It's that time of year. We all do it. We make our long lists of New Year's resolutions.
Or we decide we're done with lists, and we're just going to choose the one thing we're really going to do this year.
And then, about three days later, we realize we've already forgotten what was on the list. Or that doing that one thing is going to be harder than we thought.
You're Not Lazy
So, we start fresh on the 1st of January (or the 2nd or the 3rd), using the beginning of the calendar year to start a metaphoric new beginning in life.
And sometimes it works. Sometimes we get some good momentum going and we really do keep those resolutions.
But a lot of the time we don't. Not because we're awful people, but because if our resolutions were easy to keep, we would have done them already.
But I Don't Want To Be In Pain This Year
Well, the trouble with resolutions is that sometimes they make us act like a dictator in our own lives. I will do things this way now. Not because they are arising naturally out of who I have become, but because I say I will.
We want to step from December 31st to January 1st and be instantly different. But that's not always giving ourselves the time we need to change on the inside - to make necessary emotional and mental shifts - to even really choose those things on a deep level.
So pain is the same way. It just won't be ordered around.
It's not that you aren't strong enough. It's that pain has it's own longevity, and its own purpose. We certainly may not understand what that is, but it seems to be so. Pain will take the time it takes.
On the other hand, when we allow pain all the time it needs, when we stop resisting its presence, it seems to begin to complete its mission faster. Once we stop clenching down on it, trying to stop it, and trying to battle with it, it doesn't have to battle with us quite so much.
Let Go of Resolutions
We might choose to resolve to stop fighting the big battle. This isn't the same as giving up or giving in or giving over in the sense of crawling into our pain and disappearing inside it. Not at all. Giving up the battle with pain doesn't mean surrender, it means partnering with pain and working with it as a messenger and a natural part of our healing path.
Why would we want to do that?
Because as long as we battle with pain, the battle will continue.
Who will stop fighting first? You, or pain?
Make Peace with Pain
But it's harder to keep fighting it.
So, as a scientific experiment, right now, take a moment to release your breath (are you holding it?). Let it flow naturally, and just allow the pain in your body to be what it is, as it is, just for a moment.
Just for this moment, relax around the pain in your body. Allow pain to have the space it already occupies anyway.
It may be scary to you, and you may feel very vulnerable, but just for this moment, right now, don't fight with pain. It's still going to feel painful, but you're not fighting against it.
Notice You. And notice the pain. Coexisting. Making peace.
Being at peace with pain isn't a place of weakness or giving up. Being at peace with pain can correspond with being at greater peace with ourselves.
Pain is already here. And, so far, fighting it hasn't made it go away. So, consider making this year's resolution a non-resolution. A resolution of letting go - releasing the battle with pain, starting with little intervals at a time - and see what happens.
As always, I wish you well,