find a peaceful relationship there before moving on with my day.

It made all the difference.  And I went on to have a fun, productive, and connecting rest of my day while being much more at peace with myself.

I hope you found this personal story useful and I encourage you to try it yourself.

When your emotions (or any inner sensations) are trying to get your attention – spend some quality time with them and listen.  They will be glad you did 🙂

Until next time,

May you have a peaceful relationship with all parts of you.

Ellis Edmunds, Psy.D.

P.S. I have two upcoming workshops I am facilitating in Oakland!  I hope you can join me at one or both.
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