Attitude makes all the difference.
Perhaps because it has to do with relationship, or how we consciously engage with whatever happens to capture our attention, creates stress, or cause an experience of great loss and pain.
It may seem there is no demarcation between our feelings and our attitude; they appear to be one in the same. Yet by engaging our conscious mind we may be able to sense the difference between our attitude and the feelings we are experiencing around it. Pooh’s heart may have been feeling loss and pain, but his attitude reflected gratitude for the fortune which led to the uncomfortable feeling.
How is it that we can sense and expand our capacity to contain both our feelings and our attitude?
If we pay attention to the content of our dreams we may notice that we are wearing clothes that seem different from our preferred style, or an unusual pair of shoes, or new hairstyle. Before we are even conscious of our attitude, our deep psyche may deliver these symbolic clues. We may become aware of an outdated way in which we are engaging, or a new way which can lead to a generative shift in working through a problem or issue.
Mindfulness can also bring this awareness to our conscious mind. In a relaxed, meditative state we become aware of psyche’s great vastness. We know that an aspect of us exists separately from the feelings that are present for us. This can be a experience of what Edward Edinger (1972) calls the “ego-Self axis.” Edinger writes:
The ego-Self axis represents the vital connection between ego and Self that must be relatively intact if the ego is to survive stress and grow. This axis is the gateway or path of communication between the conscious personality and the archetypal psyche. (p. 38)
There are many ways to experience this enlarged state of awareness available to us. So many ways to suffer, too. A shift in attitude appears necessary to move from a place of being stuck to a more creative, dynamic process and working-through.
Pay attention. Shift happens 😉
Edinger, E. F. (1972). Ego & Archetype: Individuation and the Religious Function of the Psyche.