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Learning to Overcome Negative Emotions

Experience submitted by Laura Boeva
Experience submitted by Laura Boeva

There was a period where an interplay of depression and anxiety would cripple me, sometimes taking me into what felt like ‘catatonic’ states, where I could only sit in one place and not move for a length of time.

Depression made me not want to move, anxiety made me feel anxious about wasting time, telling me I had to get up, but depression made me feel too depressed and overwhelmed to get up, and so on.

There was a part of me that was aware of this cycle and of the irrationality of it, but it was like these lower states were holding me down and their strength felt bigger than mine. There were others negative emotions too, such as guilt, fear, shame… They had a distressing effect on my life.

Getting Answers

One time I had fallen into a strong negative state. I was lying on my bed and desperately pleading for help to the divine. Then within me, I felt my Divine Mother’s response, “It is up to you to get out of it. You have to be the one who gives it up.” I recognized I had that choice, but I didn’t have the strength to do it.

Later on I was yearning to understand this cycle I felt trapped into, and wondered why I couldn’t seem to apply the self-knowledge techniques I had learned from Belsebuub’s courses. I started to listen to his talks and read his books and articles more actively.

I wasn’t expecting it, but surprisingly sentences started popping out from the talks and books, or even from things my friends or husband said, almost like they were “highlighted,” giving me insights, helping me to understand my inner states.

It felt as if when I had started to really long for the answers and for spiritual improvement, someone started to guide and teach me internally.

Empowering Insight From a Talk

One week I heard some upsetting news, and this triggered an episode of fear and anxiety that paralyzed me for the rest of the day. Despite the new learning, I had not taken steps to put the insights into practice and everything was still the same.

When it had passed I felt remorse for allowing this cycle to repeat again, for letting it take me into an irrational panicked state, then into a dizzy, drained, discouraged state, and for seeing the effect it had on those around me. This was not the way I wanted to live my life, but I still felt lost.

The next day I was listening to a talk that Belsebuub gave on fear, where he says,

[Fear] is one of the main things we tackle as we study ourselves.

We have to realize that we are not that fear. (..). Sometimes it seems overwhelming. But the real us, the essence of us, is not that fear or any other kind of similar emotion.

(..) Try to be as aware as possible, and do whatever you know in the esoteric work to reduce that fear and to separate yourself from it. You need to understand it is not really you fundamentally. It’s a state, a state of nature.” ~ Belsebuub

This was really helpful to hear, but what gave me a real insight was:

Fear in itself is a problem. Fear in itself is something that we need to understand and something that we need to remove, whatever it is in relation towards”. ~ Belsebuub

Whatever it is in relation towards.” I held a belief that I needed to worry and be afraid about certain topics. The worry, anxiety, fear, guilt, etc., had convinced me that by being in these lower emotions I could somehow keep bad things away, that I had to suffer like this to atone for something, to keep worse suffering from coming to me – essentially to control the things causing the fear. I realized this way of thinking did not make sense.

Now hearing the talk from Belsebuub gave me comfort and faith – I realized I didn’t need to give into these worries, or be afraid or anxious about anything. I understood it didn’t mean I could just ignore or not care about what made me afraid, but that these negative states were not the way to deal with these issues.

Not Allowing the Fear In

In the afternoon of that day I went for a walk. The egos of fear I had been identified with the previous day now still had momentum and tried to triggered thoughts to pull me back into their grip – convincing ones that I thought were true.

However I remembered my insight from Belsebuub’s talk, so I said ‘no’ to them and cleared them. It felt a little tough at first, but I held onto that faith.

If I started to listen to what they were telling me and believe it was true, getting identified with them, I would feel weaker and feel their grip on me strengthening. But when I went against them, not believe them and not allow them at all, I could be detached from them and clear them.

I didn’t end up going into a paralyzing state as previously. It was refreshing and amazing to have control over them instead of them over me. I didn’t need to allow them to ruin my life! How come was it so simple and clear where I had been so confused before, I wondered.

In the coming days and weeks the power of this insight faded. I could notice some strong negative states coming up from time to time when they were triggered by something external. I intrinsically understood that because I had given them ‘food’ and ‘momentum’ in the past, now they were coming back in the same strength to drag me down. But I remembered my insight though and kept clearing the states and no longer allowed them to paralyze me. I had gained valuable guidance and experience – it was up to me to stop being the victim of these negative emotions and take charge of my inner life, and it was all possible.

