Hurt, pain and uncomfortable emotions are a part of life. But rather than being open and accepting towards our discomfort, often we’ll try and resist it. We want to experience what feels good, and eliminate what feel’s bad.
So we push what hurts away. We hide from our pain. We try and cover up uncomfortable emotions. Or deal with our problems later.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had much success with that approach! The more I resist discomfort, the more that discomfort deepens…and as a result, I feel like I”m struggling within myself.
The good news is, there’s a better way.
While it may seem counterintuitive, when we allow ourselves to be open to feeling our pain or discomfort, the more freedom we’ll feel within ourselves.
When we approach life knowing that there will be pleasant and unpleasant experiences, we can start living more fully (even when life seems challenging). We can stop trying so hard to ‘fix’ or ‘avoid’ what’s uncomfortable, and instead, accept our experiences as they are.
When we live openly and in acceptance of all of our experiences, we naturally enjoy life more.
Along my journey, I’ve found three approaches that really helped me be more open to pain and discomfort…and as a result, live more fully.
1. Give yourself, others, and world permission to be as they are
Accepting who you are, who others are, and the world exactly as it is right in this moment, is incredibly empowering. This is not an approach of resignation, but rather, allowing reality to be as it is (without trying to change or manipulate it). When you can recognise that life simply ‘is’ as it is (neither good nor bad), you’ll feel more in tune with life, rather than constantly fighting against it.
2. Feel all of your feelings fully
Feeling all of your feelings, whatever they may be, will help you move through pain and discomfort with more ease. When you open to what’s uncomfortable within your body, you’ll find that a sense of ‘space’ naturally opens up inside of who you are. You’ll discover that being open towards your feelings actually strengthens, rather than weakens your sense of self.
3. Be open to possibility and allow yourself to receive all of life
By opening to your experiences – rather than resisting what’s painful – you’ll be able to enjoy more depth and variety in life. You’ll deepen your understanding and appreciation of all of life’s ups and downs. You’ll also develop more compassion for others when they experience pain. When you hold the intention of being open towards life, you begin to see more possibilities and opportunities in front of you. Being open, helps you experience the world in a whole new way.
When it comes to being open to pain and discomfort in your life, don’t feel like you need to do it all at once. In fact, I’d suggest starting small. Start by allowing yourself to open just a little more than you did yesterday. Feel that openness in your body. And then notice your experience.
Each day, and each moment is an opportunity for you to expand and explore openness within your self, your body and your life. Every day and every moment, is an opportunity for you to stop your inner struggle, and live more fully.