Practicing in the middle of pain

I’ve been hearing and seeing the phrase, hurt people hurt people, a number of times over the past week or so. It’s gotten me thinking about how I respond when I’m hurting. What are my “go-to” habits to both protect myself and to respond?

meditation cushion

At the crossroads of Overwhelm and Fear, I try to create space.

There’s been an on-going situation that I am peripherally involved in – mostly as a listener. This past weekend, I was no longer on the periphery and had to confront myself with the questions about habits that protect and habits that I use to respond. Because of the circumstance, I had the opportunity to sit with this and really look at my own patterns and what came up for me. (Even revisiting this is a challenge; I simultaneously want to rant and shut down the computer.)

But, the question that kept coming up for me was how do I stay open? While there were thoughts about lashing back, about saying nasty things, about walking away forever… I could see how this had played out before in my life. What hadn’t I tried?

Stay with it. Don’t get hooked into spiraling the storyline out of control. What are you feeling? Stay in this moment.

That’s where I tried to stay. I can’t always do it. (In fact, sometimes it’s not possible, for whatever reason.) But, I had three hours and getting sucked into nastiness would only make me feel worse. So, I explored what was going on. And it was uncomfortable. It was not happy. There were moments I had to look away from it, but I kept trying to gently come back.

To me, this is practice. How do I keep myself open? To be honest, I spend a lot of time shutting down. I ignore, avoid, lash back. I spend hours on Facebook rather than sit with the discomfort of overwhelm (whole other post in that). How do I stay open and give myself enough space to make that a choice – I’m choosing to numb out right now and I recognize that that’s what I’m doing.

This is part of my ongoing flirtation and dance with my 2013 intention/word: trust. Can I trust myself to hold all of this? Can I trust myself to not go crazy? Can I trust the ground I stand on?

Can I trust this process?

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5 responses to “Practicing in the middle of pain

  1. Hmmm, I guess the thing about being a writer and saying nasty things to people, that I have learned, is that there is always some way to say the nasty, heinous things to people, but in a nice, meaningful productive way. Work through the pain, friend. I know it’s hard now, but you can do it. Use the pain as inspiration for your work. Invent characters outside of your world. Use them as dummies. Explore the pain, express the pain, and best yet, express the pain in a way that everyone will understand and not get offended by.

    And yes, you can trust the process. You can trust yourself to not go crazy. Just feel it. Meditate on it. Let glorious visions rise from your pain. <3 I'm excited to see what you create! <3

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