Most of us are aware of having several 'buttons' - issues about which we're hypersensitive. Whenever these buttons are pushed, we vividly, painfully relive past unresolved traumas - suddenly feeling very vulnerable & reacting in regrettable ways. To protect ourselves from these recurrent, unpleasant episodes of emotional dysregulation, we exert considerable energy trying to guard our buttons. Paradoxically, we also waste a lot of energy doing the exact opposite - wallowing in self-talk ("the story of me") about the very same past traumas.
The mindful approach to our painful, sticky stories is really a breath of fresh air. Instead of mindlessly & painfully flip-flopping between avoidance & wallowing, we courageously, LOVINGLY lean into the very source of the hurt. Courage, love, curiosity - an open mind-heart. The process & result has to be experienced.
“I’ve had to learn to lean into all I don’t understand, accepting that I am changed by what I hear. In all, it’s been an exciting journey, one that’s made me more alive.” Mark Nepo
“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Self-compassion allows us to take a look at our reactions, thoughts, and emotions with kindness and honesty, and it makes it possible for us to stay with our hurts; it is only when we recognize and feel our wounds that we can begin to free ourselves of them. Then it is possible to open our hearts to others.
When you meet your suffering, your path becomes one of healing. However, it is only when you lean into your pain while holding yourself with tenderness that the wound itself can become a portal to transformation. The Buddha talked about compassion as ‘tenderness of heart.’ With both compassion and mindfulness practice, your heart and mind can gradually soften and open to life." Radhule Weininger
“MBSR and it’s variants tend to rely on experiential styles of interacting with the inquiry process leaning more towards shaving away intellectualization of our experience and creating a space in which sensations and emotions can be directly felt.” Lynette M. Monteiro
Reading about this is, in itself, just a distraction, a waste of time. JUST DO IT!
HOWEVER, IF despite your best efforts, meditation makes you feel triggered, out of control and dysregulated, you may be recreating traumatic states. Instead of plugging away at meditation, seek guidance from a mental health professional and when appropriate, a meditation teacher skilled in teaching those who have experienced trauma.
David A. Treleaven. “Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness. Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing.” W.W. Norton & Company, 2018.