So often, when we are feeling something unpleasant, our first instinct is to try to get away. The unpleasantness ~ be it pain, anger, grief, loneliness, hatred, jealousy, frustration, boredom, fear, or one of their many cousins ~ is perceived as a threat, and we go into a sort of unconscious fight (argue with the feeling), flight (avoid the feeling), or freeze (numb or distract from the feeling). While each of these strategies may be effective (even useful) in the short term, over time the feelings we are trying to escape will reassert themselves, growing in intensity and complexity. The more we struggle against the feelings (and fighting, fleeing, and freezing are all forms of struggling against the feelings), the tighter their grip becomes.
It is only when we abandon our struggle and move toward what pains us that we find our freedom. It was never the feelings that were imprisoning us, but our own resistance to them. Peace arises in the softening, easing, acknowledging, and allowing of our actual experience.
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Rafia Rebeck, MEd, MA, LPC, is trained in the Hakomi Method of Psychotherapy. She offers a warm, sincere, and safe approach for those who seek personal transformation through mindfulness. Please feel welcome to get in touch by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. If this blog postcard was meaningful for you, please feel free to share it with others who may benefit.