So often we find ourselves at a point of crisis. A place where, if we had the choice, we would not have to endure. Maybe its financial, relational, or physical, but whatever the cause, the point of emotional pain is very similar. There is uncertainty, confusion, fear, and maybe anger. How does one navigate these storms of life without becoming defeated or bitter? Often times what stands in our way of receiving the peace we long for is our own resistance to the pain.
Of course no one wants to feel pain. Everything in our body screams no when there is a situation that forces us to be uncomfortable or unhappy. We long for our basic needs of love, security and comfort to be continually met. However, no one experiences this kind of provision all the time. Perhaps you feel like bad things are always happening to you, and that you are suffering more than most. These thought patterns only add to the misery you may already be experiencing.
So how do you overcome the tendency to be defeated and overcome by emotion when going through a difficult time? The first step is to find a comfortable chair and sit for a minute. I am going to walk you through a grounding technique that helps you to become more centered and focused. After you are siting comfortable, I want you to take in three long deep breathes. Your breathes should be the kind that bring oxygen to every cell of your body. Take those deep breathes over and over again until you start to feel your body relax some. Give it some time, but as you breathe notice the air coming in and leaving your lungs. Isn’t that a fascinating reality? We breathe in air that is automatically provided for us in nature, and we instantly begin to feel what it feels to be alive and renewed. From there take a few minutes to still your mind. Close your eyes and let your mind go blank. Chances are your mind has been racing a lot lately, especially if you are stressed about something in particular. As your mind goes blank, draw your attention to your feet and the sensation of them pressing against the floor. What does it feel like to notice your feet being supported by the earth? Do you feel secure and strong? From there notice how your body feels sitting in a chair, and how your clothes feel touching your skin? As you have carried out this exercise you are grounding yourself. A very important exercise when feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
The next step toward freeing yourself of the pain that comes from stress and fear, is to turn your hands in the palm up position. As you sit quietly with your palms facing up, I want you to say to yourself, “I accept the reality of the situation I am in.” As you say these words continue to take some deep breathes. You will find a part of yourself resisting these words, but continue to push through them by repeating them over and over again until they start to feel true. “I accept the situation I am going through, or I accept the people I am dealing with for who they are.” Continue to make statements of acceptance, and notice how your internal reaction starts to shift from resistance to acceptance. It is an interesting phenomena that a large part of our discomfort in life is our on resistance to the reality we are in.
After completing this exercise and ending with a few more deep breathes, ask yourself what you need to do next to continue to move forward with acceptance? How can you incorporate this new reality in to your awareness without immediately wanting to get rid of it in some way? Continue to coach yourself with affirming words, such as you can do this, or you can handle this situation. By giving yourself positive encouragement and focusing on resistance instead of acceptance you will find yourself navigating these difficult waters with a new energy. One that allows you to walk through it with confidence, hope and perseverance.