We all experience moments and situations that are distasteful. Boring meetings or people, going to the dentist, experiencing chronic pain, or having to resolve a conflict are just a few. We try to stay present in the moment, but moments like that are difficult, right?
My challenge to you is this: Embrace the Distaste. Ask yourself, "What can I learn from this?" Patience? Compassion? Tolerance? What benefit are we getting? Are we learning something about other people? Are we doing something necessary for our health? Are we performing a chore that needs to be done? Are we learning just how strong we can be?
Embracing distaste means tuning in rather than turning away, and accepting reality. What is the deeper cause of a negative emotion? What are the qualities of an annoying sound or odor? When experiencing chronic pain, tune into it - where is it originating? Isolate it and experience it. These techniques remove fear or annoyance.
Shinzen Young came up with the following equation: Suffering equals pain times worry. By staying mindful in the moment, we remove blame from the past (“That accident is what caused my pain,” or, “My mother-in-law has always hated me”) and being fearful of the future (“What if this never goes away?,” or, “What if I’ll be stuck with this for the rest of my life?”). By embracing our suffering and placing a new perspective on it (“What can I learn from this?” or, “What is a positive solution to this?”), we halt the development of negative neural pathways in the brain that reinforce our suffering - no matter what the situation is.
Just for today, try embracing the distaste. Notice how different a distasteful moment can be when you don't fight it.