Without experiencing imbalance one wouldn't understand balance. Without dark one wouldn't understand light. Without pain one would not understand peace. These things are not 'outside' of your life and experience any more than the dischordant notes don't belong in a symphony - they are there for a purpose.Jen it seems from your post that you can bypass that unpleasantness and pain of certain realities...? your then are blessed.
'Bypassing' them is not what I'm talking about, I'm talking about playing them. Playing them with love - generosity and gratitude.
When I say understand I mean from actual experience, not projected fear outside of the reality of the actual experience.
If walking in a blizzard with no way to save yourself from the cold except for what you have and where you are if you argue against that reality you will suffer in your resistance to what is. This resistance may be because the reality is different to your expectation or that you are holding on to some past reality or projecting to some future moment.
Reality is what is real... now.
If you had the opportunity to 'bypass' it you wouldn't be there... yes?
If the reality is that you are there - you are there and you can choose - enemy, obstacle, means to an end - you can resist and not accept the reality - you can lament your woe and bemoan helplessness, blame yourself or others for you 'being' there, and others for not being there, you can say its hope less and sit in your hopelessness - or (and eventually most do when the resisting doesn't work and the pain threshold gets too high) you can choose acceptance of the reality, enjoyment, enthusiasm.
If you stand on the road waiting to be rescued when the reality is nobody is coming and even if they do come they won't see you - no choice is wrong - yes you will freeze! You will freeze through believing you are powerless in your own situation and environment, and you are not powerless, you only think you are and are choosing to believe that. You are always ENOUGH! You always have ENOUGH because you are love and love is abundance and eternal energy in motion.
In acceptance of what is, once you're over all the avoidng and resisting and making enemy, obstacle of the reality, you might notice you have bags and in those bags or even the bags themself may be able to be used to provide you shelter from the snow, and your immediate environment may also hold elements of shelter that you can use. You only have to make it to the morning and then you will see your situation in the light of day.
Do you know how to build a snow cave? A wind break? What do you have in those bags? Are there trees or a cave or rocks that can shelter you?
Show up!! BE there! Not some projection of reality IN the reality.
Absolutely the choices can be between a rock and a hard place - that guy with his arm caught under the rock in the canyon ...still had a choice neither of which was pretty, agreed. He could stay there and die, or he could cut his arm off and be free - no guarantees he might not still die, but his choices were only in responding to what is - in each moment - right here, right now.
These points of acute living - these are our opportunities to really show up - to BE and to disover who we truly are and what we are truly capable of. Most would tell you they have been pivotal points in their life's journey. It reminds me of the saying "Ships in harbours are safe, but that's not what ships are built for". Sure people can turn their life energy down, vegitate on drugs or in front of the tv and think that's a good 'life', but that's not what life is for - life is for experiencing the physical manifestation of energy in motion and that includes the disharmony and the harmony. A mighty oak tree has to push through its own seed covering and then dirt in order to grow - and everything that it needs to grow is right there in its seed and in its immediate environment.
Yes I've been in situations of freezing and it stings!!! Yes I've been rejected and it hurts, moving the expectations into line wth the reality takes adjustments. Yes I've been in car crashes and there are physical painful reminders, stuff the car.. it's molded metal. How we got there matters less than how we deal with the injuries and realities of the impacts in the moments and the aftermath, but it is helpful to reflect and learn from it.
Yes I've been unemployed amid 3 million unemployed and had ten pound to my name and relying on the generosity of others for shelter and food, and felt and at times still feel the fear of hopelessness in projection to moments other than this one. Yes I'm in a slightly similar position at the moment, yes it is scary sometimes. I'm not on any mountain top, I'm right in the thick of life and living, amid the effects of the global financial crisis and the heat wave and catastrophic natural effects of our abuse of mother nature, amid human made events and the chaos and the craziness of egos running rampant - I'm right here, amid all the insecurity and chaos. There have been times when I would love to go to the mountain top - the mountain keeps kicking me off it saying ... you won't find life here - get out there and live it!!
But when I turn to the moment in clarity there is only peace amid the chaos.
Yes I've lived a life of experiences some call 'extreme' in terms of pain. I didn't 'bypass' the pain, I went through it and became one with it. allowed it to be without blocking it or holding onto it or distorting it.
That's how we hone our being to know that all is well no matter the ACTUAL circumstances, we go through it we become one with it. Absolutely acknowledge the physical and emotional pain if it is real.
When something actually is a reality in this moment - be that freezing in the snow on a highway. If you expect it not to have a physical and/or emotional discomfort then you will be disappointed and will have to 'move' expectation and reality back into harmony. In doing so you realise that it does include physical/emotional discomfort. You can stand there arguing about it stinging and bemoaning how you got there, look for enemies - obstacles - or use it as a means to an end - (no choice is wrong, it just brings a different experience).
or you can accept the reality and respond with gratitude and generosity to it.
As soon as we accept that it does sting we stop resisting and putting all our energies towards 'fighting' what is, and we start working with it. We don't 'bypass' the feelings of it stinging we respond in awareness to it stinging.
That was the motivation for mankind to light a fire!!!!
True necessity is the mother of creative invention and when we step up like this we are creation in motion without resistance - then we are all powerful, but the power is not 'ours', the power IS and we have stopped adding resistors to our interaction/flowing with it.
