Situations That Are Out of Our Control
As I sit here trying to think of what I want to write my blog about this month, I find myself feeling a deep sense of hurt and betrayal. A situation in my workplace has left me torn up. In short, I feel unappreciated and undervalued and, as a result, I have been lost in my head and definitely not appreciating the present moment.
Using Mindfulness during a time like this is challenging. Without being aware of it, I get caught back up in the cycle of negative thinking, the rumination, the obsessing, the conjecturing, the blaming. Even when doing other things throughout my day, I still find a physically heaviness in my chest and I can sense the beating of my heart more readily. I breathe in a there is a constriction, a sensitivity in my throat, a pain.
Perhaps I am supposed to feel these sensations. Instead of avoiding them or dwelling on them, I should just sit with them and let them be. Taking a objective viewpoint, looking at the situation for what it truly is, takes some of the “bite” out of it. Pretending to be a detective, I can take apart the situation and organize it into three categories: emotions, physical sensations, and thoughts. So, here goes:
Emotions: anger, fear, frustration, worry, sadness
Physical Sensations: tightness in my throat and chest, heavy butterflies, a sinking feeling, drooping shoulders; shaking hands, sweaty palms
Thoughts: maybe I deserve this; I hate people; I don’t want to do this anymore; I don’t deserve this; maybe I am making too big a deal of this; I wish I could tell so and so what I really think; I’m stronger than this
Sitting with and leaning into an unhappy situation is not enjoyable but it sure beats giving in to the anger, whether that be in the form of substance abuse or other avoidance tactics, verbal or physical aggression, or suppression. If we stay with it, the emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations begin to ease up. We create distance and open up our perspectives to be able to see the big picture, to see more clearly what is really going on (both inside and outside ourselves). There is a difference between pain and suffering: pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice.
Now... to take my own advice...