The first exercise is to become aware of the difficulties in your life. Secondly, you will gain insight in how you currenlty handle it. The goal is to understand how effective your strategies have been so far. To see what you gained from it. Namely, it seems that you developed a strategy to handle problems but so far the problems are still there. The goal of the series of exercises in "Right Now" is not to erase or delete your problems. Or to find answers to why questions. The goal is to become more conscious about, and flexible towards yourself.
What difficulties do you have to handle?
Ask yourself which thoughts, memories, beliefs, feelings or emotions are difficult for you. These are sensations that you rather not experience and rather avoid or erase. Because they cause emotional and physical pain. An example of a belief is: "I am not good enough". This is a thought which has a huge impact on life. When this thought is present in the mind and seen as the absolute truth it will cause stress, sadness, feelings of guilt and so on.
Take a moment to write down what you experience as your difficulties. This can be confronting and might cause stress. Since you dive into the sensations. Often one negative thought leads to the next one. This is like a waterfall that continues flowing. Know that it is okay, and be proud that you become conscious of your feelings, thoughts, emotions and memories, which you rather not experience.
How do you cope with pain and suffering?
Maybe you try everything to avoid, control or solve these sensations? This is probably because you associate it with negativity, weakness or as difficult. And you have learned that you can control life, because if you do your best then you will get there. This creates the assumption that you can remove or prevent pain and suffering. And caused by that we develop many strategies to do our best and fix it.
Most of the time we avoid our feelings, thoughts, emotions, memories by for example excessive sports, work, eating and so on. Which eventually causes more suffering. A second strategy is to dive completly into the painful sensations. You want to solve it, analyse it and understand it by reading self help books, meditating, therapies and so on. However, you seem to lose yourself in the sensation and it feels as the absolute truth. You believe for example that you really are not good enough. And it seems you lose the connection with reality. Which causes also more suffering.
So take a moment to write how you handle difficult moments in your life. Do you distract yourself? Or do you dive into the sensations? Both strategies can alternate each other.
What good did your strategies bring you?
Examine what good came so far from your strategies? Were you able to control your problems? Are there no problems anymore? Most likely this is not the case, since you also wrote what difficulties you experience. So what now? The keyword is acceptation. The acceptance of the experience of difficulties in life. These moments are temporarily.
In the next blog I will show you a concrete exercise on acceptation.