I used to praise myself for blocking out negative feelings until I realized I was stuffing all those negative feelings down. I felt so positive and energized after compulsive exercising, shopping, or doing anything that didn't involve sitting with myself. The dopamine that hit while doing the compulsive activities made me think I was a super positive, optimistic person. That dopamine was my high; after it wore off, I felt so much pain and discomfort. So I would go for another high, so I didn't have to feel that pain.
WHAT I RESIST PERSISTS
WHAT I FEEL CAN HEAL
What happens when we face pain? We heal! We become whole, radically honest human beings. It opens room for vulnerability and love for ourselves and others. All the times I've run away and not confronted conflict or my issues, I've suffered much longer than I needed to. If you are sick and tired of suffering and want to change, I urge you to try meditation. It has given me so much peace regardless of whatever is going on in my life.
THE CURIOUS PARADOX IS THAT WHEN I ACCEPT MYSELF AS I AM, I CAN CHANGE - CARL ROGERS
In 2015, a therapist sent me to another therapist specializing in meditation, specifically the RAIN (Recognize, Accept, Investigate, and Not-Identify) methodology. Since then, I've tried didn't methods; I like to sit in silence with my thoughts. If you would rather have someone walking you through a guided meditation, I recommend apps like Calm and Headspace.
Meditation helped me to love myself because I was no longer running away. I was sitting still and letting myself observe rather than judge. I used to judge myself and, in return, judged others harshly. Now I have more compassion for myself and others!
Here is how rain works:
Recognize what you are experiencing.
Accept or allow what you are experiencing to be unpleasant. Be with it without attempting to change it. Try not to judge or be hard on yourself.
Investigate or inquire. Try to be open and curious. Let your mind ask questions about the situation.
Not-identify. Remove self-identification. Instead of saying, "I am hurt," say, "I have feelings of being hurt."
TRY THIS EXERCISE
Duration: 2-3 minutes
Where: Comfortable and quiet area
Step 1: Get into the present moment with an erect posture and body support.
Step 2: Close your eyes and ask yourself, what am I experiencing now? RECOGNIZE what you are experiencing and label it. Are you feeling irritation, calmness, or wanting to cry?
Step 3: Redirect full attention to breathing for 1 minute
Step 4: Let your thoughts be open and curious about the situation. Observe the problem and don't judge it
Step 4: Expand awareness around your breathing, including your posture and facial expression
Step 5: Open your eyes.
Question: How do you feel after the meditation? What meditation have you tried that works for you?