“Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
It is our natural tendency to want to feel better when we feel bad. We all want to be happy, to be at ease and to avoid pain.
As a therapist, I frequently hear childhood memories of being sad, or hurt, or frightened and having an adult say, “You’re fine.” This leaves us feeling unheard, invalidated, unprotected and unloved.
This is often how we treat ourselves when we are in pain. We push through and move on without acknowledging the ways we are suffering. The alternative may be to saturate in our pain. There is a difference between wallowing in or ruminating on our suffering and embracing it.
Ruminations build on the suffering and add to it. We dream up hundreds of scenarios about how we were wronged and the about all of the ways we could be suffering. But when we embrace our pain, our sadness, our anger, our anxiety, we invite it in. We hold it gently.
Rather than ruminating on all the horrible things that are happening or that could happen we simply remain open with compassion, with non-judgment and with curiosity. We breathe into our pain and we gently whisper, “I am here. I am listening. What do you need? What do you need me to hear?”
This is the way to access our own capacity to heal. When we suppress our struggles we may be able to carry on, but we miss the larger opportunity to know ourselves and to connect with ourselves in deeper ways. When we ruminate on our pain, we strengthen it.
Just like that small child who needed to be held and heard in order to heal, there is a place inside of you waiting for your presence.