Why are some feelings uncomfortable?
It can seem that it’s because the feeling is inherently uncomfortable.
But if we take a closer look, we may find that if we feel the sensations as sensations, they are not inherently uncomfortable, or perhaps even very strong.
So why do they seem uncomfortable?
It’s because of the stories attached to them. The stories telling us what they mean, and that they mean something scary and uncomfortable.
It’s because the sensation apparently has images and words “stuck” onto it.
There are several ways to explore this.
Feel the sensation as a sensation. See how it is to be curious about it. Allow it. This may reveal that the sensation in itself is not scary, and perhaps that it doesn’t inherently mean anything.
Feel the sensation. Notice any images or words that come up. Look at these, one at a time. Ask simple questions about each. (Is it X? A threat? A particular deficient self? A command?) This tends to soften or release the connection between the sensation and these associated images and words, making it easier to recognize the sensation as a sensation, and feel it, resting with it.
To notice these images and words, we can ask simple questions, such as: What does the sensation mean? If it could speak, what would it say? What would it say to you? What does it want from you? What would make it satisfied forever?
We can also identify the stories about the sensation, and take these to an inquiry such as The Work. Is it true? What happens when I take it as true? Who would I be without it? What’s the validity in the turnarounds?
What’s the outcome of this? Why would we want to do this?
Because feeling sensations as they are, as sensations, can be a huge relief. It feels like coming home.
And the alternative is to continue to avoid certain feelings, and avoid looking at the images and words connected to them. This is tiring, stressful, and uncomfortable. And it’s also behind any number of things that make our lives rocky, including reactivity, reactive emotions and behaviors, getting caught in stories, overthinking, compulsions, addictions, and more. It’s how hangups, wounds, and trauma stay unhealed. It’s how parts of us and our experience stay unloved, unquestioned, and unhealed.