Oh, y’all. We are getting into it today. This one drops it all the way down low, into the depths of what mindfulness can do, if you let it.
The reason we practice is to learn to be with ourselves first, no matter what we’re thinking, feeling, or experiencing in any given moment. Eventually, the patience, lack of judgment and compassion we develop for ourselves begins to extend outward to others, as we notice the similarities between their experience and ours. This shift doesn’t take anything away from our own work, though, and eventually, you’re gonna hit that spot.
The one we all have. The invisible wall between the discomfort we’re ok with, and the discomfort we’re not. The thoughts and feelings that are a little harder to sit with. The corners within yourself where you may not be ready to go. And that’s ok.
I often liken a regular mindfulness practice to cleaning out a drawer, or a closet. The things that are in the front are usually familiar, and have a designated place to which you can easily return them. After you sort through that layer, then you start getting into things you forgot about, haven’t seen in a while, or maybe don’t even fully recognize.
That’s when most of us close the door. For the record, that’s a perfectly valid choice.
Keep practicing, though, and the door is going to keep cracking itself open. Again, ignore for the rest of your life, if you want.
Or don’t. Breathe in, breathe out, and just be with it for a minute. If it’s confusing or hard, enlist a pro to help you with it. In fact, maybe do that even if it isn’t that confusing, because every project is better with some added expertise. What you learn about the patterns and ways of thinking within you that are really more habits than “truths” may be a little alarming at first, but then ultimately, also completely liberating.
It’s a little harder for something to control you without your permission when you’re paying attention to it.