Sometimes it feels like we’re living in a world that continues to go from one form of negative straight into another. Just as we began to come out into the open, the world slams us down again.
Our tendency during hard times is to RESIST unpleasant feelings to AVOID PAIN…. however, most of us aren’t unaware that RESISTANCE (or the mental focus on what we DON’T want) is actually BUILDING AND CREATING a multitude of cognitive and emotionally charged pathways in our brain.
Feeling PAIN, whether it be emotional or physical, creates a mental response system to AVOID or REMOVE it.
For example if your hand touches a hot oven, we instinctively remove it to avoid the pain. But, if we don’t understand “WHY“ it happened, we are likely to repeat it.
Even when we are physically ill – PAIN IS NOT THE CAUSE of the problem, it is the SYMPTOM of a deeper issue.
Take a simple headache for example. We might quickly grab an Advil to get the pain to go away….but, if we don’t understand the CAUSE of the headache, we are simply masking the problem.
Our highly REACTIVE emotional brain tricks us, into thinking that resisting what hurts or scares us, is the best method. However, avoidance is the brain’s way of putting off IDENTIFYING the CAUSE of the pain.
Let’s take the pain of a broken relationship, or the state of the world at present. Yes… it’s true, this pain hurts so bad we feel like exploding from the turmoil and agony.
But, if the pain is only masked rather than addressed, statistics show the likelihood of it popping up in other areas is extremely high….
Famous Psychologist Carl Jung said that “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.”
Resistance to something we don’t like puts
ALL of our Energy into fighting against the force, leaving none for ourselves!
So…. HOW do you stop resisting terrible memories, bad habits or hurtful life situations? Here are a few steps to get you started moving your brain into an OFFENSIVE state of healing:
1. IDENTIFY the actual problem– Is the issue finances, health scares, or something deeper? Even if your problem is drug abuse, ask yourself these questions. What are you trying to numb? What are you masking? What is it that you’re really afraid of? The answer to THIS question …. is most likely be the real problem.
2. STOP taking your past issue into your present. In this country we carry shame, blame and guilt almost like a badge of honor. Find the real issue and FACE it. (Think of your guilt, blame and shame as a bag of rocks…. is carrying it around with you into the present doing anyone any good? All it’s doing is making your life HEAVY and keeping you from moving forward with enough energy to help anyone else.
3. FORGIVE yourself or someone else. I have said many times that FORGIVENESS is a gift you give yourself. Mistakenly people think forgiveness means you’re weak, or that you’ve let someone off the hook…. but data shows that people who carry a great deal of anger and unforgiveness have massively higher health related issues. Forgiveness isn’t for them…. it’s for YOU!
4. CHANGE your perspective. Don’t focus on what you lost, what could have been, or the anguish of how WRONGED you were. REMEMBER: everything you focus on grows neuron pathways in your brain.
Is that really what you want growing in your head? Begin looking at life through a perspective of WHAT you learned…. that you could have learned no other way.
As Maya Angelou said “WHEN you know better do better!”