Getting comfortable being uncomfortable

Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.

-Eckhart Tolle

It’s easy to accept the present moment when we like the present moment, but not so easy when we dislike the present moment. This is normal and even sane; we wouldn’t survive as a species if we intentionally sought pain! Yet, to repeatedly and intentionally avoid discomfort relegates us to a life of avoidance, fear and denial. And by avoiding discomfort, we are actually living in the past; we are allowing the pain of our past to dictate our present actions.

I know this all too well; I spent most of my life doing this! The minute I’d feel anything uncomfortable, I’d push it away as best I could. And then, to top it off, I’d judge myself for feeling such loathsome feelings.

So how do we accept a less desirable present moment?

We begin by getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. We are so programmed to think that something is wrong if we aren’t feeling great. But, there’s nothing wrong. Actually, these uncomfortable feelings and situations are the intelligence of our being seeking wholeness. They are the lights amongst the shadows of our psyche, showing us where we have unintegrated material.

And then we develop the ability to be a passive and non-judgmental observer. We look at ourselves with kindness and inquire gently into what is going on. We ask ourselves questions like: What am I feeling right now? Or, What about my current situation is making me uncomfortable?

We then stay with whatever surfaces. Sometimes we see patterns of behavior, thoughts and feelings, and we begin to understand how we unconsciously repeat and even create certain types of situations and why we unconsciously seek relationships with certain types of people.

It’s all unconscious material that has been buried deep within us. By being present with whatever arises, we are freeing ourselves from the past. We are lightening our emotional and karmic load. We are taking some of the stress out of our lives, and learning to live with more ease, peace and equanimity.

Though we shouldn’t think that the goal is to get rid of all our stuff! That’s why we are here—to work with all this stuff. It’s a journey; ease into it and be gentle with yourself. Wherever you are is exactly where you need to be.

-Tara

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