Sit With It
You know that odd experience where, once you’ve heard a new idea, it will show up all over?Â Synchronicity? Serendipity? Collusion of the universal powers? Whatever it is, I’m having it.
“Sit with it.”Â That’s the concept that is showing up everywhere to me. Maybe it’s a trendy phrase, but I’m seeing it everywhere, and it’s hitting home for me. Firstly, because it’s one of those things that I know works. And secondly, because it’s one of those things I’m exquisitely poor at.
It really is a type of organization – mental organization. I can get so fussed up about all the things going on in life that I don’t address which ones I’ve added Â to keep me from thinking about the uncomfortable stuff I’d rather avoid. It’s subconscious mental slovenliness. You need to declutter, and unlike physical decluttering, which involves a lot of movement, mental decluttering often involves – you guessed it – sitting with it.
If you’re in emotional pain, you don’t just need to move past the hurt, you need to dig it out and sit with it. Don’t devote your life to it – but do identify it, and look at it so you really know what you’re looking at. We tuck down so much of the stuff that upsets us that when we finally do this, it’s amazing how a. obvious and b. not-so-scary-after-all it really is. This is hard for me, because I come from a lifetime of “tucking it down” and a genetic heritage of it.(I’m Irish:Â theyÂ don’t talk about what’s wrong, they make jokes about it.) But after many years of working hard on this, I’ve made strides. (At least now I notice when I’m avoiding things. Â That counts as progress, right?)
And if you’re in physical pain, you need to sit with it. Really notice what’s going on and consider what can help it. I’m convinced that the three biggest health aids in the world are sleep, water, and conscious focus. I rolled my ankle on Saturday, and as twitchy and frustrated as I’ve been, I’ve been really paying attention to it… and it’s been working.
And in any relationship, you need to sit with it. If you care about a person, you need to say hard truths and ask uncomfortable questions sometimes. But then, this is the hard part – you have to shut up and listen. That’s the part that makes a difference.
Nothing makes me fidgety more than someone (including myself) telling me to sit still. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than losing the distraction I’m hiding behind. Nothing, therefore, is more worth it. So I’m sitting with it.