Nurture the Frustration

Dear quarter lives,

Often as we move forward and upward, we might find ourselves not moving at all, or moving backward and downward instead. The thing is, it might seem that we can determine how far and how fast we drive ourselves, depending on how much effort we put in, but the truth is that we aren’t driving the car in the first place.

A move backward might feel like a loss, but sometimes it might afford us the opportunity to perceive an old part of ourselves from a new place — a more compassionate one. It can feel very frustrating to feel like progress has stalled or that in fact after all this work you put in, old patterns still arise. When that happens, I would advise you to not judge yourself too prematurely. Just sit with the frustration and nurture it if you can. Offer it a hug, but most important of all, is to communicate with your frustration. Often we are frustrated because we don’t know why, and if we don’t know why we’re frustrated, we feel helpless because we think we need to know why to be able to relieve ourselves of this frustration. But the reality is that it’s not about the why. It is about how you react to the frustration that’s causing the problem. So for example, the more you blame yourself, the more guilt and negative self talk, the more frustrated you will feel.

Frustration arises when a part of our self is trying to tell us something but we aren’t hearing it for some reason. So it begins to make more and more noise in the hope that we might eventually pay it attention and listen to it. So asking why you’re frustrated might be the wrong question and might just trigger more frustration. Instead, you could ask yourself — what place within me is this frustration emanating from? That will help you identify a place in your body, or even a specific you (which could be identified by age or by the memory of a specific situation), that is asking for your attention. Frustration only continues to grow when we continue not listening. So when you feel frustrated, you need to ask yourself — Which part of me feels unheard and unseen?

Frustration is the result of a blockage in the flow of communication between some part of yourself and another part of yourself. It could be your own resistance to listening that’s causing this block. When you’re attempting to confront your resistance, remember to be kind and show compassion for both the part of you that is scared to listen as well as the part that is afraid to express itself. It would only cause more damage if when we feel frustrated we try to shout ourselves out of it. We would be abusing ourselves in the process and leading to the further deepening of these wounds.

So when you choose to listen to some part of you, be kind to it, be gentle, treat it as you would a child, because all these wounded and silenced parts within ourselves are merely little children who desperately need love and attention. To heal all of you, you need to mother all the un-mothered parts of yourself. May we all find the courage to love those parts of ourselves we deem most unlovable.

With love and always for peace,


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