How often in life do we just throw ourselves into fixing, solving, or trying to change something?
And maybe something superficial changes but inside we still don’t feel completely at ease with life.
Each time we act from a place of wanting to change something, we are actually re-enforcing the sense that there is something wrong.
See, wanting to change is not the same as actually changing something.
Funnily enough, the more we want to change something the less likely it will change and the more we embrace something, the more likely it is to change automatically and naturally.
When we start from the ground of acceptance and embrace, we are going with the flow of life.
When we start from the ground of being unhappy with something and wanting to change it, we are going against the flow of life.
This can be easily verified by taking anything you don’t like and pushing back on it even more. Just notice what happens within you.
Then, take that same thing and just simply let it be as it is without trying to do anything about it. It can be easily verified that the less you try to do, the more rapidly things change — naturally and spontaneously.
Whenever we are wanting to change something, it is helpful to inquire into the source of this desire. Understanding the true motivation behind it undoes its dominance in the mind.
Any wanting implies a feeling of lack in some area.
Feeling Not Enough
This sense of lack essentially comes down to 4 areas:
- Lack of Approval
- Lack of Control
- Lack of Security
- Lack of Connection or a sense of separateness from life/God
Seeing this, we can intuit where we are feeling a particular sense of lack in a given area.
For example, let’s say we feel upset that our friend hasn’t messaged us back and we want them to. Then we can ask ourselves a simple question:
“What do I feel I am lacking?”
Maybe at first, what sticks out to us most is wanting to feel important and valuable. So we can then see that we aren’t feeling that way inside — we feel a lack of self-value and are looking outside ourselves to get what we feel we lack.
Naturally, when we don’t get it, we feel upset. In this way, every upset in our lives can be used as a point of inquiry to look deeper within ourselves.
The greatest upset will reveal the greatest sense of lack.
When we see the deeper source of the upset, that contextualises the feeling and makes it feel more ok with us — it makes more sense.
In my experience, this is the key to healing — invoking or choosing to let a feeling be embraced exactly as it is.
That’s not what we are used to in this world.
We are used to problem-solving in this modern culture. Something doesn’t sit well? Let’s make it change. Generally, that’s how we learn to approach life in western society.
It is a whole paradigm shift to see that feelings are not problems to be changed but rather, simply something to be experienced as they are. When a feeling is gently embraced, then it will naturally shift into a different feeling.
If we try to change the sense of lack, it will only intensify. This is because we are pushing against the feeling and actually re-reinforcing that sense of lack. When the sense of lack is gently embraced and welcomed as it is, then the energy behind the feeling actually drains itself out.
Sooner or later, the feeling passes because every feeling is limited.
Embracing the feeling
One very helpful and familiar way to embrace a feeling is to just let go; to just drop trying to exert yourself in any way.
In other words, to choose to relax. Funnily enough, we tend to forget or ignore that option. At any time, we can drop everything and just relax the mind.
The first thing the mind will say to this is “it can’t be that easy.”
This is because the mind would much prefer some convoluted drama to the simplicity of a gentle embrace.
But simply answer the following question honestly:
“Right now, is it at least possible to welcome whatever is being experienced and let go trying to change anything in any way?”
Before you read on, truly pause, and read the question again. Just sit with it for a moment.
As you get in touch with the inner sense of lack, allow yourself to just simply embrace whatever it brings up within you.
As you welcome in this way, you’ll find that naturally there is a relief — even if just a small one. The more you welcome and the deeper you simply pause and allow, the greater the sense of relief is.
In this way, you are free to feel relief from anything at any moment just by embracing whatever is arising and letting go of trying to do anything about it.
To help activate these questions and infuse them with a deeper meaning for you, I’ve left a 25-minute podcast episode below:
This post was previously published on Medium.
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