Emotional Shrapnel (n.) - Many people are wandering about with pieces of buckshot, bits of emotionally damaging metal, and foreign objects lodged into their minds and bodies. These past traumas and negative emotions can often be suppressed or ignored for very long periods of time. As people distract themselves or refuse to give them mental space, these events and feelings often fester underneath the surface and begin impacting more and more of someone's life.
It's not all sunshine, happiness, and rainbows
When you learn to meditate, your mind calms down and any buried emotional shrapnel then has the space it needs to begin working its way out. Your mind, just like your body, will try to heal itself when given the space to do it. Calming your mind is it's signal that you have the openness to begin your healing process.
This side effect of beginning a meditation practice is one that needs to be talked about and mentioned to students. As meditation, and particularly mindfulness, shows up more in the press, it can be presented as great for stress management and increasing calm. This self-healing piece of meditation can often not be talked about but it needs to be. It can be very scary if you aren't expecting it or know how to work with it.
When you calm your mind, anything being suppressed will naturally emerge. That is part of your healing process.
Communicate with your teacher
If you have a strong past trauma or you know you have issues that are likely to emerge that will be difficult to work through, let your teacher know. Often, a therapist may recommend learning meditation and will be working with a client as they learn the techniques so that they have their support if needed.
Know that emotional shrapnel and working through your deeper issues is part of your meditation practice. Communicate where you are at with your teacher and check with your therapist if you have stronger issues before beginning a meditation practice.
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