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For Those Who Sit on Tacks

Manipulated Photo

The Complainer

Some folks sit on tacks. They feel the pain but continue to sit on that point all day all the while building blunting their sensitivity. The next day, they go back and sit in the same place, on the same tack. This is a metaphor for enduring a painful situation and letting it wear on you. Troubles are like tacks under our seat. Do you sit on a tack all day?

Once you’ve decided that you’ve had enough, give yourself some relief. Here are four actions you can choose:

  1. Accept it (Brings peace)
  2. Change it (Offers hope)
  3. Leave it (Creates detachment)
  4. Understand it (Promotes compassion)

Acceptance is like surrender. “Okay,” you say, “It is, what it is, I’ll go along with it.” Once, I wanted my Dad to park his second van in my yard while the next door apartment in my duplex was empty for security. I’ve done plenty of favors for him so it angered me when he refused. For two days, I fumed over his denial. It suddenly occurred to me that he had a right to park his van were he wanted. So I accepted it and have felt at peace with his decision.

Change may require work. Case in point: the tenants in the apartment next door were whooping it up at 1:30 am one night. I couldn’t accept it and still sleep, so I got out of bed, put on a robe, trekked over to their door and asked them to be quiet. They changed their behavior and I went to sleep.

When you leave a problem, you recognize that nothing can solve the problem for you except to get out, walk away, turn your back— leave it in the past. At that point, you are not involved, it’s finished, you’re detached.

Finally, understanding a problem or trouble has the power to turn it all around with compassion. When compassion arises, your whole perception may change.

Experiment with these four actions and observe the results. It’s less painful than sitting on the tack.


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