Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is the power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. — Victor Frankl

I see a glimpse of suffering in my periphery. Pain is peeking into my awareness beckoning me to be still and allow the energy to unfold.

I pretend it’s a mirage, but in my heart, I know that it’s coming for me.

Much like in the wild, the antelope sees the lion’s path and trajectory. And the antelope knows, that if within a certain distance, the lion’s pursuit and capture of it is inevitable.

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Photo by Lemuel Butler on Unsplash

I often consider attempting to outrun the potential agony. Toying with ideas as to how the pain can be avoided.

Sometimes — once I find myself in the clutches of pain — I will struggle in desperation. There must be a way out. A way forward without the torment.

But deep in the core of me, I recognize the agony — the lessons and learning — are the only way.

And so I finally surrender to its embrace, and allow it to transform, transfigure and transmute me and my life. I allow the pain to wash over me and take with it the belief systems — the definitions I currently use — which no longer serve me.

When I am beautifully in sync with my inner wisdom and higher mind, the process looks like this:

  • I recognize that the pain is coming for me and the circumstance is about to unfold. But rather than panic and frantically try to fix it, I pause in the space between the stimulus and response.
  • I remind myself that I have the choice to experience this situation in a positive way to receive the most growth and the best possible outcome. So I choose that. I choose to know that this scenario is playing out for me and not to me. And I proceed with that perspective. I am all in.
  • I continue to practice choosing my focus, perspective and emotion to energetically guide the scenario to the best outcome.
  • I take inspired action to resolve the situation in a way that I prefer while not invalidating the way I don’t prefer.
  • I simultaneously let go of the outcome having to be a certain way to feel peace. Insistence is resistance, which leads you to a hamster wheel of the same scenario and prolonged suffering.
  • I remind myself every day — sometimes every moment of every day — that change is the only constant and the suffering is optional.

Where does this lead me?

Pain — which I choose to transform to expansion — is my constant companion, my dance partner and my fast track to freedom.

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