The Celebrity Therapist

With the tabloids and news announcing the filing of divorce by Eva Longoria from her husband Tony Parker, I couldn’t help but think of the deep pain she must be going thru.  After finding out that he has been allegedly been having an affair with one of their mutual friends must have been excruciating for her.  We can only hope she will be able to walk through the pain without avoiding it so that she can eventually get to the other side of her despair.

We humans are so afraid of pain–physical pain and emotional
pain–that we’ll do almost anything to avoid it. We’ll even choose something
safe and familiar that we don’t like, rather than taking a risk on something we
really want. We do that because risky ventures might fail, and failure causes
us pain.

            Our fear of
pain is what leads us to addiction. We can’t bear the pain of our current
situation or the memories of a painful past, so we numb ourselves in an effort
not to feel it.

            The irony here
is that our efforts to avoid pain just cause us more pain–and make true
happiness impossible. We don’t take the risk, so we never get what we want. We
don’t face the difficult past, so we are never free of that pain. We don’t sort
out the painful present, so we never make things right. And the pain just goes
on and on.

            We can’t be
numb 100 percent of the time. And in sobriety, we can’t be numb at all. So we
need to learn how to experience our pain–truly feel it–and just sit with it.

            How can we do
this? The first step is to see it for what it is. We are so afraid of pain that
we build it up in our minds: “This pain will be the biggest, worst, most
intolerable pain ever and I will not be able to bear it, which is why I must do
anything to avoid it.” Do you see how our fear of experiencing pain makes it
seem worse than it really is?

            Rather than
worry about how bad it’s going to feel, just
feel it.
Feel it without adding on the extra burden of fear. Notice the
pain with interest and curiosity. Just tolerate it for a bit. Notice how it
makes you feel. Know that eventually it will pass.

            When you learn
to detach from your pain without fear or desperation–rather than fighting it,
ignoring it or trying to numb it away–you’ll see that, after all, it is only a
thought. And thoughts exist in our minds. They are not part of our lives.
There’s no need to fear them.

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