Wishing the Hard Times Away

I hear everyone crying, “this hurts! It shouldn’t have to hurt this much.”

I agree.

I can tell when I’m feeling that way, if I observed the amount of time spent in mind-numbing activities. Surfing the net, play games on phone, eating chips (my vice…😓). All benign stuff, fortunately. I am so glad I never had a chance to get hooked on any addictive substances.

Oh, the effort we spend running away, trying not to face the hard stuff inside. It’s reasonable. Who wants to experience hardship full on, when you can water it down?

But a few years ago I learned that this pattern of distracting and avoiding is at the root of my problems. Every single place where I am unable to make my life be what I want it to be, there is a blockage inside.

And the only path to the other side of that blockage, is through.

I can put off resolving it, and life will go on, blocked.

Or I can work on unblocking it.

Instead of distracting, I learned to lay still. Instead of numbing, I learned to tune in. Instead of wishing the pain to not be there, I learned to feel it.

Now I cry more often. I can feel the places in my body where I’m carrying baggage. I still do plenty of distracting and numbing. But only after I pay attention to the hurt long enough until it feels unbearable.

It’s not easy. It takes a long time. Many days I wonder if I am making any progress.

But if I look at it over a longer span, I can see the progress. I can relax better. I have better friends. And above all…. I am less stressed or strained. Life is easier.

The problem, it turns out, is not the pain that each of us is carrying.

It’s that we don’t know that the only way to stop feeling the pain, is to feel it until it runs out.

That’s why we spend so much time and effort distracting and numbing.

There is a better way. A way to resolve the root cause. A way to finally be free.