“Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
How many times have I anticipated suffering, or created suffering before it happens thus PRE-suffering? Oh…many! I can get myself so wound up over stuff that hasn’t even happened yet thus ruining the present moment…huh, I am not even in the present when I am PRE-suffering, I am somewhere in the non-existent future that I have created in my head!!
I heard someone use this term last night and WOW…it just resonated through my whole being. “PRE-SUFFERING”. This is definitely something I can try and let go of. But how?
This is present moment and breath work. For me, meditation and yoga help with this. Focusing my mind on my breath during yoga, the movement from one posture to the next that aligns with my breath keeps me right there. It keeps me from thinking about thinking or thinking about the things that haven’t even happened yet. I enjoy Vinyasa yoga because it is a yoga practice that allows me to move. One breath to one movement- it seems very natural to me.
Sitting meditation also helps me to remain sane and in the moment but honestly is more difficult for me because I am sitting and not moving. Thoughts come into my head on a regular basis even though I have been meditating for twenty years. The process of letting them go and focusing on my breath is more automatic than it used to be but it is still a work in process.
The most difficult thing for me is getting myself un-stuck and out of the PRE-suffering black hole that once I am there is like space…never ending. I like that I can put a name to it now. It will help me to more easily identify this thinking. It lends me perspective which then guides me through the five other “P’s”- pain, prayer, patience, process and payoff. These are from the book, Paths to Recovery. John Maxwell also has a similar idea that I have spoken about before in his book Today Matters. I recommend both.
Just for today, start to notice your pre-suffering. Are you experiencing pain or anguish about something that hasn’t even happened yet? Are you anticipating bad things happening to you? Take a moment and breathe, connect to your source, go for a walk, do yoga, do what works to bring peace around you. I know you can!