Finding Presence With Suffering

This article is part of the Claudia Confidentially series.

Dear Claudia,

I’m moving this summer, and I found the house of my dreams. Unfortunately, it was also someone else’s house of their dreams. I lost the house to a better offer. Claudia, I feel devastated by this loss. This was the perfect house for me in so many ways – the location, the layout, the light – I can’t seem to come off the disappointment.

My family and friends are telling me never to get attached to a house. I am so sick of hearing "everything happens for a reason." I don’t see the reason in this, and I can’t help how I feel. I keep getting defensive and explaining how perfect the house was for me, and I’m getting annoyed by the fact that I can’t see the good in this. Do you have any advice for how I can get over this?

House Sad in Tennessee

Dear House Sad,

I am so sorry that you lost the house of your dreams. Yes, everything does happen for a reason, but that reason doesn’t always have to be good or productive. Bad things happen. And they test our strength. This house was a loss for you. It will take time to get over it.

Experiencing this burning desire for things is painful. It would be a lot easier for you if you did not have this desire – if you could let the house go. Your friends and family can feel your suffering, and that’s why they want you to let go of the desire and the disappointment. But that’s not where you are. So you have to find presence, peace, and accept where you’re at – the intense disappointment, probably rage, all of it.

I want you to think about Caitlyn (formerly known as Bruce) Jenner for a minute. He wanted to get out of his male body.

Maybe the frustration and disappointment he had with that male body is what fueled him to push it to new places. He led that unwanted body to becoming the world’s greatest athlete in 1976, and to getting inducted to the Hall of Fame.

So it’s good to be fueled by passion, frustration, energy. You don’t want to get rid of that energy; you want to know it, bear it, and use it. But the losses are hard.

There is nothing harder than finding presence with our suffering, whatever it is, wherever it comes from. But that is the fastest, surest way to finding peace. I know I say this a lot, but I’m going to say it again:

Be where you are.

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Roseeeeeeeeee, posted on July 25, 2015

Thank you for this article, a beautiful reminder to acknowledge what we feel. I am currently suffering from a burnout, and struggling in the process of allowing myself to heal. Instead of pushing our feelings of anger, sadness, hopelesness, loneliness away because these are not 'optimistic' or 'desired', I notice I feel strength when I allow myself these feelings. It doesn't feel good in itself, but it does feel liberating. So thank you, it gives me the strength to allow these feelings again, go through the proces instead of avoiding it, and continue to heal myself.

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