Certainly one of the greatest challenges of human life is how to deal with emotional pain.
When something happens which triggers an uncomfortable or painful emotion, our first response is often to try to get rid of it or get away from it.
This strategy is not likely to be very effective. There’s an old saying, “What you resist persists.”
I believe that if we resist an emotion and try to get rid of it, the result will be, at best, like pulling up a weed by the leaves. It may seem like it’s gone, but it will come back soon.
But, if we’re able to meet the pain with gratitude, we have a chance to pull up the weed from the roots.
Your left-brain might say, “It doesn’t make sense to be grateful for pain. I want to feel good.”
Emotional pain doesn’t come out of nowhere; it comes from your subconscious. Because the pain is subconscious, it’s controlling you and there is nothing you can do about it, since you have no awareness of it. Once an incident triggers the pain, you have the opportunity to bring awareness into it and free yourself from its control. That’s truly an occasion for gratitude!
So when fear, judgment, sadness, or some other painful emotion comes into my awareness, I do my best to be grateful for the opportunity to meet it.
Then, I scan my body to find where the emotion is most strongly present. Next, I bring my awareness to that spot, experiencing both the physical sensations and the emotion. I maintain an attitude of gratitude, both for the opportunity to get to know this emotion and for my willingness and courage to go deep into it.
I consistently find that when I’m able to meet painful emotions this way, they quickly dissipate. Sometimes, there’s a physical release through coughing or shaking. Afterwards, I feel more open.
So, the next time something happens that triggers pain, be grateful for the golden opportunity Life is offering for you to get more free.