Cradle Negative Feelings Like a Baby

Here is a practice from my 2008 book Leap Before You Look.


babyWhen you notice yourself caught up in a feeling,
Like resentment, rejection, or despair,

Cradle that feeling as though it were a small baby.
It may even help you to take a cushion
And physically cradle the feeling in your arms.
Sing to it.
Soothe it.
Let that feeling know that it is accepted, loved, and welcomed.
In fully accepting grief,
You become acceptance itself,
Which is none other than your natural state.

Have you ever experienced what happens when a child tries to get your attention when you are busy? Perhaps you are on the phone and need to be undisturbed for a few minutes, and your child comes to you wanting a snack or to play with you. Your child simply wants attention. Have you ever discovered what happens if you say “no?” What if you put your hand over the mouthpiece of the phone, and in a terse whisper tell your child, “Not now, can’t you see I’m busy? Don’t disturb me now!” Before too long, your child will find a louder and even more disturbing way to get your attention. You can raise your voice, you can get stern and angry, but if you push that child away, sooner or later your child will break something, hurt him or herself, or take it out on someone else. On the other hand, if your child comes to you wanting attention and you give your full attention, take him or her on your knee and give a cuddle, your child will soon feel happy and run and play.cryingbabyYour feelings are your disowned children. If you take them close, if you cradle them like a baby, they will soon stop disturbing you. They will stop crying for your attention. Grief, when fully embraced, reveals our full depth. Despair, when fully welcomed, becomes unconditional acceptance. Every feeling that has been banished will reveal its inner beauty when it is made to feel welcome and cared for.

Some of these feelings may have been labeled as “negative,” which means that they seem like a “no” to life. The place to start is to offer an unconditional “yes” to the perceived “no.” In that opening, you become the yes itself. Sooner or later you will come to discover the greatest secret for yourself: there is no such thing as negative energy. Whatever is embraced becomes beautiful, whatever is denied becomes ugly.

You can discover 72 practices like this in Leap Before You Look.

Buy it now on Amazon.

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