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Dealing with Upsets and Insults

Lake Michigan Beach

Lake Michigan Beach

Key Points:

  • Take responsibility for your life experiences (ie. upsets and insults are created within)
  • The mind has a tendency to hide what’s really happening (ie. there are other preceding factors more important than the final trigger that makes us blow up)
  • Stop before reacting, forgive, let go and just love

Life inevitably provides us with ample opportunities to learn how to deal with hurt feelings. If we learn to better digest our small upsets, we will know just what to do if a big one comes along. In this writing I illustrate the recipe that I’ve found works to help me restore peace inside. The way most of us learn as children to deal with upsets, tends to leave us with unresolved hurt feelings. We learn to mentally push away the hurt and then distract our attention, by keeping our minds busy with something. This works in the short run, but in the long run it causes a build up of turmoil. It also causes us to become disconnected from our feelings, so that we stop to see the actual cause of the build up of tension and life becomes superficial. Most of us have had melt downs in our lives, and we tend to blame the event that triggered it. What we may not have noticed is all of the smaller things that were bothering us and building in side of us. By the time we approached the event that triggered the melt down, we may have unknowingly been a “bubble about to burst”. Improving our emotional awareness helps to reverse this whole process. It helps us to release the build up of turmoil we’ve collected over the years and it helps us recognize the individual things that cause the build up. In this way we can make better day to day decisions and take control of our stressors.

Even those of us who aren’t “moody” can benefit from this work. Stress is experienced differently by each of us. Those who feel “even keeled” most of the time, may also be disconnected from how they really feel.  They may only notice stress as a sudden need to rush, as impatience/ lack of tolerance or a desire to day dream and indulge in mental distractions or addictions. Others may notice tension or pain somewhere in their body.

Before embarking on this work its important that we learn to recognize that our mind has a mind of its own. Whenever we learn something new, it takes lots of effort. But after we’ve mastered the task, then our mind takes over without any conscious effort from ourselves. This is true for walking, talking, driving a car, etc. Almost all of our daily activities are done robotically, while we are concentrating on something else. This is incredibly helpful when it comes to multitasking, but can be detrimental if we learn an unhealthy habit. This is exactly what happens when it comes to coping with our emotions.  We may learn to disconnect from how we are feeling so well that we can encounter an intense experience and not feel the stress or even noticed that we pushed the feeling away.

We can stuff and distract so quick that we may even fail to see that the most important part of an upset is completely created inside of us, the emotions. If our anger is projected on the trigger, we may think, “that clerk is so mean”, instead of “that clerk behaved in a way that makes me feel angry”. Shifting from blaming the event, to taking responsibility for our emotions is the first huge step towards emotional control. The next, and possibly more challenging step, is learning to take responsibility without blaming ourselves. But as with anything, if we put forth the efforts to retrain our mind, the mind will learn and it will learn to do it automatically.

If done properly, I have found that learning to fully process emotions has many benefits. It helps me return to a genuine happy state without being dependent on things in this physical world to do it, which are eventually all temporary. I have learned to become my own psychologist and solve many of my own unique problems. In this way I am able to contain my emotions instead of spreading them on my friends and family. My friends and family are happier. My body is healthier. My mind is clearer. Best of all, I am able to mingle with people who are intensely suffering, without getting caught up in their problems. Doing this, I can almost always temporarily soothe their pains, and often can see solutions that are not obvious when one is stuck in a problem. I can now clearly see that spiritual values combined with emotional awareness are the key foundation to returning to health regardless of one’s ailment.

Here are the spiritual values that I’ve found to be crucial:

  1. Have a life goal that is bigger than myself and this world. Having my biggest goal focused on a worldly achievement makes me vulnerable. Enjoying this physical world and sharing experiences with people is great, I just don’t make it my end point. My goal is to grow a deeper connection to God and to achieve it, I am learning to develop an inner loving attitude towards all beings, in all situations.

