In this book the Presence Process, one of the key ideas is any pain or discomfort whether emotional, mental or physical is a message being sent to us by our presence in the moment. Our usual reaction is to react to the messenger with denial, attack or temper tantrum, etc.
The suggestion is to try to let you get the message and deal with it so that you respond responsibly rather than react. I have long thought that things that caught my attention had a message for me. This is the same idea in more practical terms. So rather than reacting to something that annoys me by pouting, striking back, taking a pain pill, pushing the thought aside, I try to discern the message.
A real test came yesterday as I was cleaning some dead material in the garden and my back went into spasm. Everybody wanted me to take an advil or Ibprofin. I decided to listen to the message and just listen, be gentle and compassionate. The sense I had was that I needed to do some back exercises that I have neglected for sometime. The spasm seems to be abating and I have started my exercises.
I find it more difficult to not react to messengers that I think are attacking me. A critical statement about a plant I cut down by mistake, I react defensiely to. I guess I am feeling attacked for a mistake I made. Now it was an honest mistake and I understand that my wife might not be happy. I do not need to strike back or sulk An appropriate response might be a sincere apology and a promise to do better next time. As oppose to my thinking, damn it all, I try to help and all I get is criticism. I have a long way to go.
The point I am starting to get is that as Pogo said, I have discover the enemy it is me. I think the process will help.