Preparing for pain 4


I had a potentially painful medical procedure and had a lot of anxiety and emotional resistance prior to it. I noticed some parallels in the coaching and my Ts and Fs around avoiding pain from the procedure and avoiding pain in my relationship/potential to end the relationship.

Response to coaching:  If pain truly can be a neutral circumstance for you and it doesn’t have to determine your decisions, what is the instinct you want to cultivate in yourself?

I’m not sure. I signed up for undergrad and grad school with no thought to the emotional pain that would be part of that process. When I was younger, I started and ended relationships without much thought about emotional pain for me or my partner. I think the instinct I want to cultivate is both mindfulness and a lighter, cleaner decision making process. Also being more honest about my desires, and more clear with my boundaries. I don’t want to be in another relationship where my boundaries or preferences are repeatedly not respected but I still stay. Conversely, I don’t want to be overly hesitant to try a new relationship with someone new. I also want to be able to exit relationships without beating myself up so much, or making a big case for the other person being bad or wrong.

What if your instinct was a combination of thoughts and feelings you create about a particular relationship?  Can you explain more about what you mean by instinct? I don’t think I’ve had any teaching about that yet.

My brain tells me that what you said means I can’t trust my thoughts and feelings to tell me what is the right thing for me to do. Also, that statement doesn’t seem right to me because it sounds like the model is backwards, like my thoughts and feelings are generating my perceptions unrelated to the circumstances.

Some things, depending on the person, are just a deal breaker, you don’t have to have a long decision making process. Like, if a stranger comes into my house and kicks my dog, I tell them to leave and call the police.

When I was younger, if I started having negative feelings in some relationships, I would just leave. Now I generate negative feelings in my romantic relationship that are way more intense and difficult, but I don’t want to leave. I think another person, who knew about all the C’s, would not think it was a difficult decision that I should labor over.  Thanks for your feedback.