There are some things in life we just can't avoid: cavities, a bad meal at a restaurant, our cat throws up on the rug, flat tires, things that go wrong with our bodies.
Both our evolutionary biases and our conditioning have provided us with built-in triggers that cause us to resist anything that ranges from uncomfortable to life threatening.
But if you're familiar with the phrase, "anything you resist, persists" you'll remember what it's like to argue with reality and how much energy that takes from you.
Yesterday I had a medical procedure that involved getting four injections into the fingers of one hand. And yes, it hurt! Still does, but I've been practising a kind of meditation that involves saying yes rather no.
It's similar to a meditation practice where you simply watch your thoughts coming and going. No resistance, no judgment, just watching.
That doesn't in any way mean I actually _want_ to experience pain and the awkwardness of not using my hand (the dominant one). But there's relief in just surrendering to it and finding a way to work with it.
It's a lot less work!
This one-handed experience is neither good nor bad; it's just what's happening in the moment. So rather than feeling sorry for myself, I've been being "active" by taking care of myself, resting, allowing others to help me when I need it, and not making a bigger deal of it than it actually is.
And I've limited my sharing of this experience with anyone else. What's the point of telling everyone? Am I looking for sympathy or encouragement to keep resisting?
Sometimes our minds just go on for a little too long resisting what feels unpleasant. Why is this happening? Why is it happening to me? What does this mean for my future? And on and on the imagination goes, trying to determine the meaning or the consequences.
Certainly this has been true for me. But what I've discovered is that my mental energy can always be better spent on allowing the experience to move through and pass along rather than logjamming the flow of whatever life is doing.
And that goes for everything else as well, not just physical conditions. Any event (or even any thought) that triggers resistance can benefit from a second opinion from our wiser selves.
Saying no keeps us stuck in what's happening in the moment, and doesn't give us any wiggle room to finding a solution or a way to adapt and move on. That "something deeper" within all of us, whether you call it wisdom or inner knowing or anything else, is exquisitely tuned into the flow of life and the energy moving through us on every level: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
So when I tune in to that inner wisdom, and choose to listen to what it's telling me rather than listen to my habitual, fear-based thinking, I can relax and be curious, without fighting, complaining or making anything or anyone the enemy.
More often than not, the pain or frustration or whatever negative emotions have come into play subsides, and I can simply do what makes sense in the moment.
And interestingly, I find the help or the answer I need to take me to the next step forward, out and through whatever I've been resisting. It may not happen according to my preferred time line, but something kind and caring shows up just when I need it.