  2. Intend to be honest, helpful and share with others. By focusing my thoughts and behaviors on good intentions and working hard to prove them to myself, I am able to quickly let go of any guilt or shame that comes up when I accidentally make mistakes in life. The only way I know to fully wash away old regrets is by cultivating a life full of good deeds. These good deeds come naturally when I believe in what I do at work, home and play.

  3. Being debt free, so that I may feel truly free.

  4. Staying within my limits, while continual pushing them. Whether its physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, I find that lasting satisfaction comes from self improvement. Whereas comparing myself to others causes an emotional roller coaster ride.

In addition to practicing the above spiritual values, I found the recipe below has improved my emotional awareness and control. It took time, but it has helped me retrain my brain to let go of upsets and insults. I use it whenever I feel upset, have physical tension or pain, when I suddenly feel rushed or find myself dissatisfied with the present moment, because these are often signs that something has bothered me. Before responding to an angry email or phone call, I highly recommend performing this routine. With practice you may notice that you are able to come up with a much more constructive way to handle your upsets, then your first reaction would suggest.

      1. Stop; Put down your work, walk away from your kids, pull over the car or turn off the computer! Stop whatever your are doing that triggered the upset. Shut the door to your room. Remove yourself from the situation before reacting to it and take control by putting yourself in a place where you feel safe.  Go use the bathroom if that is the only way to have some space alone. Wait until tomorrow morning to respond if you can. If you cannot remove yourself from the situation, then come back to this exercise later when you have a break in your day and do your best to keep your lips zipped.

      1. Forgive and Love; Make a mental effort to forgive the person that triggered the upset, no matter how much they are to blame. If it helps you can forgive their soul, that is their true and lasting self. In comparison to all the messed up things happening on this planet, and over all the years of history, does this event really matter? Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It is to choose happiness over fighting.  But ultimately just “letting them off the hook” is not enough, love is needed to truly heal the heart.  Love is the magical ingredient when directed to the trigger of your upset, that facilitates deep forgiveness.  You know you’ve achieved this when you can be face to face with that person and are able to give them a gentle hug. Bowing in privacy or public is a power spiritual practice of forgiveness, that has worked when nothing else would in my life.

      1. Let Go; Let go. Even if this occurred earlier in the day, it is a past event. Firmly choose to be positive and work towards a better future for you. Make sure to draw limits so that you feel safe in your current surroundings.Recognize the event is over, and any upset you are still experiencing is being created and kept alive in you, by you. Remember to return to your daily inner practices, such as meditation, yoga and meditative walks in nature. Kindly focusing your attention inwards, and spending time with your body is how you soothe your emotions. At some point, you may notice your body relax even though there is still some inner discomfort present. Once you can relax during meditation, then you are ready to enact the “hug test” face to face with your adversary. Just call up that same relaxed feeling you’ve come to know during your meditation and open for God. Until this point anything you may say to “fix” the upset will be polluted by anger that his being held within.  After reaching the “hug test” level of forgiveness you will find the right words come to you effortlessly, if anything needs to be said at all.  When you see it is possible to melt an upset inside of you and be relaxed around an adversary, you may never tolerate holding a grudge again. To keep a fight alive, even if it is hidden inside of you, is exhausting and limits your freedom.

Forgiveness ultimately requires mind control and so a regular meditation is important.  Spend at least 15 minutes twice a day doing a meditation. Pick the safest, quietest and most comfortable space you can find. Make sure there are no potential distractions and when meditating and keep your body perfectly still. Use a timer to alert you and consider muffling it with a pillow or blanket.  Such a practice done regularly will give you the strength to let go, when you really need it.

As a more comprehensive tool, I highly recommend reading and performing the 10 week emotional awareness program that is outlined in “The Presence Process”, by Michael Brown. It teaches a similar technique. It uses a very methodical framework, which is needed to unlearn old emotional coping skills and is much more comprehensive then this brief tutorial.

