Newsflash: suffering is inevitable. Even the holiest of monks and bravest of warriors experience heartbreak like the rest of us: they have just found a way of dealing with it, fast. But how?
The secret is in facing it head-on.
Brené Brown says that we can only be curious of what we know a little about. If we try to avoid all things negative, we know nothing about it, hence are defenceless against it. By pretending those feelings don’t exist, we are forever trapped in denial of parts of ourselves, and thus will react unconsciously. What does that look like?
Like many, I’m a master of distraction and disassociation. When anxious, scared or angry, I practice my breathing exercises, I know what friends to call and what candles make me feel grounded again. However, do I know what disappointment feels like? Can I see rejection coming, taste jealousy before it arises, can I swerve greedy tendencies when I avoid feeling them at all cost? By allowing myself to be a “sinner” and a “bad human” I’ve learned how pointless judging those qualities are. I am denying myself some incredible lessons by refusing to sit with my suffering!
It’s inevitable to feel inadequate or in the wrong; what matters is that we fail fast, and get back on the horse again.
Instead of cursing ourselves for choosing the wrong partner, going broke or getting criticised, I will try to be grateful for my suffering and the risks I took.
Am I going to resent life experiences that others would kill for? We are alive to live, not to survive!
The longer we sit in our comfort zone, the more alien our own feelings will start to become.
By working with my felt sense I’ve started being more at ease with painful memories, crossing my former boundaries and reaching out when all I want to do is hide away at home! It helps me to remember that my suffering is only for nothing if I don’t transform it into something that allows me to reach out to others. Others might still be stuck in what I was lucky to survive!
And what a shame to let my suffering go to waste.