Pain is a given in life. We lose people, become disappointed, and encounter rejection. Yet there is something to be learned in all these situations that makes us stronger. Unlike pain, which is inevitable, suffering comes when we avoid emotions brought on by painful experiences at all cost. It’s not uncommon when faced with difficult emotions to develop ways of coping that take us out of our direct experience. We become focused on story lines about ourselves, and others. We find ways to self soothe through substances, social media, sex, and eating. While these strategies temporarily protect us from uncomfortable feelings, over time they take us farther away from the brilliance of our true selves.
Meditation is a vehicle for slowly letting go of the ways in which we avoid difficult feelings. When we sit in silence, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves become more apparent. Noticing the pre-occupation with our self-narrative gives us the chance to hit pause, drop into our body, and experience the difficult emotions that are bubbling under the surface.
Therapy can be a form of meditation. It’s a space where we bear witness to our stories, and have an opportunity to be with with the full range of our experiences so we can become more resilient in our own lives.