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A Visit to My Guru

In May 2012, I visited my Guru, Hans, for the first and probably last time physically in my life. Ever since my first intense spiritual experience, I have had a strong desire to visit him. He advised against it initially. How could I benefit from his presence, if my mind was full of unfinished business back home? He suggested waiting until I was debt free. This May, three years later I was invited to visit, months before I achieved that goal. Ironically, the invitation came just weeks after I had the realization that it would be okay if I never met him. He had pushed me to progress in a way that I have learned to solve my life problems without his advice. I had stopped asking him for guidance over two years ago. I gratefully received advice periodically, but it was always unprompted. Like much of my spiritual progress, I reached my goal of visiting him at the point in which my happiness was not dependent on “achieving the goal” anymore.

I received an invitation to visit him in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I was only given 2-3 weeks of time to plan. At first I didn’t think it was possible because of my busy work schedule. But, I had heard rumors that Hans was nearing the end of his lifetime. I decided this may be a once in a life opportunity for me to meet him. After a little bit of rearranging the trip came together smoothly.

Now several weeks after the trip, I have taken away one key point:

  • My ability to stay connected spiritually is more dependent on my spiritual practices and inner work, then it is on being physically near Hans.

Before, during and after this visit, I have experienced an increase in the intensity of my ego’s “storms”. With each storm, I have used my spiritual practices (kriya, loving work and time spent with nature) to bring control back to my inner state. There were a variety of different triggers for these intense emotional reactions, but one thing was constant: I was able to see that each consuming emotion was irrational. I didn’t believe that the emotions meant I had “done something wrong”. And this helped me let go of the event and story behind the storm while staying connected with the feelings that it unleashed. In this way, I was able contain the intense energy and I watched it gradually dissolve. With each storm, I returned to my basics. I used my strong positive affirmations, God yoga and kriya that I have relied on for years. With each major storm it took several days for me to have clarity and feel better. But after each storm, I have noticed a growing capability to find and stay connected to my vibe. In the past it would take me days to connect with the vibe beneath each major emotional storm. The vibe was always hidden by incessant thoughts. With each attempt to let go, my mind would snap right back to the event that triggered me, or it would find other things to be dissatisfied about.

To help me process these storms, my normally packed schedule opened unexpectedly. On two occasions while preparing for the trip, I found the time to do several hours of kriya in the middle of typically busy work day. During this time, it was not easy to “be with” or “merge with” my vibe. But I could see that the more time I spent with it, the more it would soften and the more my mind would calm. In the past I did not recognize my vibe as a “living thing”, because it was so dense, always present and it didn’t seem that kriya had any effect on it. Now I can see that it is alive and responds to my attention. Now I can see what works to bring peace inside. In addition to the spiritual practices which foster a loving attitude for the present moment, a ritual that I have developed during my busy daily routine is also very helpful. Whenever I feel insulted, upset, or just suddenly rushed or dissatisfied with the present moment I perform this routine. I stop and forgive “whatever it is that my mind blames (often it is me or God)” and let go. I honor the feeling that surfaced inside of me and choose to give it all my attention. When I have a free moment, I go to my office or an empty bathroom and spend a couple minutes doing God yoga. Since the trip to my Guru, I can immediately feel a relief from most of my daily upsets, with this routine. I soften and my attitude improves. In this way, I am able to approach each new person and each new challenge with a clear mind and focus. It wasn’t always like this. I have been practicing this for two years with very little instant effects until recently.

Here are some of the specific things that triggered intense storms in me surrounding this trip:

  • My mind worried over the preparation details of the trip. It wanted to obsess over things such as whether I had correctly prepared my visa for Cambodia or whether my passport was up to date, etc. Another purpose for my trip was to help Hans with the final preparations of transferring all the spiritual teachings from the website,, to an offline file, the Spiritual Treasures, Final Edition. I had volunteered to hand deliver 12 memory devices to Cambodia to disseminate the teachings. It was difficult for me to find and obtain the correct items. Until I did, I fretted over whether I would succeed. After having all the devices, then there was intense anxiety, about successfully transporting them across the world and across the Cambodian border. I would have no second chance and many people were depending on me. I knew I had to do my very best to prepare for this trip. If something didn’t work out and it was my fault, I would be consumed with remorse, possibly for the rest of my life.

