How Catharsis Can Improve Your Relationships
Relationships are one of the most complex phenomena in life. The great German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, described the human condition using the “hedgehog's dilemma”: a group of hedgehogs all seek to become close to one another in order to share heat during cold weather. They must remain apart, however, as they cannot avoid hurting one another with their sharp spines. This resembles with frightening precision the state of human relationships: it seems that despite goodwill, human intimacy cannot occur without substantial mutual harm.
Schopenhauer is certainly not famous for his positive outlook on reality and human nature, but has he got a point here? Looking at the current state of affairs, it seems so. So, does this mean that we are meant to suffer and hurt each other? Is there anything we can do to alleviate this apparent inescapable existential drama?
I do not have a philosophical answer to Schopenhauer’s dilemma but I personally found in Osho Active Meditation, a practical and effective solution to this impasse. Many people live in the illusion of being “normal” and tend to stigmatise others for being “mad”. But if you close your eyes and sincerely look inwards, you can clearly see that the mind is a mad phenomenon. A relentless, disconnected, disharmonious, contradictory and uncontrollable stream of thoughts is played no-stop on the screen of your mind; and this is true for everyone. So how can two “mad minds” create a peaceful and harmonious relationship?
To me Osho is the most helpful spiritual master because he teaches people not to be afraid or deny this mad phenomenon which is the mind. Osho has introduced meditation techniques that aim to address precisely the chaotic nature of the mind, nowadays exacerbated by stress and a fast-paced lifestyle. Never like today in the history of humankind, catharsis, body movement and emotional expression are needed to find inner peace and equilibrium in ourselves and with others.
Osho Active Meditation includes catharsis and emotional expression. By allowing yourself and others to express the inner madness and frustration that we all carry within, you not only become more sane, emotionally balanced, calm and integrated; but, above all, you embrace your own and others’ dark side. This is a quantum leap in consciousness growth.
So what does it all mean in practice? First of all, if you know Dynamic Meditation, do it every morning and all your relationships will dramatically improve in a very short period of time. In addition, here are some practical strategies you can implement into your life with immediate effect. I have personally experimented with these techniques and they work!
When you come back home after a long stressful day, loaded with negative emotions and ready to explode at the most trivial trigger, go to your room and put the sign “do not disturb”. Then take a pillow and have a good, liberating catharsis. The pillow won’t mind. This is the healthiest way to release negative emotions without hurting others. Beat the pillow, kick it, move your body vigorously. And if you can, shout from the very core of your being. Screaming is very liberating and therapeutic. If noise is a problem, shout in the pillow which will absorb the noise. Go for it full on, till you feel exhausted.
Once you are empty, it is time to fill your inner space with kindness and positivity. First, sit in silence for few minutes and watch. See how the mind has calmed down; what before seemed such a big issue, now it’s deflated, not a big deal anymore. And you may want to finish off with a dance of celebration and a big belly laugh. Nothing is serious, especially catharsis. Enjoy the catharsis, have fun with it but remember that it is just about cleaning up accumulated garbage. Once you are clean and light, tune in to higher vibrations and celebrate the beauty and the richness of life, in all its paradoxes and contradictions.
By going deep into my own catharsis, I realised how much violence, negativity, anger and frustration are inside me. And the same is for everyone else, simply because violence, anger and negativity are all around us and we cannot help but absorbing them all. So I think that people, and especially couples, should allow each other a bit of madness, without judgment and condemnation. And just a bit of good catharsis works magic. It’s like realising poison on a daily basis for a long-term healthy and joyful life.
And remember: do not cling to catharsis. Release, watch and celebrate. Relationships can be much easier than you think. And it makes life much more entertaining!