Life does not improve in big bangs. Life improves in increments. It's more like a dimmer switch, not an on-off light switch. It's possible to take two steps forward and one step back "“ and then another backward and then three forward. But what exactly are the steps forward? And how can we consciously take them?
To start, let's focus on how we feel each day. That's our baseline state of mind. It rises, it falls, it's mostly the same from day to day. We have a range of general feelings that we stay within. That's not ever going to change, however, what we can change is where that range is. If we move the low and high ends of the range upwards, we've forever improved our lives.
The first thing we'll have to accept is that we have repressed or unexpressed thoughts and feelings. It could be from something recent, it could be from our childhood, and some will tell us it could be from a past life. Either way, within our soul "“ our energy "“ we have thoughts and emotions (which are also forms of energy) that are dying for expression and processing "“ but we cannot or will not do so.
This is understandable. Dealing with our own emotions is one of the most challenging things in life, yet it is a primary engine for moving our life forward. Coming face-to-face with our emotions, understanding their roots, and expressing them is how we move along and change as people. But often, the pain of this process is perceived as too much to bear. So we deny or avoid these pent up thoughts and emotions, or we drown them out with our preferred addiction.
What happens if we don't express these emotions or thoughts? What happens if we keep them in forever? Well, we can't. Life must move, and energy must move "“ and the energy that is our thoughts and feelings, that's within our soul, will continue trying to move until it is successful.
We're free to try to suppress it, either consciously or unconsciously. For most people, this happens unconsciously. We don't even know we're doing it. At one point in our life, we did consciously repress and made it a habit until it was unconscious. And maybe we had good reasons, too. I wouldn't ever advise immediately expressing every emotion or thought that comes to us. But at some point, in some way, we need to express. Expression is one of life's fundamental engines.
I'm suppressing emotions "“ so what?
One example of the consequences of repressing thoughts and emotions is fatigue. How many people in society are constantly tired? Do we think all of these people are perfectly expressive and perfectly healthy emotionally? Or do we think they may be holding in thoughts or feelings that they don't want to deal with? It takes effort not to express ourselves. The nature of energy is to move, and if we intend to keep that energy still (in other words, if we intend to keep our emotions and thoughts inside us), we must exert effort. Doing this too much will make us tired and unhealthy.
The more we're holding in, the more tired we'll be. Think of it like holding a balloon under water. We can easily hold a small one under water for a long period of time. But a larger balloon or multiple smaller balloons will require a lot of effort to keep hidden below the surface.
I don't want to be tired anymore. How to fix this?
We must gain awareness of these thoughts or feelings and begin to face them, process them, and express them. Only then will we heal, grow, and change. Meditation is a great way to do this. The "default" way that most people become aware of thoughts and feelings is to wait until life hits them with a brick and makes them realize they need to make some changes. It doesn't have to be that way, however.
Regardless of method, the process can take years and years. And it may not ever end; it's different for everybody. But for each deeply held thought or emotion that we finally express and share with the world, even if only in writing for only our eyes "“ we'll feel better. We'll feel more energy, more light, and more love each time. Sometimes we'll notice small differences, and sometimes we'll experience large breakthroughs. The key is to get the ball rolling. Then go with it.