Question:

Hi Andy,

My question is around insecurity – a couple of months ago I found out that my partner had cheated but we have decided to stay together and make it work.

However, now I get irrationally insecure and sometimes my emotions will swing from one spectrum to the other. I know it’s probably natural but I find it very had to cope with these strong feelings. On top of daily meditation, I’ve been trying to meditate whenever these emotions arise but find it really hard to calm myself. Do you have any tips?

Andy’s answer:

Thanks for writing in. Well, given your situation, these thoughts are by no means irrational. On the contrary, despite the commitment of you both to make the relationship work, the fact that you have been given cause to doubt your partner like this very recently makes these thoughts entirely rational.

This may sound neither here nor there when you are going through something so painful, but it’s important to acknowledge that given the conditions, it would be completely unnatural to feel any other way. So, in terms of what is going on internally, things are just as they should be right now. What we then do with these feelings is a whole other story.

The first thing to do is set a realistic level of expectation. I know it may sound cliche, but these things take time. Whatever kind of heartache, hurt or insecurity you might be going through right now, it will take time for these feelings to be processed. Knowing this allows us to at least give those feelings enough room to breathe.

In these situations it can also be helpful to remember that we are not in control of the mind in the way we might sometimes like to be. Thoughts come and go, feelings come and go. Sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant, this is the nature of mind.

So when we try to force change or hurry the process in someway, we actually resist this nature, causing yet more tension in the mind. But if we can learn to simply witness the process and be present as it unfolds, then it will simply wash over us like a wave. It is difficult to do when the feelings are so painful and raw, but this is why we learn to meditate.

So do stay with it. Try to sit each day, to be kind and gentle to the mind, and acknowledge that forgiveness takes time. And remember that the process of letting go begins each and every moment we realize that the mind has wandered off. Only then, in the light of awareness, will genuine trust and confidence begin to reemerge.

Warm wishes,

Andy