“The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” ~Rumi
Some days I really want to keep that door shut, but I know that I would miss out on so many flavorful opportunities to evolve. The ebb and flow of my life continues to bring challenges and suffering, duhkha.
Duhkha literally meant “bad space,” but yet I am experiencing so much love and deep meaning full of experiences that are woven into what will define me in my future. I find that I am more creative than I have ever been. When I am experiencing pain and suffering, I write. When I am happy and content, I paint. The two avenues of creative expression have brought me joy and peace, sukha.
Sukha means sweetness of life or good space. This sweetness of life has been influenced by some amazing people around me that have shared their stories of loss and reflections of personal growth. I am thankful for all of you that have taken time to read what I am writing and have expressed your words of wisdom and encouragement. You all inspire me to continue to share my process and remind me that the future has so much to offer.
I have had time now to look at some of my habitual patterns that cause me suffering. As I continue to build existing relationships and explore new ones, I want to fully experience the sweetness of life rather than the suffering from my ineffective perception of my life or my inability to adapt to change. Sometimes my impatience and frustration with the slow transition and my tendency to avoid conflict leads me to become stagnant rather than continuing to flow. I need to accept the pace that I am able to process the changes and continue to grow through these baby steps.
One my behavior patterns that I often get frustrated with is procrastination and avoidance. Avoiding conflict is a natural thing for most of us. I am avoiding him… the end of this marriage is coming and I don’t want to be around him, interact with him or even look at him. Blahhhh… here I am in my impatience and frustration for my lack of personal growth in this area. But I have grown, and even he had said that just after he came back.
Now is the time to use this awareness to create perspective. Why am I avoiding conflict? One of my friends said to me, “Sometime avoidance is needed to preserve what we have so that we can process our experiences and not blow off the handle, but you don’t want to live in that space for too long.”
I did feel better avoiding him rather than ripping off the Band-Aid that is this relationship, if it can even be called that. I am ready to move on, and I already have in so many ways. Some of my belongings are out of the house, but most of them are still there as a reminder that there was a relationship. I need to rip off this bandage and let what will happen run its course. I know that this is a temporary discomfort, and it will have to be done sooner or later.
Why am I avoiding moving my stuff out? I don’t want to work things out. I don’t want to be in the house, and I definitely don’t want him. I am certain that I am just avoiding conflict. I should be the queen of dodging conflict with him. He was gone for years, and all I wanted was to be a part of his life and him a part of mine, but I would avoid conflict to preserve the marriage. In my mind, we were good, and that was good enough. I know that there are good things to come and that the Band-Aid is no longer needed to stop the pain from flowing out. Moving forward with communication will be something that I must make a priority. Avoidance leaves gaps for misunderstanding and worry, and it leads to suffering.
In my future interactions and relationships, I will use discernment to guide my decision-making process. Why ignore and avoid a process when proper actions allow me to be truly happy and content? I am able to enjoy the sukha, the sweetness of my very rich life. I can create healthy decisions and suffer less by taking the needed time to better understand what causes this discomfort and how to prevent the same patterns from happening again.
In the middle of suffering, I experienced clouded judgment in my decision-making process. It is often easier in the moment to push through, thinking that distractions and avoidance are the best ways to process the hurting experiences of my life. But in reality, the pain offers valuable insight into myself that would otherwise not have been brought to the surface. I can now reflect and see why the experiences are painful and know what triggers these mental patterns that, in response, trigger an undesirable emotional reaction. Over the last months, I have learned to identify my symptoms of suffering, discover the cause, figure out a way to process it, and then design a practice.
Suffering and challenges are necessary, and I find a stronger, more evolved version of me. It teaches me to understand my patterns and conditioning. And, I am using my experiences to develop and transform physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually so I can fully enjoy the sweetness of life.