Lately, I've been working on being more aware of what I'm accepting, and what I'm denying and ignoring. I've become aware that I shove things under the rug, often burying them with heavy foods that make my body feel busy—giving it something to do and feel to avoid experiencing whatever it is that may be bothering me. That is most certainly denial. So, how do I get to know what it is I'm denying, and what do I do to accept it?
This morning I listened to this podcast, by Tara Brach, on my way into work. It was pretty useful in helping me understand what it is I can accept, without feeling like I'm helpless. I'm not sure it all sunk in, so I want to listen to it again and again. Here are just a few thoughts I've had from what I can remember from my first listen.
I'm beginning to become more aware of when I'm leaning toward heavy foods for emotional comforting, and before I lean to the food, I do some questioning. I'm not always finding answers, and I'm often eating the heavy foods anyway, but I feel that questioning what is happening is a step in the right direction.
I have learned that I easily adopt the emotional states of those around me as my own emotions, then try to "fix" them by wishing the other person to change his/her state of being. This doesn't work. It's impossible to wish anything on, or for, another person to effectively adjust the way you feel inside yourself. I'm learning to focus my attention inwardly, on learning what it is inside me that I can learn about and *accept* in order to be at peace with what is happening in the moment. I'm learning that things don't have to be *fixed* in order for me to accept it.
Tara talks about the Fight/Flight/Freeze reflex that we inherently have ingrained into ourselves. Denial is a type of flight—a way to get away from the issue, as to avoid confronting it. Thinking of it in that way is helpful to me—it makes it easier to identify. In the past, I've tried to identify my denial by identifying what it was I was denying. That doesn't work—as I'm denying something to avoid knowing what it is, therefore, it's not possible to identify the act of denying by finding the cause.
However, I can sense my flight reflex. So, when I notice it come into awareness I can explore, to see if denial is present, and if so, work with it to figure out what is being denied, and accept the feelings, both emotional and physical, that I'm experiencing in that moment. It's all about the moment.
These are just a few thoughts—not entirely well-thought-out ones... just ones that have come to mind. If you have any additional comments, please share them, but I ask that you take a little time to hear what Tara has to say before doing so. Just so we're on the same page. Namasté.