sometimes life can be shit. there's no denying that. but often when we experience undesirable feelings, we try to run from them rather than embrace them. but what we resist, persists. when we try to suppress and distract ourselves from these undesirable feelings, what we find is that those feelings not only linger, but they end up strengthening over time.
i was recently experiencing these undesirable feelings. the end of any relationship brings about an onslaught of loneliness. a feeling that is so incredibly uncomfortable because of how isolating it feels. a feeling we so often try to numb with things like drugs, alcohol, hollow sex, and technology. but for anyone who has used any or all of the above coping mechanisms will have realised, they don't work. those feelings of loneliness persist. because the only way to get over those feelings, is to sit with them. to experience the shittiness of them in full force. and as painful and miserable as it can be, it's within this darkness that a genuine appreciation for connection can be found.
a couple of weeks ago i ran an activity with my 15s that i'm coaching. half of the players sat inside the circle while the other half (coaches included) sat on the outside facing them. the task was simple: stare at the other person for a minute without talking.
simple? yes. uncomfortable? absolutely! and what did we do when we got uncomfortable? we laughed. we tapped. we counted. but most importantly? we sat through it. and we sat through it together. now although this wasn't a formal experiment, i'd be willing to bet all of those players, and coaches too, felt more connected to one another purely for the fact that we sat through that uncomfortableness together. we shared that experience. we were human - together.
and that is what makes us human - these uncomfortable, undesirable feelings. it's what bonds us. connects us. unites us. but when we refuse to sit with those feelings, we're not only doing a disservice to ourselves, but to our fellow peers too. for without that discomfort, how we can ever truly connect?