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25 comments
  • Laura, it’s really great to have these testimonies of how simple spiritual practises can change really big and paralyzing states. I’ve seen in myself that it’s been a slow and bumpy journey from being completely controlled by lower emotions to getting free of their dominance, sometimes getting glimpses of higher feelings and with the overall result a more ‘steady’ internal world. It’s great to hear you’ve been able to get an internal strength over crippling fears.

    It seems to me the divine can guide us in many ways, from a calm logical voice from inside helping us to disconnect from emotional turbulence, to intuitive hunches on activities that can help in a really energetic way (like going for a walk or doing a mantra). And that also, with sincere asking, we can be spoken to in really unexpected ways – that often need an open heart to hear. Your experience of hearing the words from Belsebuub in a new way sounds like one of these times! Now I feel like I am armed with this tool-box of instruments for emergency psychological operations, as well as an understanding of the core ‘nutritional therapy’ that can help me steadily transform my energies to a more spiritual nature.

    Wishing you much more breakthroughs!

  • It’s really incredible the effect these emotions have on our energies, even after eating superfoods 🙂
    I can relate to what you said feel catatonic, paralyzed and such. On the other hand doing spiritual practices, been conscious in the physical or astral planes can energies me a lot, so hopefully, there is a way to balance.

    Thank you for sharing your experience how to deal with that. It’s another proof that things can work out like this and is not just a physical thing and a matter of nutrition, having rest or such.

    • Thanks Fotis.

      I’ve noticed that being in good physical health, getting enough rest, proper nutrition and moderate exercise, makes a big difference on my energies and helps to go against heavy negative inner states through the practices of self-knowledge. Somehow the states can sometimes feel more overpowering if you aren’t well physically. But it’s interesting like you say, rest and nutrition alone are not enough to deal with them, and neither are the practices if you aren’t taking care of your physical body properly. However of course the spiritual techniques have the biggest impact on our psychology.

  • Thank you for sharing this, Laura. That sounds like a really nasty combination of egos. And fear, I know, is particularly strong and hard to fight.

    Yet it’s really amazing how a spiritual teaching, even just a single sentence or part thereof, can completely change our perspective if we act upon the message. It was really inspiring that you took that message to heart and managed to break out of the grip of those egos.

    I also had to laugh a little at your reaction, about needing to worry or be afraid regarding certain topics, because that mindset resonates so well with me and the way my mind justifies identifying with certain circumstances, not just fearful ones. It’s so silly, but we can easily forget that the best approach to any situation is with awareness and not through the egos.

    • Yes, it’s like there is power, wisdom and endless depth behind even a single sentence of a real spiritual teacher.

      Recently reading a modern work from a supposedly spiritual teacher who is very popular, I just couldn’t keep reading because it lacked that wisdom and power, life. It felt like reading about someone’s intellectual theories and ideas and lots of nice words, but behind it was empty.

      Thanks for commenting!

  • Thank you very much for sharing your experience with this Laura. “To worry in order to atone for something” sounds like a very familiar logic to me too… It seems like this may be a “default” reasoning of this ego in some scary situations. It makes us feel like if we don’t worry, things will get even harder. So the ego reasons that it is therefore better to worry in order not to be thrown something even more scary. Its quite a twisted logic, but in those instances it seems to be quite hypnotising.

    I noticed this especially when facing some kind of what I feel may be potentially life-threatening situations, like for example when travelling by a plane that goes through some turbulences or takes off or lands (which I know to be the most dangerous moments of a flight). I start worrying and shortly after that praying for protection while still worrying, being afraid to stop worrying for the fear that my prayers then won’t have the strength if I am actually fine and not afraid of that situation. In general, I am not afraid to travel by planes and I even find it beautiful to observe the scenery from the plane windows, but as soon as there is a slight sign of the flight not being smooth, this ego comes in and only stops when the situation stabilizes.

    Knowing about this, I tried a few times to pray while at the same time applying the technique of elimination of fear, but it was quite difficult, as I had to keep switching from one to another, not being able to do both at once. 🙂

    The Belsebuub’s quote you shared about the need to eliminate fear “whatever it is in relation towards” is a very good one, reminding us that no matter what terrible situation we may be in, the fear is not going to help us in any way, and in fact is only going to make things worse, clouding our perception and making us weaker.

    • I can relate to that ‘logic’ of the fear that ‘if I’m not worried or anxious, things will get even worse’. Like I can somehow control things by the worry, like they will get out of control if I relax. It’s really illogical when you put it into words like that!