Your scenario reminded me -
.... It was the dead of the worst winter the country had seen in 100 years - minus 27.6C degrees. Living out on the moors, miles from anyone in an old cottage where the open fire backburning boiler heated the water and flowed it through the pipes. Absolutely wicked outside, blowing a blizzard. The temperature would go up and down but not more than -20 for weeks. The snow was 5 feet deep all around the cottage, pushed up against the windows, I knew it was 5 feet deep because it was as tall as me. We had one shovelled pathway from the gravel roadway to the front door. Whisky even froze in its bottle!
The fire had gone out hours ago. Long before the dawn, sound asleep in a snug bed I felt drips of freezing water in my ear, startling, stinging..drip......... drip........ drip. (very interesting expectation-reality divergence) Sleepily I stuck my finger in my ear and it really was wet, it wasn't a weird dream. I mused that it must be raining, logic started to awaken and wonder how it could be raining in the bedroom... in the dead of winter... amid all the snowing.
The pipes had burst and water was dripping through the ceiling - where electricity wiring also ran... the stopcock for the water was under the snow 'somewhere' around the perimeter of the cottage.
We had to turn the power off, we couldn't light the fire or the boiler would explode from the expansion in the freeze.
We had to find torches in the dark and find that stopcock in torchlight as the water started pouring heavier into the bedroom.
We had to don clothes enough to keep the cold out, but still be able to dig the five feet of snow from around the perimeter of the house.
The stopcock was not on the first wall... desperate, freezing and wet IN the reality, absolutely in the moment and accepting it is what it is and this is what we can do. Sure we could have left the house to flood... (actually I didn't even think of that at the time ).
We hit the corner and took a breath to survey that the next wall was even longer than the first - you know that moment when you're looking for something and you start off in one direction then all of a sudden you wonder if it might be just two inches from where you started in the other direction... that moment...
I burst out laughing. We are not 'in control' of anything. We are blindly, by torchlight if lucky, digging around the perimeter of ourselves trying to find our salvation. Whether it took one wall or all four walls to do that, all we could do was dig out the snow covering up the buried treasure .... we were on a treasure hunt!! The treasure in this case was a stopcock!! The holy grail of the great freeze!!
I had moved from acceptance to enjoyment and was working in enthusiasm to find that stopcock, but also absolutely joy was flowing through me because I let go of any notion that it was a burden - it just 'was' what it 'was' and I was responding in the best way I knew how to in that moment. That stopcock could have been a chest of Spanish gold and it wouldn't have been more precious! This was one of life's great adventures, grand opportunities - you couldn't pay for this sort of excitement, this sort of calling upon yourself to 'turn up' to BE.
Yes we had been 'forced' into it.
Yes the cold stung and the longer we worked the more frost bite was a real possible natural consequence.
Yes the cottage and our possessions were a wreck inside that took months to really clean up.
All that was required of me at that moment was standing with a five foot wall of snow in front of me and shovelling - no I didn't have time to make snowmen
I cannot tell you how many hours we dug, it was all just this moment, this moment, this moment.
We found the stopcock on the second wall, mid-way down it and felt great relief to tired arms and frozen limbs.
We went back into the cottage and would have loved to be able to light the fire, but couldn't or the boiler would have exploded.
We would have loved to have gone back to bed.. but it was wet.
We would have loved to have made a cup of tea... but couldn't without electricity or running water.
We would have loved to have had hot showers...
So we used cushions and pillows and made a bed on the floor in front of the not-fire, dried ourselves and changed our clothes and found whatever dry covers we could and fell asleep exhausted and smiling. It's all relative in physical reality.
We could have sat up and 'worried' about what would need to be done in the morning and for the weeks and months ahead, we didn't. We could do that in the morning and in the weeks and months ahead. We had done what we could and as crazy as it sounds, it was lovely. No matter what is happening the joy and peace of BEING is ....lovely.
I'm no guru ... in fact my mum and others would tell you gawd, don't follow her ... she's just a very naughty little girl!!! People call those who are walking a different path 'naughty' or 'wrong'... different in circumstances or in response to circumstances is just different - not right, not wrong, just different. From our response come our continuing experiences, these too are not right or wrong, just different.
The one thing that I've found that can stop me on a sixpence when I realise I'm travelling down a path I and I need/want to make a turn in the only thing I have control of - my attitude and response to reality - is to say "What would love do now".
For me it halts any fear - false emotions appearing real, it brings us back to presence, to reality - even if that reality is god-awful. It's the torchlight in the dark, it's the shovelling in the snow, its the laughing at the ludicrous and smiling at the ridiculous, knowing this too will pass and for this moment this is what IS, and that's okay too.
The guy with his arm stuck under the rock in the canyon. Eventually he accepted his reality and chose life - and in that love comes the truth and the power to do, to be, whatever is required of that moment - albeit cutting his arm off absolutely would have hurt like crap and is not something one would automatically choose. I can't begin to tell you the freedom he has gained in that acceptance and response to his extreme circumstance - he chose life, and he found love - generosity and gratitude.
I guarantee you - if you choose love, if you embrace life in any moment... you will truly understand generosity and gratitude as one.
Don't follow anyone - you came to walk your own path!
Now I'm going to be brutal and break your scenario down