This comment by James Baldwin is a perfect statement of how we need to be in relationship with the present moment. An unpleasant experience arises. Our mind starts to criticize us and we feel anxious and judged. What is your typical response? Do you turn towards these negative feelings or try and deny and run away from what is happening? Most of us don’t want to face what makes us feel uncomfortable. Is this the most effective way to deal with the situation? Unlikely. If we try and push away or put up a wall to what bothers us it will still be there to haunt us. We may have pushed it out of our consciousness but it is still lurking ready to be triggered again. It will never become resolved and only continue to grow as we keep adding more to the pile of our emotional discontent. Mindfulness asks us to face and then engage our experience. We can do this experientially or cognitively. Turning your attention to your body and allowing yourself to experience the sensations without resistance can allow the trauma held in our bodies to start moving through us. One can also bring curiosity to the moment and inquire what is calling to be heard. What is this moment trying to inform you about? Only by facing what bothers you and holding it with compassion and wisdom can you develop the capacity to integrate the underlying psychological woundings that limit your ability to have freedom.
by Dr. Phil Blustein