The most evolved people I know have an ability to approach emotionally charged situations with neutrality. Neutrality requires our complete awareness, so it is different from apathy, which causes a disengagement from awareness and attention. True neutrality prevents us from engaging in vicious cycles of emotional engagement and repulsion which are so common in strained personal relationships. It takes emotion out of the equation.
However, it can be exceedingly difficult to be neutral, especially when dealing with individuals and situations which rapidly ignite a response or reaction from us. Though I try repeatedly to hold myself back, I find myself reacting to certain individuals in my life who have a very strong emotional pull on me. Counting to ten, breathing, and walking away from situations are tactics which can work in the short term to keep us from reacting, but the challenge to remain neutral is constant for many people including me.
I know that the best way to approach people who push buttons is to have compassion and to come from that neutral place, but at the core, we are only human and that tendency to react rears its sometimes ugly head to remind us of that fact. I recently found myself in a situation in which I was beginning to get very upset, so I sat and meditated for a few minutes, holding the energy and trying my best to stay neutral. Yet the very next day I was flailing wildly with my emotions, distraught, hurt, allowing myself to react and throwing neutrality completely out the window. I felt the reactive energy in my chest, like I had been physically hit there. I was actually choking on it and having difficulty breathing. The more I expressed it, the more ill I felt. The next day, I was forced to deal with the aftermath of my emotional pain, my chest full and achy, as if my heart was literally breaking. I am sure many of you have experienced physical manifestations of emotions. Though there is still some resistance, the medical community has become increasingly more aware of the connection of the mind and body when dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, anger and any other emotion which may be troubling.
Two of the most effective ways to learn neutrality are to meditate or to practice breathing techniques to increase awareness of the energy around you. I have personally noticed that when I meditate more regularly, I am much calmer and find it easy to come from a neutral place when dealing with situations which would normally get me all riled up. When I come from a neutral place, misunderstandings and arguments are defused. I have to remind myself frequently to come from a neutral place, and I recognize that this is not an easy process. By forcing myself to sit with my own energy, I am better able to transform it. If a situation is truly unsolvable, I have learned to walk away from it instead of trying to fix it. Otherwise, it’s like running into a wall repeatedly.
Try to come from a neutral place the next time you feel your anger or frustration welling up inside you. Your spirit will grow and you will end up much happier.