Spaciousness is the key

Rejection of uncomfortable feelings creates self-inflicted suffering.

Uncomfortable feelings are not in themselves harmful. It is the act of rejection (through avoidance, suppression or resistance) of these feelings which causes the suffering, not the feeling itself.

However hard we try to resist or avoid uncomfortable feelings, they do not go away; they remain part of us, existing just beyond the limits of our awareness.  We do not consciously experience the feeling; instead, what we experience is a fear of the fear of the feeling. This invisible feeling and the associated fear continue to drive our behaviour.

If you repeatedly find yourself in a “toxic” situation (eg. toxic relationships, chronic anger, addiction),  in spite of your desire not to be in it, it is highly likely that you are trying to avoid an uncomfortable feeling you are trying to reject to avoid a part of yourself.

Whilst the desire to reject this part of us is understandable, it is a mistake as it is a part of us; and to avoid or reject it is as absurd as trying to reject our heart, liver, lungs – which would be really weird wouldn’t it?

So what is the alternative?  The answer to this is spaciousness.

Within each of us is an infinite space, a boundless space capable of holding any feeling, any thought without ever changing the essential nature of that space. It is a space of love, equanimity, connection and joy. We are usually simply too distracted to see it, or we are searching frantically outside of ourselves for a solution that lies within us.

This space feels the same as the infinite clear blue sky. Feelings and thoughts come and go in the same way as clouds in the blue sky. They arise, stay for a while then fade away.

We are that space, we are the the blue sky, unchanging. Feelings come and go; thoughts come and go but the space remains the same.

Instead of avoiding or rejecting it, we simply allow the feeling to be present in the infinite space, like clouds in the infinite blue sky. With open curiosity and kindness we explore, we feel it in our bodies, we make friends with it, we take a cup of tea with it. We discover the wisdom it contains. What was a source of fear becomes a source of strength.

Peace health and happiness from Finca Las Bardas.

 

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