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I often see people trying to run away from their reality—a trauma that causes them to seek distractions through outside pleasures, running away from what’s available now in this moment.
I know that feeling well. I used to be a runner myself. I couldn’t stay present with people and situations. It was triggering, exhausting, and I’d dissociate when confronted by others. No matter how much trauma you’ve experienced in your life, we all do that to some extent. Anxiety leads to a fight-or-flight response. But running doesn’t bring anything because we are bound to come across similar situations again in life.
To move forward, we have to surrender to the present moment.
A few years ago, I moved into an old house after I separated from my husband. I had no functioning dishwasher in my house, so I washed dishes for hours every day. It felt like I couldn’t get anything done in the house because each chore took so long. My laundry was in the basement, no ringer to let me know it’s done washing, walking the heavy bins up and down two long flights of stairs with two long hallways in between.
I had cats to take care of, my two young kids, their lunches, homework, baths…you know it. I had no time nor patience for dishes and I became annoyed at it. I was angry at myself, and the world around me was at fault for everything. I felt like I got left behind and I wouldn’t be able to catch up on life and feel happy and free again.
In one of those moments, washing dishes at 10 p.m., too tired to think, an insight popped in.
“What if I just leaned into my frustration and accepted the circumstances?”
Sure, I could buy a dishwasher and have it installed, but that wouldn’t happen. I might as well surrender to the facts and enjoy cleaning the dishes. I made a mental note to the “you”-niverse, to get a new dishwasher when I could afford one. Swiftly, I finished and put the last clean dishes away, wiped the counters dry, and went to bed. I knew it felt difficult, but I also knew that it wouldn’t always be like this.
Not long after that, I was washing dishes with my new partner and my kids. We began to enjoy the ritual of washing dishes and talking after dinner; it became a social ritual. I also noticed that my intuitive senses would be quite active during the busyness of cleaning up. While my cognitive mind was distracted, my subconscious mind had time to wander and tune into messages.
There is a positive in every annoying, little experience.
You just gotta be open to notice the teachings or the benefits. Our limited and egoistic perspectives can get in the way of enjoying the simple things in life; changing our perspective changes our whole reality.
When I did get around to purchase a new dishwasher, we were feeling sentimental about the loss of the social interaction after dinner through the washing of the dishes. What I want to show with my story here is that often we have an idea of how things should be and get impatient over things not measuring up to our expectations.
We push away what we don’t want, instead of embracing what currently is.
We run away from the current moment by trying to mentally escape it, wishing for a different experience instead of accepting the one we get. Anything we build in life needs a solid foundation, a place to build upon. Those building blocks aren’t always physical things. They are often metaphysical things. Like acceptance, love, and acknowledgment.
If you feel this annoying, little voice inside of you next time when you are not happy with the present circumstances, ask yourself:
How can I lean more into this feeling, to dissolve the resistance within me?
When we dissolve inner resistance, we open up to the possibilities available to us. As long as we focus on what’s wrong, we can’t see the opportunities for love, joy, growth, and insight. We can’t see the beauty life offers us because we are blinded by our own ego.
If we believe that we are imprisoned, we will be. If we lean into the moment, we free ourselves from our own restraints and open up to what’s available right here and now. When we accept who we are now and that we don’t have to do anything except what we are inspired to do or what the moment calls for, we free ourselves from believing that tomorrow we will feel better and that we can’t feel like that now for whatever reason.
We just have to let go of fighting the moment, and instead, become a fluid extension of that moment, in synchronicity with all of life.