The mind returns again and again to unresolved emotional issues for two basic reasons: First, the ego-mind is magnetically drawn to negativity because that is what sustains its point of view. Negativity by its very nature is magnetic; it pulls everything in toward itself much like physical mass creates gravity. Second, negativity is looking for resolution and release. All forms of suffering seek to be free from the grip of sorrow. Sometimes the ways suffering seeks release only create more sorrow, as when one succumbs to blame, shame, victimhood, control, guilt, etc. But when suffering seeks its release through compassion, love, and wisdom, the doors to resolution and freedom begin to open.
The first and most important step is to remain fully conscious and present in the face of suffering. Because we experience our suffering deeply, we may think that we are being fully conscious of it. But to be fully conscious means more than to simply experience suffering; it means to be fully accepting of it in the intimacy of the heart. It means to allow one’s sorrow (not only your own, but the sorrow of all beings) to crack open the heart. It means to stop defending yourself against your own pain and allow your point of view, which is your narrative story about your suffering, to open up to new and unexpected perspectives. Holding your suffering in the felicity of love instead of the self-justifying or self-loathing narrative of ego protectionism is the key that unlocks the door to greater freedom and completeness.
What are you noticing about how you hold your suffering?
for Mindful Monday
Source: "The Way of Liberating Insight"
Photo credit: "Serendipitous demonstration of magnetic field lines," ben_osteen, 2011.