They say hindsight is twenty twenty vision. We often looked back on episodes of pain or struggle and wished we hadn't worried so much. Once the situation has resolved, looking back we can see how we let ourselves become embroiled in the situation, often fighting it or simply getting lost in stress and worry. We promise that next time it will be different, but every situation brings it’s own challenges. Before we know it, it seems too late to take evasive action as we have let ourselves get too deeply troubled to do anything about it. However, there is always time to reverse our thinking but the earlier we catch it the better!
Here's a formula for noticing and dealing with struggle.
If we are not aware of how we are reacting, it's impossible to do anything about it. Awareness of our thoughts and emotions is the first vital step. How do we cultivate awareness? Through meditation and mindfulness. Again, this is an ongoing practice and definitely not a “quick fix” but one that works in the long run.
Once aware we have a choice, we can continue to think and act in the same way or we can choose to think and act differently. We always have a choice. Our perception of something being “difficult” or “troublesome” can always be changed with a slight shift in attitude.
Next comes the embracing part. If we can embrace our adverse emotions rather than fighting them we will not only begin to feel better but we'll also learn some valuable lessons. Welcoming the painful emotion actually has the effect of weakening its power. When we run from something it only chases us but if we turn to face it, it melts away.
When we feel discomfort it’s a sign that an opportunity is opening up to shift into a higher state of being if we embrace it. If we resist it, the feelings of discomfort will only get stronger and we will lose the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson and move forward in our growth.
Identify the emotion and name it e.g. impatience
Then ask - how does it feel?
Where in the body does it feel strongest?
Does it have a colour?
Is it constant or does it change and move about?
Ask the emotion what it needs or what it is lacking?
Explore the emotion for as long as needed. Welcome it and treat it as one would treat a child who is suffering. Finish by sending the emotion love.
We can feel a lot better after a simple practice like this if we take the time to be still and connect with what is going on inside. If we spend the day fighting back emotions and keeping ourselves busy so we don’t notice painful feelings, they may subside but they will not disappear. They will lie in hiding, waiting for another opportunity to rear their head, only the next time the emotion will come back with greater force.
Much better to deal with it head on and acknowledge that it is there. Yes, there is struggle, yes it feels awful but no we are not going to ignore this fact. We are brave enough to face our emotions and to recognise that struggle isn’t the end of the world, it is just another part of life. Without the struggle, we would not recognise the joyful times. Struggle provides contrast and allows us to appreciate the ebb and flow of life. What is not necessary is holding onto the survival emotions that we are feeling and remaining stuck in this state.
Remember, become aware, shift perception, embrace the struggle and move on!
Sandra Rea is an author, speaker, teacher and healer. Her upcoming book Angels Aid, Guided Meditation for Children and Parents will be published in December 2016. She helps people to release limiting thoughts and behavior that is holding them back and reconnect with the highest divine expression of themselves. She lives in Ireland where she spends her days doing the work that she loves, meditating and having fun with her children. Visit her website [www.angelicbodies.ie] to find out more.