The Simple Pause: February 19, 2017

I have found that when something unpleasant occurs in my life, my habitual conditioning is the same and I have strong reactions. The strong reactions will continue to arise, as it is part of who we are. The key is how do I handle the strong reactions? I am learning to simply pause and not let my emotions escalate and lead to suffering for me. I have found the simple pause to be an effective strategy for handling life’s challenges and the things that push my buttons. Am I always successful at pausing? No. I am a work in progress as I suspect we all are.

For me it all started with being aware of my predictable tendency to react a certain way to situations in my life. My tendency to separate myself, withdraw myself, and put up walls. For example, I have a tendency to speak out in anger and frustration when I allow someone to upset me with their words and actions. Whether it is family, co-workers, friends, acquaintances, or political figures, my predictable tendency as always been to speak my mind and express my negative emotions of anger, frustration, and disagreement. I just have not been able to resist that urge to respond. It is in that urge that I have learned the importance of a simple pause. I have found that when I feel depressed, lonely, betrayed, or have any unwanted feelings, it is an important time on my spiritual path. It is actually a time where real transformation can take place. Pausing and resisting the urge to respond is where growth has happened for me. Being able to acknowledge to myself when I am tensing up or getting all worked up has allowed me to make a different decision. A decision to pause.

It is important to recognize your feelings and pause for a moment to be with them. It is, however, not important to always react. When someone speaks negatively about me what is my reaction? I armor myself in the same habitual way. There’s a tense feeling that quickly spirals into my mentally blaming this person, wanting revenge, or blaming myself. When someone cuts me off in traffic, what is my reaction? When I strongly disagree with someone, what is my reaction? Do I become argumentative or do I open up and listen? Do I simply pause? I have realized that I have a choice to pause or act out. To simply pause and stay with that edgy feeling, and not escalate the suffering, takes great patience. Whatever occurs, I have found it important to pause and not react. If an unpleasant situation occurs, pause and be patient. If pain occurs, pause and be patient. We are so conditioned to jump and react all the time to every situation.  I think we are all seeing the consequences of this right now in our current political environment.  It doesn’t appear to be working out very well. It has created a chaotic environment that has led to suffering for many.

Let difficulty transform you and it will. Finally learning this late in my life. In all situations, I challenge you to pause and not react. Be patient. Be love. You will have greater peace in your life. My intention moving forward is to practice the simple pause in all situations in an effort to have inner peace and decrease my personal suffering.

Thanks as always for taking a moment to read my thoughts. I am so grateful for each of you. Have a great week and remember to simply pause and resist the urge to react.



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