Acceptance and Cooperation: the Road to Overcome Sadness and Pain

Allowing ourselves to acknowledge what our body is experiencing, is the entryway to our inner self.

One winter afternoon a man went out for a walk. When he returned home, he realized that he had left the window open, and that the strong wind that had come through it, had scattered some papers throughout the floor. The space seemed chaotic, with leaves strewn everywhere and billowing curtains.

He realized that the cold temperature and silence that filled the place echoed the sadness within. The scene made his body shudder. His soul felt sad and dejected. His beloved father had passed and was no longer with him, and in this scenario, he felt that absence more than ever. He paused for a moment, surveyed the scene, and quickly stood up and took action. He closed the windows and gathered the sheets one by one. He lit the fireplace and let the heat from the crackling logs warm the place. He walked to the kitchen, made a cup of coffee, and sat by the fireplace to enjoy his drink, sheltered and calm.

Cooperation, a state that helps you reconnect with your calm.

Just like icy wind that comes through an open window in the winter, some situations appear suddenly in our lives. They come unexpectedly, without us realizing it, and give birth to many sensations that invade our thoughts and emotions. They can also evoke painful situations from the past. We can adopt an attitude of resistance or denial, in which we do not find meaning in what is happening, or we can go fully into the experience with an attitude of cooperation and acceptance.

Cooperating means being willing to recognize what is present in us, and what is present, most frequently speaks to us through the language of the body. Giving time and space to ourselves to recognize what we experience in the body is the gateway to the interior, to connect with what the event or circumstance in front of us wants to teach us, what learning is hidden behind it.

The man we spoke of at the beginning, was grieving for the loss of his father. Many months after his death, he was able to choose whether he would remain anchored in his pain or whether he would choose to enter into acceptance and calm. The attitude of resistance or denial of his own emotions and inner pain could have been reflected in the decision to lash out at the whole place, in a fit of anger, destroying everything on his path, letting out the frustration at not having any power or control to change the situation. However, he chose to opt for calm and put the place in order. 

It is not about giving up and blocking our emotions so that they do not flow, but about understanding that anger and reaction do not by themselves change our circumstances. The attitude of resistance and reaction will not change the reality in which we live, however, the way we decide to go through the circumstances will make a huge difference. 

A contemplative walk. 

A very helpful exercise when facing stressful circumstances is known as the contemplative walk. It is precisely the activity that the man of this story was practicing. When our emotions move like a storm inside, disturbing us in such a way that we cannot find peace, it is necessary to take some measures to not let the situation spiral out of control and lead us to a state of deep sadness. 

Internal imbalances can initially show up as a slight change in mood, which can last for a couple of hours, or go on to become several days being sunk in negativity. The more time we spend in this emotional state, the more footprint it will leave on us, to the point that we can get sick from it or, if it lasts more than a year, it can even become a new feature of our temperament. Something to ponder about is: is it worth it to sink into deep sadness for a prolonged time? Is it worth getting sick, no matter what harm we do to ourselves and those around us?

Although it sounds too simple, right here and now, you can start by making the decision to get out of there. Intention leads to action. You can now take a deep breath, fill yourself with courage, and decide to release what hurts so much. That is, you can place your intention in starting your healing process.

Walking in a contemplative way means getting up from where you are, putting on comfortable clothes, and with a calm attitude, getting ready to take a walk through a natural space or in the outdoors. Let sounds and sensations envelop you, devoid of all thought, and just focus on the present moment, observing in detail the landscape and everything that appears in your path.

This simple exercise can make stormy judgments, thoughts, and emotions, which cause so much pain to ourselves or loved ones, stop. Let your body enter a state of relaxation and, consequently, allow your mental activity to slow down, bringing more clarity and inner disposition to flow in sync with life, and with what is available in the gift of fully living in the present moment.


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