This might be a strange title for a posting on how to flow with life and not get stuck in the suffering. Let me elaborate.
We are often in conversation about allowing ourselves to open to the experience of life as it is, to allow the feelings that correlate to different experiences, and to notice how we suffer when we add a story to an unpleasant experience. We have also talked a lot about how experiences from way back in our past remain in our current day to day life because of the story that continues to loop in our thoughts about it, despite the fact that the actual event is long since over. These stories are the source of our suffering.
So what do oil, a ball and some fishhooks have to do with it? They are the analogy. Oil represents the flow of life, the ball represents an experience, and the fishhooks represent a story(ies) about the experience. If you take a glass ball about the size of a soft ball, cover it with oil and try to hold it in one hand with your little finger facing the ground, it slips out of your grasp. This is how an experience without a story moves through our lives when it has no story attached to it. The flow of life just moves it through us. Now, if you take that same ball and glue fishhooks to it, and then hold it, no matter how much oil you pour over the ball, it will remain easily (and painfully) in your hand. This is what happens when we add a story to a life experience.
Here’s an example. A friend lets you down and your experience is disappointment. Without a story you feel the disappointment and it moves through. In that same scenario, we can also add a story such as; I must not be important, he/she doesn’t care about me. More than likely we will walk around and replay the story to ourselves, because this is what we humans do (we’re so cute that way). That’s the fishhook part. When we are willing to take an honest look to distinguish what story we are adding to an experience, we will notice the fishhooks we have attached, and if we are really being honest, we will also recognize the stories for what they are; our interpretation, a story, NOT the truth. When we see them for what they are, they dissolve and the oil has the ball slip through our hand with ease…and we move on.
There is no right or wrong way to deal with our life experiences. There is only choice. And we are free to choose whatever we want. However, when we have the tools to distinguish what we are doing as a normal human being, we provide ourselves with the power to choose. And this is self-empowerment.