Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"The Flight of the Red Balloon" - Releasing Your Pain and Anger

We carry baggage with us wherever we go.  Sometimes there’s only a small duffle bag and sometimes we have a matched set of luggage - pieces we’ve collected over time from trauma we’ve experienced during our life. Our baggage shapes the way we relate to our world and there’s no easy way to drop it off for someone else to handle - no Sky Cap for the human psyche.  We have to learn how to handle our own bags one piece at a time.  How do we release our anger, or let go of people who cause us frustration and pain?  One of best techniques to release unhealthy emotions is the Red Balloon.

Begin by identifying the person or situation that upsets you. Think about how nice it would be to have some emotional distance, to be able to respond to a recurring situation instead of over-reacting to it.  Sit quietly in a place where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and allow your body to relax. Feel the tension leave your forehead as the relaxation drifts down your face.  Notice your jawline softening as the stress eases from your head, neck and shoulders. Continue to talk to yourself, inducing a state of relaxation throughout your torso, down your arms, legs and to your feet.  Enjoy a feeling of ease and well-being throughout your whole body.

Now visual the person(s) or circumstances that distress you - a relationship, workplace friction, school, etc.  Get the sense of what triggers your emotional response to that situation.  Suddenly, drifting towards you on the wind, is a bright and shiny, red balloon.  Envision putting what or who disturbs you inside the balloon.  Don’t worry, it stretches.  

It may not be easy to successfully complete this exercise the first time or two. You’ll find that people don’t want to get inside the balloon.  They’ll fight, argue and even threaten you to stay out of it, but stick with your resolve.  All of this is occurring in your own mind so you get to control the outcome.  Let ‘em kick, yell and beat on the inside of their new red home all they want.  They’re not getting out.  Gather up the hurt, the anger and the fear the situation causes in your life and put all that energy inside the balloon.  Now you can talk to whoever is inside.  You will likely feel tightness in your throat and chest the first time you try this.  Perhaps you’ll even cry as you tell your captive audience how you feel and that you will no longer allow them to control your emotional well-being.

See yourself tying a brightly-colored string onto the balloon.  Imagine the balloon drifting away from you.  Up it goes, higher and higher until it’s out of sight.  People inside the balloon might look sad and try to make you feel guilty.  Don’t let them.  Release them into the Universe with love and with understanding. That, my friends, is the hardest part.  Releasing with love.  Everyone adds their baggage to a situation or circumstance, but not intentionally.  When you let go of the effects someone else’s baggage has on you with compassion and love, you lift yourself higher.  You lift yourself to a place of peace and understanding where their negative energy has a much more difficult time reaching you. You make your own life better and isn’t that the point?


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