You are probably wondering why this post begins with an image of a dashing, ruggedly handsome man standing in the rain. Probably something you’ve seen before. Not really a big deal. Well, actually, to me it is a big deal. I hate the rain. hate it. I hate how its wet, and cold, and splashy. I hate the way wet clothes stick to me. It is uncomfortable. I avoid it at all costs. That is, I used to, until I learned something about discomfort.
I had been trying to practice acceptance and mindfulness in seemingly difficult and frustrating situations, so naturally the next time I was out in a storm, I gave it a shot. When walking out into the rain, I usually think, “I hate rain, I don’t want to get wet,” This time, I told myself instead, “It is okay to get wet. It is okay to get cold. You will soon be dry again.” I paid close attention to what the rain felt like, and really experienced it. To my bewilderment, It wasn’t that bad. It was actually quite enjoyable.
All this time spent running from the rain, and hiding under umbrellas, it wasn’t actually the rain that was making me uncomfortable. It wasn’t the wet, and it wasn’t the cold. The discomfort I was experiencing was caused by the ideas I had about rain. By things that I had been told as a child, (“We can’t go outside and play now, its raining. You don’t want to get all wet, do you?”) and by the way I had reinforced these ideas as an adult. Now I love the rain, and while this is not a life altering change in itself, it has changed the way I look at difficult situations.
Now I am wondering, could I solve my more serious problems in the same way? Could I simply “think away” all of my discomforts?
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Conflict
- Fear of Rejection
- Caffeine Addiction
- Sugar Addiction
- Lack of Discipline
Well, I will let you know how that works. But in the mean time, I will be happy to have overcome this small mental hurdle.
(Thanks to my lovely wife Sarah for the photo!)