  • In Cambodia, I noticed intense ego activity “rearing its head” in me. There was a desire to impress Hans by saying and doing the correct things. It was exhausting to contain, even though I knew impressing him was a useless endeavor. Maybe because my ego could see there was no way for it to win Hans’ approval it then started to criticize him. My ego sensed that it had no control over the situation and put up one big tamper tantrum. At first I thought the solution was to maximize the amount of time I was at Hans’ side. After a couple days, I realized that being close to Hans, just made things worse. Hans recognized I was troubled. I asked him for guidance and he said do kriya:). So ironically I found myself withdrawing. I spent more time doing kriya and venturing around Phnom Penh on my own. On more then one occasion, God granted me unexpected one on one time with Hans. For example, I would decide to have dinner and as I approached the restaurant, Hans was there sitting by himself, waving to me. I could see that if I let go of chasing him, all was well.  Eventually beneath this ego storm I noticed a fear that I had experienced before. There was a worry that I was being “taken advantage of”. This fear, rested on doubts about my whole spiritual path. Whenever I had felt this way in the past, I could always see through it by asking myself if there was any life goal more worthwhile than learning to “love all” and connecting with God. Again I could see there was no valid reason for the fear, yet the feeling still persisted. I did more kriya. It helped immensely, but not completely. Ultimately that karma was released by a real world experience. While strolling through a riverside park, I was approached by two friendly women. Later, I discovered their intention was to involve me in a scam. Ultimately it failed. No one was hurt, no money was lost, but the experience allowed me to feel fully “taken advantage of”. As quick as that feeling surfaced, I dissolved it with intense loving kriya. After that, I was able to enjoy the rest of my trip with my Hans and Georgi and Galina.

  • After returning home I was completely exhausted. I needed more sleep then I had for months. Because I had slipped the trip into my usually busy routine, there was zero free time between my work and parenting duties. I had very little time for spiritual practices. At first this bothered me. But overtime I could see that despite this, positive inner changes were occurring. As mentioned above, I was able to dissolve conflict in love faster. My body was capable of relaxing more then it ever had before. Shortly after returning I was hit with some of the most intense insults that I have experienced in a couple years. It was then that I could see my mind was able to forgive and let go of the triggering event quicker then ever. I have had the realization lately, that all the people and situations that upset me are not the real problem because they are not lasting, but the vibe that surfaces inside of me with all its variations is always there. I am responsible for that vibe. Only I can do anything about it. As it dissolves, insults no longer feel as real or hurt as long. I also find myself being friends with my offenders more often then ever before (some of them never even know they deeply insulted me). With this, a deep sense of freedom is stirring. A sense of freedom, that is founded on the knowledge that regardless of my circumstances, I have the capability of turning turmoil into peace by opening for God’s love. Recently I heard the “Prayer of St. Francis”. It resonated deeply with me, because for the first time in my life I understood:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.


Spiritual Treasures, Final Edition

Spiritual Treasures, Final Edition is the offline collection of spiritual teachings previously available at the Cyberspace Ashram,  The website was closed in late May 2012.  At the time of this post, the only server available to download this extremely large file is “Spiritual Treasures, Final Edition download server“.  A facebook page has also been dedicated to the Spiritual Treasures, Final Edition.  It offers practical solutions to downloading, protecting and using the zip file.  It is also a place to connect with other people who value kriya, God and Love.

The “md5sum” mentioned below, is a computer generated code which safely distinguishes a file as an original.  When copying and sharing the Spiritual Treasures, Final Edition it is important to learn how to check this md5sum with your computer (tips available at the facebook page, or search and verify the file is an original and undamaged.  For most Windows OS, a small, free, program needs to be downloaded to check md5sum’s.

The following is the copyright message from the author.

Cyberspace Ashram for Kriya Yoga, God and Love

“Spiritual Treasures – Final Edition”

Copyright 1997-2012 Hans Neukomm – Cyberspace Ashram. All rights reserved worldwide

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May Divine Bliss fill your life and being

May Divine Love free you and heal your path of Love home to God

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