Feeling overwhelmed? I am sure that at some points all throughout a person’s life, they can probably answer that with a “yes.” For the majority of healthy people, these overwhelmed chapters in our lives come, they hit, and then they’re gone, as they were processed and dealt with in a healthy manner. Then there are those other times, the times where either we don’t have the stability within our mental health to be able to properly handle whatever the overwhelming situation is. Or, the event can just be so overwhelming, that it skyrockets the normal limits of what anyone at all can handle, and it can end up leading to so many different problems, that we really need to prepare ourselves, and make sure our healthy shields are always available, and ready to go. What we need to be is, we need to be prepared for the R.A.I.N.
I found an acronym of R.A.I.N. that relates to being overwhelmed, and it was written by Tara Brach. It’s meaning is Recognize, what’s going on, Allowing, Investigating with kindness, Natural Loving Awareness. I wanted to share its meaning, along with my own take on it, adding my own touch based on roads I’ve traveled.
To Recognize is a way of giving an acknowledgement to really anything. It can be a memory, a thought, a person, an act, a mistake, a tragedy, or a wonderful event, or what have you. In the case of Tara Brach, she relates this first part of the acronym to a Recognition of self. The acknowledgement of an honesty that when worn on our sleeve, will potentially allow one’s self to be vulnerable, though a healthy vulnerability, not a naive one. It’s a point where we should work to recognize our faults, negative beliefs, and really any type of voice in our mind that’s focusing on negativity. The important quote that I found on my research of this part is, “though it may sound depressing or overwhelming, learning to recognize that we are at war with ourselves is quite overpowering.”
With letter A of the Rain, we have Allowing, followed by the phrase “Taking A life Giving Pause.” It’s stated that much of this has to do with allowing everything in the moment, simply be. Our emotions, the thoughts being thought, our presence, our physical feelings, as well as our mental feelings, etc etc. She states, that the reason why she recommends that, is because normally when humans have feelings or sensations that are not pleasant, they normally act in one of three ways. By numbing ourselves and feelings, by passing judgement unto ourselves, or trying to ignore what is going on, and direct our focus into another direction. Those three ways are not always the best choices to make.
Allowing something to just be, and to process itself however life intended it to, may be the best approach, even though it is not always comfortable.
So, the next stepping stone of the process is Investigating with Kindness. In this case, the author is referring to a calling unto our natural curiosity. That usually will then activate a desire to know the truth. We can be able to recognize the events going on within us just by taking a pause in life, to ask ourselves just what is happening. A reason for that, and a question of what does that internal event actually want from us specifically?
This part is about “not allowing unconscious beliefs and emotions to control an experience.” If we do that, a risk of the truth, as always will just have the potential to be masked.
So with that, comes Natural Loving Awareness. This part is a effort to present an assurance that the strain of the tight lasso around our minds that are being yanked and pulled by nobody but ourselves is finally loosened. Removing limitations that once controlled everything from feelings, sensations, emotions, and all the stories stored in our brain. Author Tara Brach says this point is the point that’s a “Homecoming to our true nature.”
This process, especially the last part is finally a “cease fire” in the battles of the war we’re in with ourselves. This is a method, and technique to study, as a way for us to reach the point of being true to who we really are, and from that cease fire, then comes the full blown treaty with one’s self, and finally the ability to be at a contentment with who we are. An honest to goodness self love, self kindness, and self esteem, all create the path towards not a perfect life, but not a horrible life. But a life that is realistic, satisfying, and spiritual. Keep on it and you’ll see. I’m glad I was able to come across Sara Brach’s piece on the R.A.I.N.