There was a time in my life that “if it felt good, it WAS good, and if it felt bad, it WAS bad.” I guess I was living like a member of another species!
What I’ve learned over time is what feels bad is sometimes good, and what feels good is sometimes bad. This puts a whole new spin on things. Now I have to discern what’s actually happening, regardless of how it feels.
This is probably what Pema Chodron, the great Buddhist nun, means when she says “lean into the sharp object.” It’s counterintuitive to accept pain as part of life. We spend a lot of energy trying to avoid it through various addictions and distractions. We desperately hope that something outside ourselves will save us from pain. The truth… Nothing saves us from pain. Our only choice is to get through it quickly through acceptance, or slowly through obfuscation and suffering. The latter strategy results in blaming others and Life itself for our pain.
The grace of acceptance looks like giving up, but it is actually the Path of the Spiritual Warrior. There are times to fight, but they are much rarer than we think. If we fight to avoid pain, it will accumulate and will be waiting around the corner in another form.
As I’ve come to this realization I can breathe. I don’t feel like a cornered animal living on adrenalin. I don’t think anyone is making a stained glass window in my image any time soon! I’m just grateful to embrace a truth that lets me rest.