Torment struck, and a fierce battle within emerges. The demons have arisen again from what seems to be thin air. I look for blame and yet there was no individual event or person to point the finger at. These raw thoughts and emotions that have been brought forth begin to paralyse me with fear. My internal armour now engages and the walls go up to protect myself from any threat. Hate, aggression, and isolation seem like the appropriate means for defence for the waves of emotions are now charging in.
Where is God’s gentle hand to pull me through this suffering now? I have been so good to myself and the world around me this year, so where are these feelings coming from? I have planted such beautiful seeds of hope and progress the last few seasons with deliberate intention to grow an abundant orchard, so why do the fruits of my labour taste so awful?
All I feel is a bareness, a raw nerve being trampled on. Do I reach for the white flag of surrender? No, absolutely not! I am strong enough to deal with this minor delay to the day and decide to linger in the darkness a little longer in hopes of uncovering a solution in an hour of total darkness. The only thing left to uncover is an empowering force of anger that now runs through my veins and I start to feel alive again. That old friend I rarely associate with has become lonely and wants some attention. I fall for his cunning nature and now am even further away from finding what really set me off in the first place.
The more we re-establish our bond together the more I can feel the aggression build within, and I love it. The chaos of misery creates a landslide of destruction within and everyone is now fair game for my assault on the world, every face an enemy that I now need to defend against.
My old friend Anger deceptively hidden the real emotional conflict deep within my emotional wall and I’m off on a tirade to find whatever it was that brought on these terrible feelings to begin with. My sly friend helps me search diligently everywhere, every where but within. He points to the external world and all the heathens that surround me. The process of discovery seems almost impossible now I have latched on to his energy and feel trapped in anger.
Fortunately I have been done this road many a time before, and I know just how crafty this emotion can be. A light bulb of awareness ignites and I return to past experiences of successfully navigating through pain. I realize that if I want to make any real progress towards the cessation of emotional suffering I will need to say goodbye to that long time friend called anger, and start working in the solution.
We are all plagued with pain, and whether its origination is imagined or real there are still consequences to be dealt with. A couple times a year I seem to cross paths with internal conflict and this week was one of those times. After fighting many battles I have come to learn a few things about these raw emotionally charged times, and one fact is that they will rise, and they will always fall. The permanence that I think to have labeled these feelings with are never everlasting. And, if you think reaching for double shot of whiskey to bring on a solution or two, you would be poorly mistaken. The solution for me always starts from a place of admission, creating a space to be ruthlessly honesty with a revered companion. Someone who I can confide in on a gritty raw basis.
In order to return to my steady state of well intentioned happiness I need to remove the lid from the pot of boiling water, and I remove that lid through serious discourse. Yes, that means exposing myself in the depth of my vulnerabilities, and solution trudging my way through the desolation.
Today I can look back at the trauma as just that, a screaming pot of boiling water that I can take off the burner at any time. We chose the length of suffering.
We fall short and think that the tools we have acquired thus far on our journey will suffice for any battle. But, surely enough the axes we use to fight off pain eventually become dull or the beast get so big that only a rocket launcher could stand a chance at defeating the monster. So, what are we left to do at this point?
Do we surrender to the fact that we just don’t know how to get out of this pain alone and desperately seek help from others? Or do we continue to pretend that this pain will eventually go away and we struggle with to the bitter ends with it? I don’t know about you, but when I chose to struggle with it I am left with a serious trail of wreckage to clean up after. The consequences are usually loss of sleep, loss of productivity at work, hurt loved ones, and of course being filled with that great feeling of failure that we all love to soak in from time to time.
You then might say to yourself…….”shouldn’t I be smart enough to get through this on my own?”
Well the thing is about pain is that it really has little to do with intelligence and everything to do with perspective. And, when you are stuck inside the picture frame it’s very difficult to see the whole picture of the conflict because you are immersed so deeply within the conflict. You need someone who resides outside of the frame to give you the earnest ear and perspective that will facilitate your healing.
The moment you expose those terrible, scary, embarrassing thoughts you start to work in the solution. Your trusted compadre will never be as blown away by the thoughts you are afraid to speak of, and in that minute or two of dialogue you halved the problem, the cats out of the bag and you aren’t alone any more (what a relief!).
Those deep gasps of air reaching for now come with ease and the world around you softens, ensuring you that things just might be OK after all. Your bravery with self will always rewarded.