"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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baby Steps To Take When Pain Overwhelms You

Going through one of life's painful moments is undoubtedly always difficult. But we tend to make it more difficult because of the way we go about it.

The inner dialogue is often made up of precisely those elements that simply make it worse. And of course at times like that we are generally not particularly aware of the inner dialogue, so we go around and around the circle of pain, with no end, until inevitably time dulls some of it.

But it does not have to be quite like that. While it is true that some types of pain require time, and require healing and require closure, it is just as true that while we are in that process of letting time go by and healing and achieving closure, we can be having an inner dialogue that simply magnifies the pain, and hence makes it last longer, or we can be having an inner dialogue that allows us to choose much of how we experience the pain, and in so doing, allows us to deal with it in another fashion.
We may blindly tell ourselves things like:
  • Why me?
  • These things only happen to me...
  • I'll never get over this
  • I can't bear this pain
  • I can't live without ____________
  • Other people's lives are so easy compared to mine
  • I can't live like this
  • I'll never forgive _____________
  • No one cares how much I am suffering
  • No one understands how much I am suffering
But in blindly telling ourselves things like that, we are focusing on the eye of the storm, while hurricane-strength winds blow around us, but we have lost total sight of what goes on beyond the storm.

What I'm saying is that by remaining in a place inside of ourselves where we can maintain a sense of perspective about our pain (even in the worst of it), almost as though we were observing it from outside, at least in order to remember that there is life beyond the pain, by doing this, we give ourselves a much better chance of moving beyond the pain in a much healthier way than if we do not.

When you were a child and fell from your bicycle and skinned your knee, you may have cried or sobbed as the blood flowed from the wound, and your mother cleaned the dirt from it. She may then have attempted to distract you from the pain by giving you a cookie or a piece of chocolate, or allowing you to watch a special show on TV. Doing so did not take the pain away, but it accomplished a number of things:
  • you learned the value of loving support; the support of your mother who cared for your wound and put a bandaid on it (find some support now - preferably loving - to help you with your current pain)
  • you learned the value of distraction to gain perspective (your current distraction might be going to church to pray, it might be re-reading a favorite book of poems, it might be listening to a Greek aria, or it might be going for a walk)
  • you learned that in gaining perspective, the pain didn't go away, but somehow it began to lessen (even as your current pain burns your soul, remember that lessen from childhood and understand that although this pain now far surpasses a mere tumble from the bicycle, it will also begin to lessen
The inner dialogue, remaining aware of yourself (and not only of your pain), the decision to make good choices - even in the midst of pain - all of these will stand you in good stead, when you need to begin the process of dealing with overwhelming pain.

Also see Finding a Meaning For Your Life

For much more about how to consciously choose your thoughts and feelings, hence taking charge of them, and about becoming aware of the choices you have at all times in order to transform your life, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self (paperback or Kindle).

To download the first chapter, click here

From the Description on Amazon: Ask anyone, whatever their circumstances, if their life is vibrant, fulfilling, harmonious and happy. An honest reply is likely to be 'no', because to answer a truthful 'yes' is no mean feat. Only to grow psychologically and emotionally is not enough. And only to grow spiritually is not enough either. All three dimensions need to be developed in order to realize your full potential. If you are willing to assume total responsibility for the self and to start what is an on-going journey, you will quickly begin to glimpse the first fruits of the ultimate goal: inner well-being, freedom, peace, harmony and joy. This book sets out the pathway to self-mastery and self-discovery and walking that pathway will be the most exciting adventure of your life.

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