I went on a solo vacation last week to Aruba and it was the best decision ever. I was anxious the first day, but then I let loose and found an even deeper level of self-love and openness.
While I was in Aruba, I had an a-ha moment that I need to share with you, it’s super important.
There’s a lot of talk out there now a days on how to cultivate miracles to achieve a state of inner peace and blissfulness. I’m all for this beautiful way of existing in the world. But here’s where it becomes a problem when we use our “spiritual tools” to bypass the suffering and emotions that are beckoning to come through us. Instead of honoring the gifts that these emotions bring (yes, even suffering brings gifts), we slap an affirmation on top of it and think it’s all fine and dandy.
Let me tell you a little story…
Three years ago, I drove myself INSANE trying to avoid suffering. This small moment explains this concept: I was on a train coming back from the Hamptons on 4th of July weekend. These trains are packed to the brim and I happened to get on one with no A/C. I was standing on the train and I was on my tippy toes because there wasn’t even enough room to put both of my feet down fully. I was sweaty and cramped. I was feeling angry, claustrophobic, anxious, nervous, tired, and angsty. I refused to let myself feel any of that because I thought I would be more “spiritual”. Anger? I thought that spiritual people don’t angry. So instead, I sang “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles in my head the whole ride home, pushing harder and harder to keep away the anger. It was exhaustingI, not to mention I was acting like a nutcase!
What I didn’t know then that I know now is that if I just feel whatever is coming up for me, even if it’s uncomfortable, I move through it way faster than I would if I tried to push it down. And when I push it down, it gets stored in my body to come up at a later time. Better just deal with it now
So here’s the plain truth that most coaches won’t tell you:
Your suffering? Your pain? It’s a really really good thing.
“Through suffering, we often become aware that we were living an illusion we were not conscious of: the illusion that my Jaguar is me, that my marriage is me, that my full head of hair is me. And as long as we consider the illusion to be real, we will continue to suffer.” – Donald M. Epstein
If you suffer from negative body image, or you think your body isn’t good enough, you believe that your body is you.
Without suffering, you would never notice your inner self trying to tell you that your perspective, your belief, is no longer serving you. Suffering is a sign that we need to shift our perspective in some way.
There’s no need to get angry at your suffering. Your suffering is the gift. Through suffering, comes transformation. Don’t deny yourself (or others) of that gift.
BODY CONFIDENCE WORK:
If your relationship to your body isn’t so hot, I want you to investigate what your illusion is. Do you think that your body is you? Do you equate your worth with the shape or size of your body? That’s the question to ask yourself this week.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
One of the goals of a spiritual practice is achieving a state of oneness or a state some call “no-self”. In order to achieve that state, you have to let go of the parts of ourselves that no longer work for us. But in order to let go of those parts, you must first have those parts be acknowledged and a part of your self-definition. “For [letting go] to take place, we must first be ‘someone’ before we can be ‘no one’.” – Donald M. Epstein