      And yes, this feeling that if I’m not feeling anxious my prayers won’t have strength behind them. I’ve noticed that when I truly feel a need deeply within myself and reach out to the divine sincerely feeling lost and needing their help, the help can come surprisingly promptly, but it’s a different thing than praying from anxiety, because it’s a subconscious state and is actually stopping me from being sincere and communicating with the divine.

      Thanks for the insightful comment 🙂

    • It was really interesting to read this quote in Belsebuub’s new book ‘Searching Within’ related to this topic:

      “There’s also the feeling of being unable to solve a problem without feeling distressed – it’s as though the ability to act would somehow be reduced if the misery were gone, which is almost always not the case. In fact, it’s once the low feelings are gone that we are able to act in the best way, but the ego blinds the mind to this.” (Chapter 11, p. 135)

      It’s amazing how he is able to describe these common psychological mechanisms with such accuracy and clarity.

      I’ve been noticing lately how much this mindset has dominated my responses to events in the past but it’s a relief to see this because it enables me to work on it!

      • Ha ha Laura, I was also reading this exact passage from Searching Within lately, and also thought about our discussions here. 😀
        Looks like these specific egos really apply the same tactics to many people!

  • Thanks Laura.

    You mentioned that things were highlighted to you, funnily enough, (though not related to fear) I felt the same happening for me when reading your experience a few days ago.

    Also want to say your story very clearly describes how Belsebuub’s wisdom translated, by you, into action. I think that’s how it should be done. And the more anyone tries to practice the more of what is found in his work becomes alive, and so incredibly useful, meaningful, and relatable.

    • I see it as a way of the divine to communicate insights and guidance when that ‘highlighting’ happens. And it’s funny how sometimes I come back to the same text, or whatever it is, the next day and it doesn’t feel special anymore. It makes me realize how I need to seize the guidance in the moment and put it into practice straight away as it is intended for that moment.

      I was just saying to someone how I noticed in a practice how I can go around for a long time thinking about the awareness and the egos, but never actually letting the thoughts become real efforts. Then it’s like Belsebuub describes, you are caught in the endless stream of thoughts, even about the inner work, but never break out of them into awareness. It’s very true that the real kind of action is needed to benefit from the spiritual techniques from Belsebuub’s work.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Oh, thank you for sharing this Laura. It was really helpful for me to read, especially about working on fear no matter what it’s related to. I also often feel that I have to worry, that if I don’t worry I’m somehow inviting in problems. If I allow myself to be fully happy I leave myself vulnerable to new pain. It’s strange how these beliefs get ingrained in us, even if they make very little sense.

    I love how you felt your Divine Mother speaking to you, helping you. And how things you read or heard others say jumped out at you. I also feel that when I really want to understand and work on something, it’s like someone is taken me by the hand and showing me many things I need to learn.

    Thanks again for sharing your story.

    • Thanks for sharing Anne Linn. It’s really nice and inspiring to hear that it helped you to read it.

      I’ve noticed this too, another logic of the worry, ‘if you stop worrying lots of bad things will happen’. Like you have to keep filling the void with worry, otherwise it will be filled with new problems… But I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen that happen.

      Yesterday we found an injured animal, took it to a safe space to rest and to the vet today. I had lots of worry come up about it, all kinds of worst case scenarios and what ifs. But today when in a retrospective practice I compared the scenarios the worry made me half believe were going to happen, to what actually happened – how calm and co-operative the animal was throughout, the injury wasn’t as bad as we thought, he already seems better, we were able to work things out pretty easily – I could see how it was a waste of energy to be so worried and it didn’t help anything and I wasn’t ‘controlling’ anything with it. At best making others uneasy by feeling uneasy myself. How much better and nicer clarity and inner peace is, though it can sometimes really feel like you are going against a current within that would seem ‘natural’ in that situation.

      • It’s so nice that you helped that injured animal. Yes, I guess we’re not controlling anything by being worried. Things still happen or don’t happen, even if we do worry. I would like to grow my faith so that I can trust in the Divine to take care of the outcome 🙂

  • I can relate to your experience with fear and anxiety Laura. That feeling of being in a “catatonic” state is also very familiar to me. I feel that the practices of self-knowledge found in Belsebuub’s work really changed these cycles in me – I noticed that the more I fight to be in a moment the less food these states get as you said, but I can also see how they often come in through the back door and before I know it I am in their arms again. It seems the persistence is the key. I also noticed that having faith is very important because without it I don’t see a point of fighting these states and having a bigger picture in mind at all times also helps a lot. These are just a few things that I noticed in my fight with anxiety and depression.

    I wish you all the best in your work against these heavy sates.

