Monday, 14 December 2015

When the pain gets a little too much

Be chilled out, like the cat ..
Like many people, I was drawn to the 'spiritual' journey because my life had not worked out well - in other words, I was fucked up. Whilst my journey has undoubtedly helped me survive the curveballs that life has thrown, it certainly isn't easy at times.

Most of us have emotional pain buried inside us, and it takes a while before we are ready to deal with the really deep stuff. When the shit really starts to hit the fan - it can be bloody painful. That's putting it nicely.

It's important, extremely important, to accept whatever is happening rather than resist it. But that doesn't mean it's easy. It seems like human nature to want to run away from adversity. Having been through more than my fair share of tough times, I find it difficult to deal with anything painful. There are certain issues that make me want to run a mile or fight them with everything I have.

Even though I know that allowing myself to feel the pain (as opposed to fighting it) would be helpful, sometimes the fight or flight reaction gets activated. Today, for example, I felt pretty bad, and this became compounded by dropping a tin of pasta sauce on the ground outside, causing it to break. That really set me off ..

I sometimes ask myself how we can truly stay present and focused when we are facing things that bring a strong emotional charge. The first thing is not to expect too much of ourselves. It's easy to think 'I really need to accept and allow this painful situation in order that I can become healed' - but almost everyone has spent years pushing away their pain, because that's all they knew to do. It's unlikely that we're going to be magically able to always accept rather than resist pain. Sometimes it can take an immensely difficult and traumatic situation to enable us to surrender and accept 'what is'.

Secondly, one thing I do is resolve to face whatever needs to be faced, as best I can. Even when things are difficult and I cannot see a way forward, I know that those are the times when I really need to stay focused as best I can.

Thirdly, it's wise to take a break from things from time to time, and just breathe.

Number four - don't get caught in the comparison trap. It's easy to think that your issues are worse than others (and it is true that some people have it more difficult than others) but you are on your own journey.

The pain has hidden jewels within it - running away is not the answer. Be curious - ask whatever issue is bugging you might have to teach you.

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