When you are engulfed by a cloud of sadness and pain, and have been for a while, there is no one on this planet that can tell you to “get over it!”
Because I’ve been there!
I have carried the pains of the past like a sack of potatoes for long periods of time. The most painful pains often resulted after relationship break-ups. And just thinking about the pain of the break-up, and the person involved only doubled the sadness and hence the suffering.
Relationship break-ups have not been an issue for me for a long time now. Yet there are times when I feel as if I am about to pick up that sack of potatoes again. But now I am more aware. So have mechanisms in place to not allow myself to go there again.
Why do you allow sadness and pain to control your life?
Did you know that every time you recall to mind the incident and the person that led to your sadness and pain, you allow that person to hurt you over and over again?
So if the first time wasn’t enough, you suffer that sadness and pain multiple times because you give that pain more energy. You have unwittingly formed an attachment to that pain, and begin referring to it as “my pain” or “my suffering.”
Our future is made in the present moment. We construct it, piece by piece, right here and right now, at this moment.
So ask yourself – How do I want my future to look?
Do you want to take this sack of potatoes with you into your future or leave it behind?
I chose to leave it behind!
Here are three simple ways that you too may be able to let go, or begin to let go, of the burden of sadness and pain.
1. Throw out the fault-finding and complaining mind
What do you do when you spring clean?
I would assume that you chuck out things you no longer need and make room for new things. Because you know that you cannot possibly purchase a new sofa when the old one is still in the room! Right?
So if you choose to hold onto the pains of the past, aren’t you preventing room for new experiences?
Think about it for a minute. Do you really want to deprive yourself from experiences that could shape your future?
I learned that when we live with the pains of the past for a while, we become attached to them. As a result we become prisoners in the prison of our past. I also learned that while we may be prisoners, we actually have the key to our freedom. That key is our fault-finding and complaining mind.
Because we are so good at finding faults and complaining, we keep ourselves locked in this prison of pain and despair. We hold ourselves back.
So the first thing I did was to stop complaining about my situation, and finding faults in the other person. There really was no point. It was not helping me. When I realized this, it was like coming out of a black hole.
2. Understand what freedom is
Nobody wants to be locked-up in a prison do they?.
Yet in life, you might sometimes feel as if you are in a prison. Trapped and unable to get out.
I have come to realize that there are many prisons in life.
For example, if you are in a marriage or a relationship, and you don’t want to be there – you are in a prison. If you are in a job with no prospects, and you don’t want to be there – you are in a prison. If you are sick, disabled, or in an imperfect body as a result of genetics, or an accident, and you don’t want to be there – you are in a prison.
So how do you escape?
Would you need to change your partner/spouse, or your job, or your body?
Well, you could do all that if you want to, but changing the body might be a little difficult.
But there is something that you can change rather than changing your partner or your job. You can change your attitude!
If a prison is a place you don’t want to be, then if you change your attitude so that you do want to be in that marriage/relationship, you do want to be in that job, and you do want to be in that body …. then you are free!
When you want to be there, wherever ‘there’ is, then you will feel free and at peace. So, you would only be suffering and be in pain if you longed to be somewhere else that you know you can never be.
3. Give without expecting anything in return.
Have you ever heard yourself say “I have given so much to this [job/relationship/partnership], but I have had nothing in return?”
If you give with the expectation of getting something back in return, then you let in a suffering when your expectations never get realized. So, the more you expect something in return, the less you will enjoy the process of giving.
See giving as a joy, and give with kindness, compassion, and love.
May you be well and happy…