What do you do when you feel:
- Lost and directionless?
- Alone in the world without a single person to talk to who you believe would understand what you’re feeling?
- That whatever inner strength you had is gone and you simply can’t keep going?
You’re probably aware that you’re supposed to stop for a moment and take a breath. That’s definitely good – and useful. But do you know what to do next?
Many people think they should immediately move away from these thoughts and feelings and find something more positive to focus on. But there’s actually a step in between that you might be missing. And that’s where you can develop the knack for consciously engaging in acts of self-love.
Before you run off to a different set of thoughts and emotions that make you feel better, try out this next step.
- Take a moment and notice how you are struggling against experiencing these very unpleasant mindsets and painful emotions.
- Explore where you’re feeling this in your body.
- Then keeping your focus on these sensations, breathe into their presence in your body.
- Allow yourself to be with them for a few moments, as a part of your life experience in this moment. After all, invited or not, they have indeed arrived for a visit.
If you can do this, you have just engaged in an act of self-love and self-acceptance. As the mystic poet Rumi might say, ‘You have been a good host to your guest’.
Mental and emotional pain are a part of life – as is physical pain. But suffering (pain due to the presence of pain) can be released. How? Stop. Breathe. Allow, accept, and relax into whatever has arisen in your experience. Then, take the appropriate action to move on. Paradoxically, it’s that easy – and, as you already know, that hard.
Give it a try. And remember: it actually doesn’t matter whether your experience is pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad. Just be present to what has grabbed your attention—whether it’s inside or outside.
And if you can, give yourself a pat on the back for being such a courageous Being. Learning to face and embrace “what is” before you take action to change it is a great way of discovering your power, your strength and your capacity for accepting ‘what is’ . And, oddly enough, that is an act of Self-love.