Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Enter the Pain

Every now and then we come up against things in our life that hurt. When we're confronted with pain - emotional or physical - we usually want to make it go away as quickly as possible. No one wants to stay in pain; it hurts.

I read a book a few weeks ago that made me start to think about pain differently. The author relayed her birth experience and her decision to fully embrace the pain of her contractions rather than fight them, and her experience was far different than she ever expected.

That got me thinking. How many times did I reach for some sort of analgesic for the pain rather than facing it square on? I wonder how different my experiences would have been if I had entered the pain at those times instead of fighting them? Would I have healed faster?

I can't speak for long-term, serious, chronic physical pain - that's an experience I won't pretend to understand.

But there's a plethora of painful emotional experiences for me to look at. I've buried a bunch of things I had hoped never to unearth again. But you know what? They didn't go away. I thought I could shove those painful experiences way down deep and they would go away. They did leave my consciousness eventually, but years later, they've reared their ugly heads and those memories came hurtling back.

HURT-ling back. I'm pretty sure it hurts even more when they sneak back into our lives suddenly, catching us off guard. Those unprocessed hurts have to be faced, accepted, and fully embraced before we can move on. It only gets harder to face later. When we experience pain, it means there's a lesson there - the pain is telling us something. If we don't allow ourselves to understand the learning, then we'll have to repeat that lesson again. 

I wish I had figured that out years ago.

My discovery about emotional pain is that it's usually tied to my ego. I've done a lot of work to try to break down the ol' girl, but she still sneaks in there and shows up when I least expect her, reminding me that there's always more work to do in that area. Always.

I'm working on entering the pain. When something hurts, whether it be emotional or physical, I'm stopping to take a look at it in the moment and experience it fully. No more burying. That doesn't help...it just festers and oozes out into other parts of my life, making me confused as to why things might not be working. Only in the depths of scrupulous self-reflection have I been able to trace those long threads back to their origin and subsequently release them.

I have come to be grateful for the pain; those lessons have helped me forgive and grow. I'm learning how to shift my perspective so I can keep expanding and understanding myself, others, and how I fit into this world.

Agreeing to face the pain has an added bonus. If I can embrace the full depth of the hurts, then my heart is also open to deeply experience the joys.


May your hearts be open to receiving all of life fully...there are so many blessings to be had when we open to it all.

Love & Light,
Sue

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