A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with a dear friend. We were talking about physical and emotional pain and our unwillingness to let go of suffering and heal. She said,
“Many of us don’t recognize the benefits of suffering.”
And I thought, Wow, what a twisted and exciting idea!
We continued to discuss how we stay in painful situations because there’s some perceived payoff. We unintentionally create patterns that maintain the present circumstances even if we’re miserable.
Getting something out of suffering?
Of course none of us consciously wants to struggle, argue with our man or have an unsatisfying sex life. Even if the benefit doesn’t feel good, there’s still a reason for our actions.
There’s comfort in our discomfort.
A quick way to reveal your personal hidden motivations is asking yourself what the ever awesome, Debbie Ford in her book of the same title called, “The Right Questions.”
Here are some of my own Right Questions I ask my clients:
1. How does that make you feel?
2. Do you like feeling this way?
3. Do you want to feel this way?
4. What are you getting out of holding this thought/feeling this way?
5. How do you want to feel? What do you want to happen?
6. What’s just one thing you can do to make this change?
7. What’s another thing? (This lets loose good stuff and more ideas on things you can do to energetically move your situation)
8. Are you actually willing to do this?
10. How about now? (This makes people laugh because they realize they are resisting the very thing they desire!)
The most common answers I get to #1 How does that make you feel? are,
And when asked #2. Do you like feeling this way?
The answer is a resounding, “NO!”
When asked, #3. Do you want to feel this way?
Many women have to pause to think about this one. If we’re to be completely honest, sometimes we want to feel angry or sad or resigned.
Because the answer to #4. What are you getting out of holding this thought/feeling this way? Among the “benefits” they list are:
I get to be right!
I’m the peacekeeper.
I get to be/feel in control.
I get to stay angry - it’s better than feeling disappointed.
I get to sulk and use it as an excuse not to be close to him tonight.
I don’t have to expose myself. What if I’m wrong? What if he thinks what I want is weird?
Once we get to #5. How do you want to feel? What do you want to happen? And #6. What’s just one thing you can do to make this change?
A shift in consciousness occurs. Stating, “I want to feel good, happy, safe, relaxed.” Or “I want us to speak to each other lovingly, I want us to have sex three times a week.” And then saying one thing you can do to make that happen can move mountains!
Moving your focus to what you want instead of what you don’t changes up your energy, your attitude, and what you see as possible.
Questions #7-10 are a breeze! When we bring things out into the open we can begin to “see” the reality of our situation and make some conscious decisions about it. Admitting, “I feel sad,” allows us to feel sadness and then decide if we want to stay that way or move to another feeling.
Before we can choose to change the way we feel, or share the way we feel with our man, we have to know how we feel.
I go into detail in my #1 bestselling ebook, “How to Keep Your Man Out of My Bed.” If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can borrow it for free.
Complaining, feeling powerless or denying your feelings will get you nowhere fast and get you more of the same el crappo you have now. Many women are completely surprised by how much energy goes into suppressing emotions and how much lighter they feel by asking the Right Questions.
Asking yourself just one of these questions (1-5) is a wonderful start. You don’t have to spend hours a day to experience massive changes in your life. A few minutes a day – heck 30 seconds a day is a great place to start!
You might try something like this:
“How does ___________ make me feel?” And spend a few moments pondering that. If you’re inclined to jot down a few words then great, if you prefer to just think about it, that’s good, too.
Another way to shift your consciousness is see if you can become aware of what a particular thought feels like in your body. A good place to start is by noticing how whatever you’re sitting on feels on your back, bottom and the backs of your legs. Put your attention there and then ask yourself “How does ___________ make me feel?”
Notice where in your body you feel the anger, sadness, joy, success, etc. If you like the feeling try to intensify or expand it, if you don’t then acknowledge that you feel that way, let yourself feel it and ask yourself Question 4. If nothing comes to you or if you feel overwhelmed move to Question 5 and focus on how you want to feel and what you want to happen.
What it all boils down to is whether the rewards of suffering remain worth it given your new found knowledge and skills to choose less suffering.