I read an article recently by Aletha Luna. She has an interesting point of view about ‘suffering’. Many of my clients report experiencing ‘suffering’. Here’s another way to learn this extreme emotion.
Our parents, teachers, religious institutions, political leaders, and very societies all operate under the belief that life is about fixing, improving, and striving for an ideal state.
The moment our pure childhood minds were filled with beliefs and judgments about life was the moment we start to become human fixers instead of human be-ings. Instead of meeting life as it is, we start seeing life through a lens of “this is good” and “this is bad.” Instead of seeing the interconnectedness of everything, we started thinking in a linear, rigid, and mechanistic fashion about life.
One of the biggest experiences we isolate ourselves from in life is that of emotional suffering. Understandably, it’s our primal instinct to avoid that which hurts us. And the number one way we avoid our emotional suffering – while at the same time believing that we’re dealing with it “efficiently” – is by trying to ‘fix it’.
We try to fix our emotional anguish and suffering in a multitude of ways.
We try fixing our emotional suffering in self-destructive ways, such as through drug, alcohol, food, and other addictions. We call this “avoiding” or “numbing” the pain. And we try to fix our emotional suffering in socially encouraged and acceptable ways such as by reading self-improvement books, going to workshops, and seeing psychologists.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The socially prescribed ways of dealing with pain are very useful and important. I absolutely encourage people to go down this path if it calls to them. But while these socially prescribed ways help us to manage, understand, temporarily release, and cope with pain, sometimes so that we can function completely “normally” again, they do not in any way “fix” our emotional suffering.
The very act of trying to change what we’re feeling is a form of resistance, and the more we resist, the more our suffering persists.
The way to end the cycle of pain, addiction, and the constant desire to “fix” yourself is by embracing your emotions. Courting your emotions is about being attentive to them, listening to them, honoring them, and letting them melt into your heart. You can liberate yourself from your emotional suffering by opening your heart to all of these emotions unconditionally.
Every painful feeling must be given rest in your heart. Every disturbing sensation must be accepted exactly as it is, without you wanting it to change. Every one of your emotions must be met, felt with compassion, and allowed safe passage in your heart.
No need to try to ‘fix it’. Accept what comes your way and learn more about yourself. Remember let you suffering speak. It won’t last forever.