The Emotional Edge
Some folks in these fora are experiencing intense emotional pain. Some others are experiencing higher levels of joy and bliss than they have ever felt before. This topic is meant to help us grow in our understanding of our emotional edge -- our upper limits for experiencing and dealing with joy and bliss as well as our lower limits of/for dealing with and experiencing emotional pain.
I'm influenced in my thinking about these matters by my reading in contemporary Buddhist psychology, and by my own meditation practice and life experience. My view is that it is best never to try to eliminate emotional pain, best not to try to make the pain go away without first opening to it and allowing ourselves to experience it and learn (or heal, or grow) from that allowing. Pain wants to teach us something. That's my view. But it is a vast subject, and I'm no expert. I'm a student of my own joys and pain -- and life experience.
It may help us in our understanding to examine what happens to pain when we wish--or act--to get rid of it prior to opening to it and allowing it.
One thing which often (usually, always?) happens when we open to and allow our emotional pain, rather than to avoid it, is that we begin to see that our awareness of the pain is not identical with the pain itself. Awareness can be soft, warm, tender, gentle ... even in the face of extreme emotional pain. It is possible, even, to discover the root of our joy even in the most extreme emotional pain expereinces.
Noticing these, the space and openness which is awarenes itself and the interconnectedness of pain and joy, helps us to realize that we can acknowledge our pain, and all it wants to convey to us, and to open into greater healing and emotional freedom.
It is often said that we make more space for joy in our lives when we also make allowances for pain -- when we can meet our own pain with our own tender, gentle, loving awareness.