"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Monday, January 24, 2011

Containing the Pain

Pain is one of the biggest motivators for people to come and see someone like myself. Pain can be, as most of us know, devastating. Pain can not be "thought" away. Pain has a time, and, just like grief, which is a version of pain, it can have stages and a process that you have to live through before you can get to the other side.

So this article is not about talking yourself out of the pain. Or about pretending it's not there by distracting yourself. Or about minimizing it. Or about making you think you should be stalwart and strong, and grin and bear it, and get out to the other end as quickly and staunchly as possible.

Rather, this article is about coming to an understanding that precisely when you are suffering and in pain, is when you need to be able to care for yourself enough, and love yourself enough, to keep your inner energetic frequency in the best place possible, in order to be able to survive this descent into pain as healthily as possible.

Most of us, when pain comes knocking, tend to lose whatever grasp we have on awareness and fall into the trap of allowing our thoughts to take over. And so we re-visit the place of the pain over and over again. See also Tolle's writing about the pain body and Chris Griscom's work on the emotional body, as I have written about elsewhere:
But if we somehow manage to stay aware, we are in a position to be able to observe our thoughts, as opposed to being tortured by them about whatever it is that is causing the pain in our life. And when we are able to observe our thoughts, we are at the beginning of the place where we can choose our thoughts. And if we can choose our thoughts, we can choose to focus elsewhere. Not to distract ourselves from the pain, but to take good care of ourselves. As we would if we had a fever. Or a cut. We would take aspirin, or bandage the cut, or wash it with an antiseptic. We would not carry on with the fever, syaing to ourselves that we did not have a choice. And we would not leave the cut infected, telling ourselves that there was no way to do anything about it. We would take care of it. And so we need to begin to learn to take care of ourselves when we are in pain, by recognizing that it is a choice.

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. Marcus Aurelius

It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. Epictetus

Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it. Unknown

Must you continue to be your own cross? No matter which way God leads you, you change everything into bitterness by constantly brooding over everything. For the love of God, replace all this self-scrutiny with a pure and simple glance at God's goodness. Saint Jeanne Chantal

Pain is never permanent. Teresa of Avila

Love does not cause suffering: what causes it is the sense of ownership, which is love's opposite. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To become a spectator of one's own life is to escape the suffering of life. Oscar Wilde

A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering. Buddha

Pain in life is inevitable but suffering is not. Pain is what the world does to you, suffering is what you do to yourself. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. First Noble Truth (Buddhism)


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