“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”
― Pema Chödrön
Many of the people I meet have very little tolerance for uncomfortable feelings. They dislike outer circumstances that are unpleasant, but really struggle with internal discomfort-the kind that you feel in you gut that leads you to say, “I don’t want this to be happening.” They try to escape the discomfort, reaching for a drink, losing themselves online, bingeing on comfort food…
Pema advises us, in these difficult moments, that the wise thing would be to stay. She teaches that we could really learn something if we could somehow touch the rawness of the experience, and stay with it.
“Breathe in very deeply and connect with the feeling, and breathe it out on the exhalation. I call it compassionate abiding. It means staying with yourself when, probably for your whole lifetime, you’ve always run away at that point. People often use spirituality like medicine when they’re in a tough situation… All religions point to the fact that being fully present is the only state in which you can wake up—not by somehow leaving. So you have to find your own simple, grounded language to say that to yourself: What is this moment, this situation, or this person trying to teach me?” Pema Chodron
See what happens when you stop leaving.