This dynamic can play out within the self in various ways. One way is when we desire to be relaxed and at ease with our circumstances when in reality we feel frustrated and powerless. The tendency in this scenario is trying to choose one or the other, either coercing ourselves to feel good or ok because we really desire to, or drowning in the discomfort of how we feel, in other words feeling powerless to our emotional or physical reality.
This dynamic can play out in relationship where someone else would say everything's fine, don't worry about it (because that's how they desire it to be for you) and you feeling upset, challenged by the circumstances you're in and not fine. When you feel like you have to dismiss or invalidate your experience and adopt there's, or resist their perceived insensitivity and reject their comments it leads to further conflict either played out within the self or with the other person. What if you could contain, include or validate other peoples desires for you as well as your current experience?
What would it be like to increase our capacity to "be present" or fully be as we are and where we are AND acknowledge our preferences and desires for something different? We no longer have to deny where we are in favor of how or where we should be, nor do we have to exclude our desires or preferences for change in the name of "accepting what is." In addition to this we can then increase our capacity to celebrate when our desires and preferences match the reality we're experiencing.
As we increase our ability to contain in our awareness the experience we're having and the experience we desire to have as well as the thoughts, feelings and emotions associated with the contrast between the two, we can retire the old strategies we once used to try to find relief from mental, emotional, physical and energetic discomfort. Here are some of the strategies that we can retire when we don't have to choose one side and reject the other:
The accept what is strategies to retire:
- Using comparison with other people who are worse off to decide that what you're going through isn't that bad, so you should be "fine" or "ok" with it
- Letting go of resistance as the answer for relief, if you're having a hard time with where you're at it means you're in resistance and so you just need to let go of resistance and you'll experience relief
- Adopting universal perspectives to explain away your current experience or diminish other people's pain or struggle, such as "you create your reality," or "they are choosing it" so it's ok, or they need to accept that they chose it or they created it. These perspectives are true and valid at a wider level but are they useful to benefit ourselves and other people where we/others are at now?
The fixation on what should be or the focus solely on what you desire strategies:
- Coercing yourself into feeling good or being at ease by by focusing on what's "true" at a higher level
- Fixating on how you shouldn't feel, think and act the way you do because you "know better" or applying how you should feel, think or act as a way to dismiss, shame, reject, judge, deny or diminish where you're at
- Excluding other people's experiences or the acknowledgment of how things are in the name of keeping your attention on what you desire, and refusing to attend to people or yourself if they/you don't align with the desired reality.
So, in summary, what if now is the time to step into our capacity to contain both where we are now or "what is" AND what we desire to have or how we desire to think, feeling and act? And as we strengthen this ability we can extend this approach to our interactions with others. How much more can we include in our awareness? What else can we choose as a contribution to the ease of living and the joy of being as we are, where we are, and embracing the change and difference that's possible?