Buddhist philosophy, from which mindfulness meditation comes, holds that suffering is caused by our resistance to the things that happen to us in life. If we accept what is and strive to work with it, then we suffer less than if we fight against the things that happen. We think avoiding dealing with the things that happen in life is easier, but it is actually much more difficult because of the suffering it causes. Not just suffering in the present, but suffering in the future as well.
Jung was an avid student of Eastern Philosophies. He considered western thought had deviated from such truths in life and he was keen to reclaim some of that ancient wisdom. Jung believed resisting the difficult things of life blocked us from our connection to our bodies and therefore to ourselves, to our soul and spirit.
There is much we want to hide from: the argument we had with our friend; the way we spoke to that shop assistant (you know, the way that is not the person you like to believe you are); the pain in our knee. We avoid, cut off contact, justify, take medications, to try to push those unpleasant things aside. We change the way we live our lives, we go on great detours to avoid reminders of unpleasant situations, we cut off contact with people we care about, we angrily defend ourselves against the signs we are less than perfect, we take more pills for that knee and never consider there may be another way to deal with it. We tell ourselves everything is fine.
While we hide and suppress our difficult feelings around the things that happen to us, we lose connection to who we really are. We become highly stressed and do not understand why. We become irritable and restricted in how we lead our lives. We become desperately unhappy, an unhappiness that no amount of ‘feel good’ activities or changes in our lives help. We continue to hide and suppress the difficult feelings and our live gets harder and harder.
Jung wrote a lot about our shadow sides. This is the part of us that does not fit the ‘nice’ person we like to think we are. We all have a shadow side. We all need to accept that shadow side. But it is challenging to do that. Meanwhile we hide that side with all the difficult things we are hiding.
If you are unlucky, you will live out an increasingly restricted and unhappy life. And you will never fulfil what you were capable of fulfilling in life. If you are lucky you will end up in a counselling room seeking help to unravel the mess you find yourself in. Then you will be able to explore what is underneath your unhappiness. You will find the suffering within. And you will be able to address that suffering. You will be surprised to discover facing that suffering was not as awful as you thought. If you continue to work through that suffering, you will rediscover the real you as you reconnect to your spirit and soul.
I have many ways I work with people to find a way through the suffering. I use sand play, art, movement and symbols, for those who come to see me. I also teach mindfulness meditation and self compassion as essential skills for connecting to self and others.
If you would like to work with me to find a way through your suffering please contact me on 0409396608 or email@example.com to arrange an appointment.