Most times the best thing to do is to turn toward the difficulties. The natural response to struggle is to move away or avoid what is going on. The tightness in our body we feel when things are not going well is often caused by the view we are holding in our thoughts not the reality of the situation. Those wanderings of the mind loose their power when we move toward what is not working and instead become present to what is. This becoming present means we enclose what is complicated with the compassion of our own heart and the light of our awareness.
Let’s look at this idea a little more in depth. From early in our development as children we are taught through the examples of others to avoid the difficulties of life because they feel unpleasant. After awhile what feels unpleasant becomes something we fear and do all we can to avoid. This leaves us in fear of ourselves at several levels: we fear our own emotions because they can be difficult; we fear our thoughts because they make us uncomfortable; we fear our bodies because they may suffer from illness; we fear intimacy because of possible loss and more. The truth is that living in fear of the difficulties of life is not necessary at all.
Here is an experiment for you to try next time you feel a struggle in you or your life that you want to avoid:
Instead of moving away from the fear you feel, move towards that fear and feel impartially what is going on inside. Allow what is going on to be what it is, feel it, acknowledge it, being with it without judgment and have a curiosity about it. As you go with what is going on it automatically begins to transform to something else. So the fear of failure for example becomes an old story you recognize from your thought stream that needs to be update or revised. Another example could be that you notice you always contract around the word “love” and with simply being present to that contraction you remember a past event that still colors every possibility of a loving relationship.
Instead of moving away, this moving toward or into what challenges us allows us to break for our old ways, to see the liberation that is present in the now of what is going on beneath the surface of past experiences and limiting thoughts and beliefs.
In reality all that arises within us is workable. There is nothing we can see or experience from a deeper knowing, from the place of added light or insight that we cannot handle and in fact transform to enrich our life.