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Emotional Pain & Ease

January 14, 2014

The attempt to escape from, rather than to process and understand the root of serious emotional pain, is an attempt that ultimately only succeeds in creating more pain.

The Tibetan Book Of Living and Dying offers the traditional teaching:

‘Whatever you do, don’t try and escape from your pain, but be with it.’

There are many ways to escape from such pain including work, shopping, online distractions, sex, alcohol and drugs. Of course, this is quite different from simply living a full life and exploring the world while feeling essentially well.

In this post I am talking about attempts to avoid or deny reality that can all operate as short term painkillers creating a temporary high, but eventually… what goes up must come down. Sometimes a crisis will initiate engagement with underlying issues, sometimes it will not. Whatever the case, engagement with the deeper cause of pain and acceptance of personal responsibility for change is often facilitated by a compassionate approach and skillful, non judgmental method. This could include physical therapy, talk therapy, meditation, or other therapeutic processes.

Sometimes there is a physiological condition that triggers deep emotional pain and this is also a very complex matter. Addiction often leads to, or arises from depression and anxiety. These emotional states can have a terrible intensity that leaves the sufferer feeling completely overwhelmed.

Addiction, depression and anxiety are conditions of both the mind and body – they need to be treated with compassion and insight.

Spencer Joseph

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