This blog will
be short and sweet, so to speak. Sometimes, lots of words are required
to get, or point to, the heart of things in a way that is useful. And
sometimes, saying a lot is saying too much. This week, the latter feels
true to me,
and so I embrace it. Quite simply, I invite you to ask yourself, next
time you are suffering just a little bit, the question that is the title
of this blog.
is awake and aware right in the middle of this experience?
it's a tinge of sadness you're experiencing. Letting that be just as it
is, neither turning the volume on it up nor down, inquire. Then just
really feel it consciously, from that non-locatable center. When fully
inspected, this question can be a quivering arrow that shoots straight
to the heart of the matter. Another twist on the question, albeit in my
opinion a slightly headier and less potent one, would be 'what is this
sadness made of? Either one of these is a gateway to potentially
finding that 'sweet spot' in oneself, in one's experience of any
feeling, by relating to your suffering from the
openness and vastness within it, and not having to remove yourself from
it and 'hover outside'. The latter can work well for finding temporary
relief, yet it also tends to sustain it ultimately in one's life at
large, with patterns and themes and such. Opening to suffering from the inside,
conversely, dissolves it naturally, like water turning to vapor, as
opposed to ice. Enjoy this inquiry! And the fullness of the flavor that
it unpacks, and unveils.
Tom Rhodes is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. He specializes in working with people who suffer from anxiety or whose very identity is being called into question by the current circumstances of their life.