Success: the colleague was excited to help. A friendly catch up ensued. And then the trigger triggered.
In the course of conversation Joe discovered a bunch of places where the colleague was succeeding where Joe wasn’t: a growing career; regular invitations to speak professionally; a satisfying marital life.
When Joe got off the call, strong feelings of self-judgment and inadequacy began to surface. Joe found himself rehashing and rehashing the unfavorable comparisons between himself and the colleague. Then he felt a desire to run to food or internet distractions.
Then he remembered something he learned in the Stuck to Unstuck series: his job is not to change or create new feelings and moods. That’s the job of the Single Simple Source. Joe’s job is to remember the truth about his psychological experience – that God creates all reality moment to moment, including our inner flow of feeling/thought. Joe can be in his painful feelings knowing they’re safe, without need to fight or flee.
He sat in the pain of his “contractions.” It hurt. He sat. At some point, they passed.
Joe felt gratitude, compassion toward his own pain, and a deeper trust that his life is safe even when it's painful.