(TORONTO, ON) – In this last part of the series you should think of that famous Beatles song Let it Be. Of course, easier said and done when some situation is causing you distress.
While there is no harm being aware of an unpleasant thought, not letting it go can be harmful. Being mindful means being aware of the situation, but approaching it with kindness and compassion, particularly if you think you are at fault.
Beating yourself up over the situation is destructive.
The solution for mindful persons is to accept the situation and do not attempt to fight with it or hold on to it, even if you like it.
Think of your success in avoiding an unpleasant situation. It doesn’t work that well, I bet.
Do you have the power to simply observe and accept and free yourself from brooding and worrying? Whatever has happened is most likely not capable of being reversed.
Having the power to observe while in a neutral state avoids the knee jerk reaction and enables you to respond to the situation, free of emotional baggage.
Be open to the situation as if being your own psychiatrist. If you learn to accept what is, you can deal with it more effectively than fighting it and blaming yourself and others for it. Move beyond reaction to responding.
So, you have many unpleasant experiences during any given day. It may be helpful to you to do three mini meditations each day to help you deal with a tough situation.
Step 1 is to be aware of how the situation is affecting your body and mind; I am angry or I am blaming myself for this situation.
Step 2 is to try to calm yourself by your meditative breathing.
Step 3 is to realize how the situation is affecting you and to respond accordingly, with self-respect and kindness. Additionally, be kind to others, realizing they may be under a great deal of stress and hence their decision making is impaired.
Now, you may be under an extraordinary amount of stress for a long period of time, where no amount of mindfulness can help. It could be that you are so beaten down your mind shuts off and the electrical circuitry just pops and fizzles, which is a good marker for depression.
Hopefully, you are brave enough to seek professional help at this point. No amount of meditation and mindfulness can lift you from a life akin to combat missions.
We know the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on our troops who served in Afghanistan. Please do not let this happen to you.
By the way, having mentioned meditation I should point you to a guided meditation website. If you have not meditated before, I recommend the body scan mediation for at least a week before you develop the skills to meditate.