Spending time last week with a gripping pain in my body continues to offer many teachings. Right now I am working with what it is to be with myself, my thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations without trying to fix what I am experiencing.
I am a “fixer” from way back. It helped me to survive what felt like chaos and harm growing up; allowing me to feel empowered in disempowering situations. While there is nothing wrong with seeking a fix, it can become problematic when the efforts are knee-jerk and unconscious. Based more from a need to make difficult things go away, then it is to accurately see what is there. This “seeing what is there” being the key ingredient in taking “right” action. By that I mean an action which not only correctly matches what is needed, it also does not create more harm, or a new level of problem.
As I go deeper into the experience of pain, I see the flaws inherent in trying to fix something. Mainly that when I need to fix, it implies something is wrong. Which brings me right into judgement. Of myself, the situation, and whatever it is I am experiencing. In the judgment there is intolerance. With that comes resistance. And in the resistance, a battle ensues.
So now, instead of being wide open and observational about what is happening, I have tightened up and narrowed down my focus into a mere sliver of the information available. This is one of the quintessential hallmarks of being in a survival response. The blinders go on, our view narrows, and we are left with a fraction of the input we need to make a good choice.
So what does this result in? We throw on band-aids. We go back to what we did in the past. Even if it didn’t work. We leave out essential information. We close ourselves off to, and are intolerant of, new ways of approaching old and long-standing problems. Look around. It is everywhere. But mostly, we can find it in the personal and collective approaches we continue to take to health. So like a mosquito banging itself against a glass window when there is an open door behind it, we too stay trapped in the same old same old.
If you are up for something different, other than remaining trapped in old ways of doing things, try this: Whenever you are feeling an unwanted sensation in your body, pause. Take a breath. Give what is happening a name. And just for this moment, let it be. Just let it be.
Watch what happens when you do not fight.