Life is hard. It’s meant to be. It’s normal. But do we need to remain addicted to our suffering? We wear it like a badge of honor at times. We may even try to outdo other people’s suffering by offering our woeful, dramatic stories. Please don’t take this as a disrespect of others’ suffering. I just think that we take ourselves all too seriously.
We attach to our suffering for so long that it becomes our identity. Most of us fear pain, whether it’s suffering from physical or mental/emotional pain. My daughter, Maddie, who has cystic fibrosis, knows what it feels like to have a lung function of 33%, and it hurts and is very uncomfortable. She’s afraid that her life will have a difficult, painful conclusion in which she may suffer considerably.
Personally, I fear emotional pain more than physical: “What if I lose Maddie? What if something happens to my husband, other daughter, Chelsea, my mom, or anyone I love? How will I handle that?” There’s a fear of being blindsided, left alone and suffering. Maddie has her share of emotional pain, of course, which is actually greater than her physical pain because she worries about the pain to come.
Our imaginations can be VERY creative and take us down a rabbit hole of nightmares. How about a new perspective? The irony is that we suffer daily already, by worrying about what’s to come. We know what pain feels like. We’re just worried it will be SO intense that we won’t be able to handle it. And then while in this mindset, we rob ourselves of living. We fear all sorts of emotion, disappointment, anger, jealousy, insecurity, and the big one, fear itself.
What if we could make friends with our negative emotions? They are simply movements of energy that we learned to label as fear, anger, jealousy, etc. Feeling a full range of emotions is normal, to be expected in the human experience. If we could approach them like this, they might not be as big of a deal, and we’d be less likely to hold onto them and resist them. Maybe we could even lighten up….
Take this a step further and apply to body sensations. This is more difficult, especially if we’re in pain, as we are very attached to our bodies. We live in them, after all. But what if we could not create such a dramatic story around the sensations in our body? Try it and see if the pain begins to dissolve. This is food for thought. Next time you find yourself resisting negative emotion, notice it and breathe.
Coach yourself, “This is just a movement of energy, neither good or bad. It’s normal to feel this as part of being human.” When you give yourself permission to FEEL all emotions, it’s very freeing. The emotion then dissolves more easily. Same with body sensation: “I’m just going to ease into this pain, breathe into it. I don’t have to tell a huge tale about it. It’s here. I appreciate my body anyway.” These are difficult practices, but worth trying if you want FREEDOM to appreciate all of life, what we label “good” and “bad.”
May you be blessed with acceptance of all that IS! Acceptance is the first step to change.
To Your Transformation,