We’ve all experienced moments that are so difficult, we can’t do anything more than wish them away. We are so uncomfortable with our present experience that we choose harmful actions just to distract ourselves from the pain.
And this pain doesn’t even have to have a tragic cause to demand our attention and action. Boredom can be painful. Restlessness can be painful. Indecision can be painful.
What adds even further suffering to these moments is our rejection of them. We hate how they feel and want them to go away at any cost. We use distraction to hide from them. These can be obvious vices like drugs or alcohol, but it can also be more insidious diversions posing as living, such a drama or busyness. We deny ourselves peace in an attempt to avoid suffering.
The wretched truth is that we can’t avoid it. Moments of suffering, of feeling not quite okay, are going to happen. This pain can be physical, mental and emotional, and the best thing we can do for ourselves is to be okay with not being okay. And this even means making space for that refrain of It shouldn’t be like this.
This is an interesting balance to achieve: to be miserable, hate the misery but accepting that you hate it. It’s a bit of a mindfuck. And it starts to bring up questions about the point of even trying to make things better. I mean, if we’re just supposed to accept things as they are, including the fact that we hate things as they are, then how can change happen?
But accepting the present moment is a change. We stop fighting ourselves and how we feel. We instead turn inwards to our suffering and let it be as it is instead of trying to find an external solution. No distractions, no false pushes to just “feel better”. This is what creates space for the soothing gifts of gratitude and peace.