When feelings bubble up that make you want to squirm away
(like the nervousness that knots your stomach
or a fear that spikes your heart beat)
do you cite affirmations, hold your breath and count to ten,
do you vow you’ll change and never be in this awful place again?
What if you stepped outside yourself
as a curious investigator
examining your physical responses
from a third person perspective?
Could this urge to flee
be a predictable aversion
to a fleeting feeling not really worth the effort to escape?
What if you looked discomfort in the eyes,
said hello and briefly chatted
then walked away with a polite farewell?
Then when you bump into each other again from time to time
you could recognize its presence
as just an old acquaintance, nothing more.
When faced with uncomfortable situations, my tendency is to either suppress the feelings or let them ruin my day. Lately though, I have been trying to remember to just notice unpleasant feelings for the temporary physical sensations that they are. A few months ago I wrote another poem on this topic that you might enjoy, Discomfort of Trees.