I am grateful to work with clients who want to find their middle ground. A big part of this is becoming aware of what gets in the way and making friends with our emotions.  This poem by Chade Meng Tan is taken from his book Search Inside Yourself. It is inspired by Rumi’s The Guest House and the work of Mingyur Rinpoche, as well as the Tale of the Two Wolves.

Real monsteres

My monsters come in different shapes and sizes.
Over the years I have learned to deal with them.
I do that by letting go.

First, I let go of my wish to suppress them.
When they arrive, I acknowledge them
I let them be

Next, I let go of my instinct to vilify them.
I seek to understand them.
I see them for who they are.

They are merely creations of my body and mind.
I humor them a little.
I joke with them.
I joke about them.
I let them play.

Then I let go of my desire to feed them.
They may play here all they want.
but they get no food from me.

They are free to stay here hungry if they want.
I continue to let them be.
Then they get really hungry.
And sometimes they leave.

Finally, I let go of my desire to hold on to them.
They are free to leave as they wish.
I let them go.
I am free.
For now.

I do not overcome them.
They do not overcome me.
And we live together
In harmony


Mindful awareness… letting go… accepting emotions for what they are … and finding life in balance.

Aahhh … now that feels better.

32 comments on “* Making Friends with our Emotions

  1. This is absolutely exquisite Val. Such profound wisdom. A beautiful way to live.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes, not to feed either wolf rather than feeding both for in feeding, there is the constant tension of balance/equanimity but in not feeding, there is no tension. Thank you, Val!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. j.baldino@verizon.net

    Thank you, Val! To add to these gre

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Val, may I add to your wonderful post by reflecting that however dark the day may seem to always find that zone of goodness to lead one to the light.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post. I’m trying to do the same with both my emotions and my ambitions. Now they stay for a while and then they go, letting space for stillness. It is interesting to note how in this process of observing emotions there appears to be an evolution in the relationship with them. At first they look scary, so scary we don’t want to see them. Emotions then transform into something simpler and gentler. Your post summarised all of this so well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Balancing ambitions with emotions is not easy if you wish to remain true to yourself.
      Make time to pause and step back from the external world is even mor

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love. Love. Love.!

    thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is great, Val. I’m slowly working on the desire to control, the force runs strong! Poco a poco… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  8. an inspiration
    to like
    the unlikable 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Next I let go of my instinct to vilify them”…. so well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Inspiring words. I’m still a work in progress. Awareness is the key.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carol Ferenc

    So well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Emotions ebb and flow, they come and go ~> as long as we don’t chase after them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great point Nancy! When we become overly attached to our feelings, we miss the bigger picture. Finding perspective as well as acceptance is key 🙂


  13. A practical verse of wisdom, this is exactly how to embrace and let go. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love it, Val!! Sending you a warm hug and blessings for a beautiful Sunday! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I like that! It reminds me of a meme, about how here in the South we don’t hid our skeletons in the closet, we bring them out, sit them on the front porch and have tea with them. And it sounds silly, but I like it, it reminds me that I have to live in harmony with myself, like the above insert does! 🙂 Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never heard that Kate! Love it. Bring them out, dust them off and give them some tea – not too much though or they’ll overstay their welcome 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  16. What a wonderful poem! Like step by step guidance on dealing with our monsters 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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