Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful parts of us.
David Richo, PhD, MFT
Everyone is down on pain, because they forgot something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don’t feel it.
Jim Butcher, authorg
I’ve been listening and reading a great deal of Tara Brach lately. In the second part of her recent series on impermanance she mentioned, in passing, the phrase “affect tolerance.” It caught my attention.
In my research I found this helpful article: Affect Tolerance: What Can I Do About All These Darned Feelings?
- Because feeling our difficult feelings is what makes them go away.
- Because we can’t shut down pain without also shutting down a lot of our pleasure.
- Because our experience of “bad” feelings shifts over time as we get the hang of it.
- Because it feels fantastic when the old feelings are cleared.
- Because emotional repression creates chronic stress, which lowers immune response and makes us vulnerable to physical illness.
As I work with Dr. Deb Goldberg, live my life, talk with my friends, and document my journey I realize that I’m in an honest, safe, and meaningful place in my life. Loving myself is to love my Ugly and my pain equally.
I’m a good and powerful man.
Lastly, a quick shout out to Carolyn Faulkner, http://www.costalcreativeart.com, for giving me a safe place and sharing her home. Thank you for seeing me. Namaste.
Here are the people, places, and things that carry me forward through the day as I trudge the road of happy destiny.
Honey of my failures
Last night, as I was sleeping, I dreamt – marvelous error! – that I had a beehive here inside my heart too, and the golden bees were making white combs and sweet honey from my old failures.
It seems impossible, but every humbled life has cried it is so: the sweetness of living comes to us when the very humanness we regret and try to hide, our seemingly flaws and shameful secrets, are worked by time and nature into a honey all their own. Ultimately, it is where we are not perfect – where we are broken and cracked, where the wind whistles through – that is the stuff of transformation.
Like other people, many of the things I’ve wanted to be have crumbled overtime and into consideration cinders that have sparked the very next dream. And the hurtful things I’ve never meant to say have thickened my tongue over time into a kindness I didn’t think possible. And each time I failed at being what someone else needed or wanted or hope for, each time I failed at being what I needed or wanted or hope for — each failure at love has solidified into unexpected learnings. The painful shavings of one love have become a spice of joy in the next.
They say Cupid’s shafts, when not Landing in the heart, were ordinary arrows that wounded the innocent. Like Cupid, we try so hard, but missing, hurt those along the way until we land squarely in the heart. And, when we miss, we are wounded as much as those we wound.
None of this lessens the pain of our journey, but it gives me Comfort that our failures – our unexpected stumbling – are the very human paste from which we are made sweet.
Just know, when everything is falling apart, that you are preparing the ground of you for something ripe that can’t yet be seen, but which, in time, will be tasted.
3 thoughts on “Best of 2018’s Week 42”
Thank you for sharing the article about affect tolerance, RC. My Masters was very much about emotion and affect, and this reverberated with me, underlining so much of what I know about pain. And affect. And my recent book chapter I am co-authoring discusses such.
Just a note, the link doesn’t work, but pasting the title in a search engine found the article you referenced x.
Oh I’m glad you got something out of it. I think in a lot of ways, this was the root of my behavior with K. She was hurting and in pain, and instead of honoring her experience, I tried to fix it.
I’m at the ocean today, when I get to the Airbnb, I’ll fix the link thanks for letting me know.
And if you’ve written anything on this, send me the link will you please.
Presently unpublished book chapter, RC. But my latest post summarised a passage that talks about performance. Public-private, etc. My Masters thesis was entitled ‘Home is where the heart is broken?’ Examining the impact of intimate relationship challenges on meanings of home. I had incredibly generous research participants.
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