Life is a journey. We have ups and downs. We have pain and joy.
We learn lessons, we grow, we change along the way.
Some days are easier than others along the journey.
Some days we remember to celebrate the small stuff and other days we sweat the small stuff - despite that we know we probably shouldn't.
Some days we are present. Other days we are completely absorbed in and wrapped up in work, our list of things to do and forget the important things.
Some days we experience and practice gratitude consciously and other days we simply focus on the wrong stuff that results in our pain and frustration.
Some days we feel like we are hitting all of our targets and our goals and other days we wonder why we even bothered to try at all.
Some days we feel our humanity a lot more than others because some days...let's face it....it hurts more.
On any given day, regardless of what we are doing or what is happening around us, it is really important that we remember that...
We are human. We are going to have the highest of the highs and lowest of the lows and everything in between.
We need to give ourselves permission to breathe.
It is so important for us to understand that pain is a part of life and learning and that where focus goes energy flows and yet, some days it is harder to pull myself out of a slump than others.
Mental health and wellbeing are, as everyone is aware, such an important aspect of life that needs consideration on a daily basis. We all experience pain in the area of mental health and wellbeing. Pain is a part of our human existence. But often, we spend so much time avoiding the pain or thinking we shouldn't be in pain that we create our own suffering. The only way we dimish our suffering is to accept the pain we experience.
The truth about Problems
We experience and face challenges every single day. It's simply a part of daily life. How we view the challenges we face determines how we move through them. Often we call our challenges 'problems'. A problem is a good thing. It is an opportunity to learn something about yourself, other people or strategy on how to solve the challenge. However, often we spend so much time focusing on the fact that we have a problem instead of finding a solution to the problem itself.
Problem, Pain and Suffering
The problems themselves are what cause us pain. It is how we respond and deal with the problem that creates our learning and growth. But you might know someone who is in emotional pain all the time. Or you might be that person. The person who is holding on to beliefs that don't serve them. The person who is holding onto past events and not learning or using the pain to grow and change. This is suffering. Pain is a part of life. But the damage we do to ourselves that causes suffering is in our minds and often far exceeds that of the actual events.
The Lie: No one understands
Have you ever said or had someone say to you - 'You just don't understand!'? This has got to be one of the most ridiculous statements we can ever say to another human! And here is why! While our journeys and experiences are different, the emotions and lessons are the same. We all experience pain, grief, loss, sadness, joy, love. While we may not be able to understand someone else's exact circumstances, we can all understand and connect with the emotion and pain behind it. Thinking no one else understands what you are going through is an excuse to stay in our suffering.
So how do we avoid suffering?
Where focus goes, energy flows!
We all the ability to choose what we focus on. It's not the problem itself that causes our suffering it's our thinking about and our attachment to the problem. We end up creating our own unhappiness because we spend so much time thinking about the problem, why we have it, what caused it, what did we do.....instead of looking at the problem and focusing on what we can do to get through it and learn from it. The only purpose of suffering is to help us to understand that we are the ones who cause it.
Use the Pain
Let pain be your motivation and failure in the situation you are in be your strength. Use it to teach and guide you through it. In the space of pain, we can choose the power of our response and in our responses lies our growth and ultimately, freedom from the pain. We can't choose our pain but we can learn from it. We can't choose our pain but we can choose our suffering.
Learn to let go of control
I know people will say this is easier said than done. But honestly....everything in life is easier said than done! But we must choose to let go of the past and the pain of the past involving circumstances and people. The past is over. It is done and can not be changed. Learn from it and then let it go. Holding onto the past is wanting to stay in control of it and the fact is, we can't. We have this desire to control our circumstances and keep things the way they are but we can't! This frustration and pain of the desire to have total control of yesterday, today and tomorrow is the immediate cause of our suffering. Acknowledge it, thank it for the lesson and then release it.
Avoidance is not the answer
As we are human and we don't enjoy the pain (even though it is part of life), we have a habit of wanting to avoid and so we don't deal with it. Avoidance leads to suffering. The lessons you need to learn just keep showing up until you learn them! That's the funny thing about life! Sure...we can avoid the pain and use food or alcohol or drugs or some other avoidance technique but the pain is still there and the lesson still needs to be learned. Pain in this life is not avoidable but the pain and suffering we create by avoiding the pain is avoidable.
In order to learn from the pain and avoid suffering, we must learn to forgive our past. I am not only talking about others in our past. I am also referring to ourselves. We are constantly growing and changing. You are not the same person you were even 5 years ago. Stop clinging to a limited, disconnected, negative image of yourself in the past. See yourself as you are now. You are always growing and changing.
Until next week...have the most amazing week.
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