Turning Toward What Hurts

Lest my prior Prozac-posts be misinterpreted, I’m not making statements here against anti-depressants – which have been experienced by MANY as providing some relief for a time.  My mention of medications were incidental to a focus on (a) whether people should be pressured to accept treatment and (b) what high rates of medication use in Utah may or may not say about Mormon culture.
It goes without saying that ALL of us need some kind of immediate relief sometimes – even if that’s just temporarily reprieve via television, food, medications, etc.  This is understandable – and not necessarily a bad thing.
But when distraction and avoidance become the main thing (or only thing) we do when painful stuff happens – well, buckle up.  Because over the long-term, avoidance can actually make our pain and suffering much worse (click the links for video explanations – and here as well).
For this reason, in mindfulness practice we work to begin turning towards what is painful and making room for what hurts. As we begin to “witness the storm,” so to speak – rather than running from it – the mindweather becomes less terrifying.  Indeed, despite the challenge of facing what is painful, this can lead over the long-term to a dramatic lessening of our suffering and a growing capacity to deal with anything that arises in our lives.