I’m currently listening to a course on mindfulness called, “Cloud Sangha,” where Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, authors and Buddhist practitioners, offer daily 10-minute training sessions. In one session, Jack talked about the conflicting feelings we might harbor with those we love. We can feel love, care, anxiety, resentment, tenderness, attachment, frustration, and compassion, all at the same time. In a single morning, we can experience a whole variety of strong feelings and emotions. Emily Dickinson calls these the “mob within the heart.”
My reflection: When my son was in active addiction – and even in my daily life today – I am awash with emotions, often about the same person or event. Love, resentment, joy, anxiety, care, anger, and betrayal can exist in me, all at the same time.
Today’s Promise to consider: We, who love those with substance abuse problems, feel deep love for our children, yet we often also feel betrayed, tricked, abused, and hurt. For the longest time, I couldn’t jive these conflicting feelings. How could I love my son, yet feel such anger at him? I realize now that these conflicting feelings – the mob within the heart (Emily Dickinson) – are normal. They make us human. Being human can hurt.4884