Life can be confrontational, confusing, and at times painful. We all face a daily barrage of feelings, of fear, and overwhelming moments.  The question is “How do we react to this?”

Protection is our first and most hard wired instinct and its there to protect us from fear, pain, and feelings of being inadequate with avoidance or addictive behaviors. Yet without some degree of mental presence this hard wired security instinct can take us down the wrong road.  We use drugs, alcohol, television, our jobs, or even codependent relationships to hide from our pain. When these things don’t work we blame others and become manipulative. Surely we’re not to blame for our own pain, it must be someone else’s fault.  At this point we’ve given away our power and the responsibility for our own happiness. Since our happiness and well being relies on everyone and everything ‘out there’, we need to control and manipulate and that leads to deeper feelings about what we were trying to escape.

Enter Modern Presence. . .

The harder choice, which must be made every moment of every day, is to maintain responsibility for our own lives – including our happiness and sense of worth. In order to do this we must not turn away from pain. We must care enough for ourselves, for life, and for others to face the hard feelings and learn the lessons that they provide.  We have to open up to learning about our fears, our shame, our feelings of being unworthy and come to understand the source of these misunderstandings, and how to nurture them until we are whole again. Hiding, avoiding, and numbing will not make our pain go away. Only by leaning in and facing ourselves through presence and awareness can we learn what truly brings love and fulfillment.

Reaping the benefits of being a fully alive and spiritual being requires caring enough to do the hard work and leaning into it no matter what.

Peace and Love, Jim

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