“Life has its down periods: your boss is unhappy with you, your business is struggling, you get into a fight with the love of your life, your finances are tight, you aren’t getting good sleep, you get sick or have chronic pain.
Our way of dealing with this is usually to do one or more of the following:
- Get away from the problem
- Ignore the problem
- Comfort yourself
There’s nothing wrong with any of these things. Don’t feel guilty if you do them.
(…) But trying to avoid the problem, exit from it, or even comfort yourself — these have limited effectiveness. We know that by now, because despite our best efforts, the down times keep happening. We get in a slump, we get miserable, we feel down.
Here’s a mental shift that might help: when you’re feeling hurt, sad, angry, overburdened … think of it not as a problem, but as an experience.
Fully feel whatever pain or sadness or anger you’re feeling.
Stop avoiding it and just feel it. Truly allow yourself to feel it.
And as you feel it, don’t think of the difficult feeling as a problem you need to solve. A thing you need to get rid of. Think of it as an experience you’re having.
It’s not a problem, it’s an experience.
That’s all it is: an experience, a feeling. Nothing to panic about.
(…) Feel your difficulty fully, with as open a heart as you can muster. Allow it into your heart, as you would a good friend. And just be with it, no judgments, no need to do anything. It’s just your present experience.”