Robert Frost famously included, in a long piece entitled ” A Servant to Servants,” the bit that
…the best way out is always through.
The most useful thing I’ve learned from meditation is to see how much of life I end up tossing out or avoiding because of a moment of pain. One little jolt of disapproval from even a relative stranger, and I might go spinning off into some drawn out dance of fix-it-fast-to-keep-everybody-feeling-comfy-most-especially-ME. This is avoidance, and to spin into that path is to just spin and spin, going nowhere. The trick to going “through” is to stick right with the jab of nausea and the fake smile, and to know these as simply momentary off-ness and reactive artifacts. These discomforts last practically no time, send up a little flurry of thought-based falsehoods, which when allowed to clear themselves lead to a perfectly fine follow-up moment that contains all manner of viable possibilities.
As a meditation teacher, I most often find myself simply offering people invitations to see what they don’t like. The face burn of shame, the throat-fist of anger, the heaviness of despair…If you can see it, you can tend to it. If you tend to it, then it gets handled, without unnecessary drama. Soon enough, then, you and it make peace and/or go on your merry ways. If you spend your life doing everything but see it, you and it’ll be stuck together for the duration.
What is it you’re working so hard not to see your way through?