Part of my personal motto this year is to FEEL DEEPLY, and that includes the painful stuff, too. I don’t wish to inflict pain upon myself to do this. Well, that’s not entirely true – part of the reason I enjoy getting tattoos is to experiment with how I deal with the physical pain, and to be curious about it. In fact, the last time, I noticed that halfway through the tattoo, the pain turned into pleasure!
However, I do wish to allow myself to feel whatever comes up in the moment. Resisting feelings, as I’ve done in the past, hasn’t worked so well for me; instead of moving through the feeling into something else, I wind up stuck in it. Being stuck, or frozen, leads to fear. Arguably, it’s the fear that leads to the resistance in the first place, but I think more precisely, it’s my reaction to the fear (resisting it) that translates into even more fear. It’s like that saying, “What you resist, persists”. So true. Because I grew up thinking I shouldn’t feel anything (having been told, “Don’t cry”, or “Don’t be upset”), I become afraid of feelings, worried they may take over, that they will become too painful to bear, and that I will never escape. Such is the same with physical pain; when my back is in pain, I have a belief that it will never end.
The more I can build the habit of allowing the feelings to move through me, to see that they don’t last forever, and to know that there is something else to feel on the other side of the pain, then the more I can accept, and let go of, the pain.
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