Our emotions don’t cause us as much pain as our resistance to our emotions does. Even physical pain is easier to endure if we don’t resist. Three emotions that we typically resist, are sadness, boredom and fear. By trying to avoid these feelings we cause ourselves pain and we miss out on rich experiences.
Sadness does not always feel bad in itself. Sadness coupled with the idea that the sadness will last forever and wishing desperately that what caused the sadness were different is what makes sadness so painful. Those ideas, wishing things were different and projecting sadness into the future are resisting the sadness. If you feel your sadness deeply and accept the circumstances that cause your sadness, then your sadness will be bearable, instructive, and healing.
Resisting boredom causes you to be in perpetual motion. It makes it difficult for you to spend time by yourself. It makes you impatient. Boredom is always stalking you. As soon as you let up for a minute, boredom sets in. If you give in to boredom, and allow yourself to sit quietly, you will find that there is actually peace just beneath the boredom. Resisting boredom is often what turns being alone into loneliness.
Finally, fear is an emotion people resist. When you resist fear, you deny yourself many opportunities. Fear of failure is far worse than actual failure. If you are afraid to try something and you don’t try because you don’t want to feel the fear, then you deny yourself the exhilaration of a new experience. Often just before enlightenment people describe a great fear of letting go of the ego, if they resist the fear they miss out on enlightenment.
Each of these emotions is filled with texture and depth. By recognizing when you feel these emotions you can see how you resist them. If you catch yourself resisting, test the waters and feel deeper into your experience.