    • Yes very good highlight of that faith. I also felt this today actually. I knew deep inside that there’s this greater illusion upon me even though at the time I could be above it. Yet I knew! So then this allowed me to keep going, keep working and asking, and to aim for the breakthrough.

    • Thanks a lot for sharing Tina.

      I agree that persistence and faith are so important, especially if it seems for a while like the spiritual techniques are not working and the heavy inner states are strong and compulsive, to break out of that illusion they create.

      Like you describe, I’ve seen that through the practices of self-knowledge these cycles of depression especially have got less heavy and compelling, and while I’m not completely without them, it’s easier not to fall in their grip or to get out of it. While they are pushing at me it can seem like they would never go away or diminish, but it’s just amazing and so freeing to see they really do as I persist at it.

  • Thanks a lot for sharing this experience. It’s encouraging to see how you made that decision that you wanted to be free from fear and anxiety and then were ready to act on it, which eventually lead you to more understanding actually being able to change it.

    I can see how having that decision and then starting something, trying to act on it even if it’s not quite clear what would work, in itself is a step. I’ve been trying to change certain negative behaviour and I see how I’m constantly stumbling with it. Once I really wanted to know and asked why I keep on repeating the same mistakes, why is it that I apply the technique to get rid of that negativity, but fall back into it eventually. That night I had a dream that gave me the understanding that I need to do my share of work and actually create good new habits and new routine. I have to help myself in order to be more helped. I’m still trying to find out what exactly that is.

    • Thanks for sharing that Pavlin. I feel something similar…that I need to bring new, helpful routines into my life to have more structure, and make it a bit easier to remember and to do the inner work.

    • I love how you got a direct reply to your question in the dream because you really wanted to know.

      I had a similar insight recently actually, wondering why something didn’t seem to be working, and I had a feeling it can change but I need to work for it, really actively moment by moment work towards it. And it could mean even changing around my routine or making these external changes, look at my life and realize my habits are not immovable but I have all the power to create the type of life that will help me most to move forward and change. There is some sort of passivity or resistance or the momentum of the current habits that can hold me back if I don’t act on it, so it’s also about understanding what is pushing back at my efforts and overcoming that.

      Thanks a lot for the great comment.

  • It’s really good to hear that you were able to break free of the chains of those pernicious inner states during the walk Laura. I can understand the feeling of relief that you must have felt.

    I wish you lots of strength to keep fighting against these unpleasant emotions and maintain your clarity.

  • Hi Laura,
    I am really glad you’ve shared that experience, which was not an easy one, yet I think this is a very common thing that most people can relate to on various levels. I’ve seen it in myself as well and truly like you describe, when you’re in the midst of such a strong ego, it can really be truly paralyzing, and I feel that ‘fear’ in general is one of the most paralyzing ego state, not enabling things to move, and keeping things stuck and stagnant.
    In my case one fear I had really kept me from ‘moving’ at all! I remember when I used to have this very strong fear of flying how i would avoid travelling at all cost, and how no matter how unfounded my fear, it was there, stopping me from going overseas and visiting family.. Then I came across Belsebuub’s work, and how he talked abot egos, such as fear, and learning to observe it, seeing it for what it was helped me to understand things more objectively, instead of following irrational thoughts that were spurred out of that irrational fear! It was also interesting to see how my fear would bring about these strange thoughts and scenarios, and then reinforce the fear itself,like in a never ending cycle..! Yet when I was able to stay detached from the fear, like you described, then I could see it as any other ego state, and realize that it wasn’t me, but something that came in and would go, and being able to stay detached from it then I was able to understand bits and pieces about it in order to get rid of it. I know what really helped me to fight against it, was learning to come back to the moment, or being aware, being here, and perceiving things as they are,then I was able to remain more detached from it, and eliminate it. And what freedom did it feel then afterwards, exactly like you said too 🙂

    • Thanks a lot for sharing that Geraldine 🙂 It’s encouraging and inspiring to hear how you were able to reduce and eventually be free of that fear.

      It’s interesting how it really makes you feel unable to move. Like a force stopping you. But if you can observe it and detach from it then it means it can be overcome.

      The detachment from it seems to be vital, otherwise you are fully inside this world of those strange scenarios and irrational thoughts that the fear is bringing up, believing it to be real. I’ve noticed the same thing as you – how coming back to the moment helps, perceiving reality, coming out of that illusionary world. And how you can’t really get that understanding about it if you aren’t detached and observing it from that point with consciousness.

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Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub) is an author and spiritual teacher that has been writing about and demonstrating practical techniques for self-discovery for more than twenty-five years. Read more

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