Obsessing about the outcome is our attempt to control and ease anticipated pain.
We fear being happy. What we fear even more is having our happiness taken away.
We live in constant terror of what if, never allowing ourselves to immerse in what is.
We’ve heard the answer to ‘living in the present’ is letting go of attachment, but that sounds like a mystical far-off task. It’s a little easier to let go of our attachment to material possessions, but it’s harder to let go of attachment to people.
Impactful people become part of our energetic makeup. They circulate through our bodies and cycle through our hearts and mind until we let them go. They conflict with, and compliment parts of ourselves. That’s why it feels so gut-wrenching when they’re gone. We feel like a part of us is missing.
Instead of trying vehemently to “live in the present” and “let go”, have the mindset that,
You’re resilient enough to withstand whatever happens to you in the end.
You’re equipped enough to soothe yourself through the circumstances.
And you’re resourceful enough to get more. So live your life.
You’ve felt emotions you thought would kill you. You’ve felt chest pain and little rips in your heart.
You’ve felt the physical symptoms of nausea, vomiting, headaches, and sudden illness.
You’ve been stuck in bed for days, unable to shower, eat, or move.
These are uncomfortable experiences that will pass as you gain the strength to navigate.
Not all happy experiences end in pain, though you may feel painful emotion if you’re attached to it, simply because it has meaning to you.
Our bodies and minds care for us. Everything they do is an attempt to protect us. It’s our job to sort out the real danger from unwarranted fear. Pain gets our attention.
I remember when my brother unknowingly ruptured his kidney during a football game. He kept on playing, but the pain intensified.
He eventually went to the hospital where he had emergency surgery and was admitted, which saved his life.
His soreness warned him that something was wrong.
What’s your pain trying to tell you?
Maybe it’s bringing awareness to something you want. Maybe it’s telling you that you strongly care for a person. Maybe it’s telling you to look deeper at yourself.
Regardless of what lessons our afflictions are trying to teach us, we don’t have to turn it into fear.
We can allow ourselves to step unnerved and fully present in our experiences. This isn’t because we’re naïve to the fact that circumstances may change, but because we can never live if we’re petrified of the outcome.
This is what anxiety looks like. We don’t need more deep breathing and grounding. We know what to do.
We need to believe that we’re not going to die from embarrassment or anxiety, that we’re capable enough to survive the results. We embrace new experiences when we recognize that pain isn’t the enemy and we have tools of combat.
Tools to help your ease pain
It’s easy to list off mindful habits-pray, ground yourself, exercise, get sunshine, eat your veggies, but it always comes down to your perspective, resilience, and mindset.
Our individual processes for achieving this look different, but the theory is the same.
You’re not searching for new information, you’re searching for reminders. You’re searching for stories that are relevant to you.
This is how humans work. We need the same lessons, in different ways, by different people, in different formats, until something clicks.
The tools that help you overcome your pain are habits that aren’t self-destructive (ex. excessive drinking, binge eating), yet motivate you to grow and make you feel good.
I can’t tell you what that looks like for you. I can only direct you toward how to find it. Pay attention to what you’re doing when you feel good, who you’re around, what you’re reading and watching. Do more of those things. It takes stillness, awareness, and conscious effort.
A safe place to start is a hobby that awakens your creativity.
Remember, overcoming discomfort takes time, weeks, months, even years. It’s not linear. You may regress before moving forward. You may stagnate, you’ll take the slowest steps, even drag yourself, but you’ll progress if you’re determined to.
I’d love to know the tools you use to transition through pain.
Start opening your eyes to those that do.
Originally published on Medium- Assemblage