How To Lean Into Discomfort
The 9-year old storm in our home continues as our child crosses his river of change. Some households don’t get swayed in this way, they pass through this transition softly. It’s not that one way is ‘better’ or ‘worse’, it’s simply a different syllabus.
Yesterday was a day to forget as quickly as possible – except for the massive lesson it drove home for me (oh please let it have been driven home! No more please.)
Afterwards I sat to meditate and ask for insight and guidance for my current experience with my child – to understand the task at hand for me and mine. To know what part of the syllabus I’m learning I ask, “What is the message here?” This question is most effective when not said in a desperate wailing tone while rending your garments and tearing at your hair – but if that’s how it comes out I totally understand. Yesterday was a rending day for me.
But, fear not parent. All is not lost, help is always at hand. Unexpected messengers bring reassuring ideas and tips, meditation brings revelations, healing is nigh.
In my meditation I took my higher self and dropped in for a little chat and cuppa with my son’s higher self. “What are we busy working on?” I asked him – like a teen asking her friend, “What did the teacher say our homework is for today?” He was just the right person to ask, because being the keen student helper he is he answered very quickly, “I am helping you learn about powerlessness. We are exploring powerlessness.”
What was I thinking?! Why did I sign up for that course? Ok wait, stop. Enough garment rending. Let’s focus and check the exercises at the end of the textbook chapter. Let me see, this one says, ‘Discover the things that make you feel powerless and what feelings that engenders in you.’ Oh yes, I did that one yesterday when my child physically tackled me when I said he couldn’t have something and while trying to get to his desired object pulled on something else until it broke and then, while I was engaging ALL of my compassion and willpower to stay calm and loving throughout his wrestling me and breaking that thing he said, “I’m glad I broke it” aaaaand… POP! I lost it.
So I woke up this morning processing the ‘POP’ part. I’m not willing to walk around carrying that kind of trigger inside me. He sure did push me but I sure did have a big ‘ol reaction. As I keep saying, it’s never about the trigger. If you have a big reaction to something it is a unique opportunity to heal something within you. When you react badly you might celebrate, for healing is even nigher.
The thing about trigger points is they are a place where a part of our psyche feels we are in grave danger so it fights with all its might to help us get away or kill the threat (and there stands our sweet little noo-noo blinking at us innocently).
The thing to do to heal a trigger point is to gently LEAN INTO THE DISCOMFORT.
Don’t run away, don’t fight it, don’t try to change it, don’t try to wish yourself already past it – open your arms wide and lean into the burning intense feeling of discomfort. That is the only way it can dissolve – not while you cling onto it and try to MAKE it different. That’s still believing it is dangerous. You have to show yourself it won’t kill you. Just like yoga, gently hold the lean as long as it takes for the stretch to ease a little. Don’t push and hurt yourself, just gently, gently don’t withdraw from the tightness until it lets go a little… Keep doing that each time you meet it until it is no longer a point of tension for you.
Murmuring reassurances to yourself as you do it helps even more. Remember we only freak out when a part of us thinks it is not important, not loveable or not good enough. Those are the feelings that threaten us on a survival level. So as you lean into your point of emotional discomfort tell yourself things like, “It’s ok. I’m safe. I’m important to me. I love myself. I’m good enough.”
So for example, if at the point my child made his nasty comment, I had noticed my sudden burning, raging pain, and I’d stopped, seen it for what it was – a reaction because my own wound had been touched on – breathed, leaned into the discomfort and stayed quiet, I would have gained greater strength and flexibility and come closer to healing this old wound instead of expressing the pain into my relationship with my little teacher and avoiding my own discomfort by blaming him for causing my pain. He didn’t cause it, he was only making me aware I have a wound there.
Try this now. Think of something you find uncomfortable, open your arms wide and physically lean your body towards the thought and feelings, while telling yourself kind things. Go on, do it right now.
This week’ challenge for us all:
LEAN INTO YOUR TRIGGER POINTS (and if you can love yourself while there all the better).
Leave some comments and let me know how it goes?