Western culture admires problem solvers. We like to fix, change and improve. We seek resolution to the personal challenges and suffering that we face. But what if we don't deserve resolution? Maybe we don't. Maybe we deserve something better. Maybe we deserve a mind that's content with pain and ambiguity, with paradox and mystery.
Feelings of boredom, loss, shame, anger, and anxiety carry with them a perceived need for resolution. Instead of attempting a fix, what if our response was to sit and simply feel what we feel. While that seems counter-intuitive, it can be exactly the detox we need. Our default response is to seek resolution. If/when resolution fails, we might try escaping. But what we really need is contentment.
After over 30 months of practicing meditation, I am beginning to realize the benefit of simply relaxing with these feelings, listening and experiencing them. What can I learn from them?
There's an obvious lesson here about relationships, too. Do you want to be around someone who wants to fix you or to solve all your problems, or would you prefer to be with someone who will sit with you in the mud without judgment? That's an easy answer for me. I prefer the latter. Likewise, I'm a better friend when I am content, neither resolving nor running, but relaxing, listening and experiencing the relationship. What can we learn together?
I/We might want resolution, but what I/we need is contentment.