In my last post, I wrote that in order to identify the problem, we need to ask the right questions.
Simple concept, right?
So, why don’t we do that? Why don’t we just ask ourselves these questions?
Because the simple concepts are not necessarily the easiest to apply.
Let’s take our example of “Being in the defensive”. Let’s say I’ve noticed that I am too reactive in my relationships, especially with men, and I can see clearly the pattern.
Why would I rather ask, again & again, “How to be less in the defensive?” rather than “Why am I in defensive in the first place?”
Partly because it will take me more efforts & patience to get the answer to the second question.
Above all, because deep inside myself, I know that if I ask the second question, I’ll have to face the truth.
What’s wrong with facing the truth?
Well, in some ways, ignorance is a bliss.
Because when we are in the denial, we may suffer, but the pain is way less intense than what’s waiting for us if we ever have to face the truth.
At least, in the short term.
Because the truth will always make its way. And the longer the time we spend keeping secrets from ourselves, the more painful the wake-up call will be.
We may think that by avoiding our painful emotions, they will just disappear. Or they will be less intense. But actually, they only accumulate in our body, waiting patiently for us to give them the attention they deserve.
The only way out of pain is through it.
So, why would we choose to not feel it?
At some point, our pain becomes so overwhelming, that we become afraid of it.
But feeling it won’t kill us. Repressing it might.
We also unconsciously know that feeling the pain implies that at some point, we’ll have to let go: let go of the story that we’ve been holding on, let go of who we were, let go of some relationships, let go of the hope that things will one day be different.
And often, we don’t want to let go.
I’ve started to allow myself to feel my pain only recently.
I used to fear it, because I used to think that pain would kill me. But it made me feel more alive.
I used to think that it would make me feel lonely. But it only made me more connected.
I used to think that if I ever felt my pain, I would never be able to feel joy anymore. But it only expanded my capacity to receive it.
When pain knocks at the door, some days, I can’t open it, and other days, I let it enter. I hold the space for it, I let it tell me what it has to tell me. Sometimes, I get the message directly, other times, the insights come after a couple of days/weeks.
And that’s it.
Sometimes, it stays a little bit longer, but it always ends up leaving.