difficult feelings

In The Hot SeatWe all face difficult feelings, whether it be grief, envy, rage, depression, or a host of other possibilities.

But what most of us do not know is that if we can stay with the sensations that ignite the feelings–not turn away from them, but feel them all the way through–we will discover something remarkable.

I call staying with uncomfortable sensations “sitting on the hot seat.” I sit with them until the seat gets too hot, and then I fall off. Falling off suggests that instead of staying with the raw sensations, I’ve leapt into a story about them, or I’m projecting them on others. When this is finally noticed, I climb back up on the hot seat again. And so it goes–hot seat, falling off, hot seat, falling off… it does get easier.

If we stick with this–remaining on the hot seat and hanging in with those raw sensations–the territory becomes familiar. Eventually, we can even welcome the hot seat. At that point, the feelings that were bound up energy in the body dissolve–perhaps slowly, or perhaps boom! and they’re gone.

Under those raw feelings lies happiness. This is happiness of a different sort–not the kind that we experience when we get something we want, a flash of satisfaction and then it’s gone–but a fresh, deep and lasting peace.

It’s worth staying the distance.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

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