What I can share with you is a tool that doesn’t try to avoid, minimize, or control what you feel, but instead meets it, honors it, and allows it to teach you.
What I’m talking about is something called mindfulness. And from what I’ve experienced, this is the only tool I know of that can help you to meet and overcome pain moment-to-moment.
In terms of awareness, mindfulness is the most powerful soul work tool I have worked with because it helps you to directly access your inner Higher Nature. What I call Higher Nature here is really only a fancy term for the space inside of yourself that is open, infinite, impersonal, and all-loving — and we all possess this unconditionally peaceful space.
Here are some steps to help you overcome emotional suffering:
1. Be Willing To Face Your “Darkscape”
To overcome any chronic suffering you’re experiencing, you really must be willing to search your darkness. You must be willing to face what you have not yet faced or avoided within you for potentially many years.
Related: The Dark Night Of The Soul
Your darkness could be, physically speaking, the size of a fingernail that occasionally pulsates in your chest. Or your darkness maybe like a deep chasm or abyss that seemingly has no end. The “Darkscape” within us always varies from person to person and was created from our inherited and early life wounds, as well as learned patterns and beliefs.
2. Learn To Become Aware Of Triggers And Pain As It Arises
This point can be difficult, and it does take practice. Often, we tend to be stuck in the habit of immediately reacting to whatever pain arises inside of us. We become like robots that automatically switch on “self-protection” mode. We protect ourselves by withdrawing, suppressing, repressing, avoiding, or getting angry and defensive.
Becoming aware of triggers and pain as it arises requires you to practice meditation. You can also become aware of your internal “Feelingscape” through the regular practice of mindfulness. In fact, mindfulness and meditation go together seamlessly, and I recommend both of them to overcome emotional suffering.
To practice this skill, you will need to commit to it daily. But, let me guarantee, the time you spend will be MORE than worth it.
3. When Pain Aries, Allow It And Hold It In Awareness
It is hardwired into us to avoid that which causes us pain in life. What I’m asking you to do here may seem fundamentally counterproductive. But I challenge you to do it and see if it doesn’t make a difference to your life.
The most important part of holding your pain in awareness is non-judgment. When you start judging your feeling and judging yourself, you create further constriction and tension within your mind and body. Obviously, this doesn’t lead to any form of resolution — only more pain!
Non-judgement naturally comes from the practice of mindfulness and meditation; it is not something you must “do” as much as something you must “allow.” Does that make sense?
Here is an example of holding pain in awareness and going into it might look like:
You’re about to get shopping out of the boot of your car, and it is nighttime. As you walk out underneath the stars, you start feeling fear creep into your body. The sound of a snapping twig makes you jump and thoughts of kidnappers and murderers start firing through your brain. At once, you become aware of these thoughts and the sensations in your body. Instead of fighting them or dramatizing them, you simply allow them to be there. Instead of closing, you open yourself to the fear, and you find that once it is fully seen and held, it dissipates quickly.
Here’s another example: