I am going to make a big call…….
Here it is: the ability to sit with unpleasant internal experiences, accept them and allowing them to flow through you as your human experience in that moment is the most powerful human mastery skill one can have.
I am referring to those moments when you get stuck in a negative headspace or physical experience and all of a sudden experience suffering. This may happen because another person has irritated or hurt you. It can come on when triggered to engage in unhelpful habits. It may also be caused in you when life stress escalates.
Many people right now are frightened of contracting Covid 19. Theres also a lot of other life stress felt in regards to the imminent global recession and what that means for families and individuals. During such times of extreme change, uncertainty and life stress we may have these moments of struggle. All of a sudden we may notice an internal struggle with what is happening around you, a resistance to reality that you can not change. When this happens the antidote is to let it go. Let go of that internal physical and mental battle and turn your mindset to one of radical acceptance. Once you have got to this point you can then focus on the issues and stressors which you can change.
So the first step to stopping struggle is to notice the moments when you are doing just that. Using mindfulness practices regularly increases your neural ability to pick up on such occurrences. The more one practices mindfulness (the ability to notice internal and external experiences without thinking) then the more you wire you’re brain to do so in everyday life. Im so grateful that after years of practising this way of being it is now accessible to me more often in everyday life.
Use emotion as a trigger to check in with yourself & identify what it is that you are resisting so that you may work on lessening the struggle. The pain caused during moments of suffering serves as a useful reminder to be mindful and check in on the source of discomfort. I notice the pain and then enquire, why is it so? I notice a physical and mental tension, a clinging to an issue I want to be different and a struggle of some sort. I realise I am suffering and that there is something to accept to stop it.
Identify that which is real and can not be change and let the struggle go. You do this by accepting it as your human experience right now. It may be unpleasant and not what you want but it is still yours to have and will be over soon. If you can sit with it and not react in a way that makes your life worse then you have won the battle & ironically without needing to change the thing you initially were resisting! How strange that the real win is the equanimity and not the focus of suffering. Meditate on that a while……