It has taken me most of a lifetime to realize that I usually try to avoid feeling pain – by getting busy, by starting something new, by thinking of another time – by doing anything except feeling. At some point in my life I had decided that when I was feeling uncomfortable I could deal with it by distracting myself. It usually worked in the short run. My sort term distractions included drinking, driving too fast, sex, getting angry, being critical and more acceptable ones like running and working.

Now, sometimes when I begin to be aware of feelings of anxiety, I remember this poem and say it to myself over and over. I find that as I stay still, I become quieter, calmer and sometimes I slowly become aware that I am feeling and what I am feeling. I let it be. And it helps.

I am interested in how others of you deal with the pain of emotion and I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences in this blog. It is not necessary to identify yourself unless you want to.

Having had cancer is no treat, but it has helped me to know myself better.






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  1. What is a great learning, I have learned it and relearned it many times, one of the best ways that I was introduced to this was when I was doing some personal growth work. During my journey I came across the poem “The Invitation” This has been my reminder to be present and in the moment at all times! Here is an excert from the poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer: …. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own without moving to hide it, fade it, or fix it. ……..

  2. Yes, being in touch with my feelings is a daily meditation. Yet, I may emote spontaneously and need to apologize if angry, and my partner holds me when I feel sad. I feel grief alot these days, and dedicate my practice to so many who are suffering and have died. A daily practice has meant everything for me because it is a constant in my life and a reference point, a reminder of our universal connection, the essence of being human–a precious quality, beauty of life…

  3. My own healing journey was learning to disconnect from the physical pain, go to that place in my mind where healing begins. In Prayer to Creator

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