So if you're like me, if something is painful the instinct is to run as far away from it as possible. I want to protect myself physically and emotionally. Like how I avoid doing any kind of high impact cardio - its painful for me! Or how I avoid having highly conflictual conversations.
But sometimes, I run towards the pain. At full speed. Like the first time I watched the movie Life Is Beautiful or Dancer In The Dark - I took on the pain of the characters. Fully. It consumed me for days. Its why I don't like to watch the news. Its always bad news.
But then the other day I had this conversation with my 10 year old son Theo. He loves to play the game 'If you had one wish what would it be?'. To which his answer is always that he'd wish for endless wishes! My answer was that I'd wish for no more pain the world. Here is what he said... remember he's 10... he said 'but Mom if there was no bad in the world we wouldn't appreciate the good'. Sigh. Which got me thinking about Kaiut.
Kaiut is about embracing the pain. It's about running towards the pain in order to alleviate it. It's about doing the opposite of what you think. And maybe that's the way to think about all pain in life. Even though I don't want to do heart-pumping exercise it always feels good afterwards. I never want to take a shower (weird I know, but I don't like getting wet!) and yet it feels so good to be clean afterwards. When I have a conflict with someone, and we work through it respectfully, we are always in a better place afterwards than the times when I avoid the hard conversation. And I find that when something really painful happens in my life and I'm thinking why? Why did this have to happen? Why now? Why me? I just have to wait. Be patient. Because eventually the beauty and truth in it is revealed. And I find myself grateful that whatever nasty thing it was happened. It led to good. It was necessary.
So I now find myself testing this little theory out. Whenever there is something causing me pain, big or small, I think to myself - what would be the opposite of my first emotional instinct? If I'm avoiding the pain - avoiding thinking about something or doing something - its probably that I need to do the opposite. If I find myself wanting to loose myself in my own emotional pain or wanting to take on someone else's pain I pull back. And you know what? So far it's working.