Coping strategies and ripple effects

 

The way I cope with my discomfort and suffering has ripple effects for myself and others.

Some may be healing and bring a deeper resolution for me, and makes me less of a nuisance for others. Others may add to my own suffering, and it may even trigger suffering in others.

Here are some of these coping strategies, listed from healing to less healthy.

Potentially healing and leading to resolution

Inquire into how my mind creates its own experience – of a threat, deficient or inflated self, compulsion, or anything else. (Living Inquiries.)

Inquire into stressful beliefs. (The Work.)

Finding genuine love for my experience as it is. (Ho’oponopono, tonglen, metta etc.)

Release tension out of the body. (TRE.) This tension often “fuels” anxiety, depression, reactivity, wounds, trauma, compulsions, addictions and more.

Pray for resolution, healing, guidance etc.

Slightly less satisfying

Overthinking. Analyzing. Intellectualizing. Rationalizing.

Finding comfort in religion, spiritual ideas, ideology.

Daydreaming. Distractions. Entertainment.

Obsessing.

Seeking love, acceptance.

Less healthy

Compulsive eating, working, sex, exercise, seeking money and status.

Even less healthy

Strong ideologies. Bigotry. Sexism. Racism. Classism. Anthropocentrism.

Compulsive use of alcohol and drugs.

Violence. Crime.

All of these and more are ways of dealing with stress, discomfort, and suffering. Some may lead to healing and resolution. Some are more neutral. And some adds to the suffering for myself and others.

And really, they are ways to cope with uncomfortable sensations made uncomfortable through the imagination connected with them.

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Unloved and unquestioned for generations

 

I suspect that some things in me has been unloved and unquestioned for generations, in some cases perhaps even back to the beginning of civilization or earlier.

For generations, we have learned to not love certain experiences and parts of ourselves, and not question – or even notice – certain stories. And the pain has been passed on from one generation to the next.

Here and now, some of that pain is surfacing with an invitation for me to love it, questions the stories behind it, and release it from the pain of being unloved and unquestioned.

Sometimes, I imagine generations of ancestors here, approving of me engaging in this process of love and questioning, encouraging me, quietly supporting me. I even dialogue with them, to remind me, to hear what they have to say, and to feel their support.

This is, of course, all a story. It’s made up in my own mind. I cannot find any actual ancestors, or generations, or passing on. What’s here is here, and I cannot find it in the past. I cannot even find a past.

At the same time, this is sometimes an helpful story. It’s a reminder that my ancestors would support me in this if they were here and came from their more wise and kind sides. It’s also a reminder that I am may do this for myself, or think I am doing it for myself, and yet this is something far more universal and shared, and I cannot know the ripple effects of the work I am doing now.

It may not seem much. It may not always be enjoyable. I may not feel I am doing it as sincerely or diligently as I imagine I could. And yet, I really don’t know the ripple effects of this work – for myself and others, or perhaps even for Earth as a whole.

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