Does our pain go with suffering like biscuits and gravy?
Short answer nope.
Here’s my long answer.
We have been programmed in our society not to feel, to believe that if we feel pain something has gone wrong, that something needs to be corrected, that something is bad. We are taught to run in the opposite direction, to suppress or cover up and to avoid pain at all costs. It doesn’t matter if it’s physical, emotional or mental. It has been given a “bad” meaning – instead of a meaning of survival. Everything on earth is programmed to avoid pain as a survival method – we seek out joy as a way to stay alive right? I mean we don’t wake up in the morning looking for ways to bring us pain right? At the same time, some of us are taught that pleasure is a bad place to be as well right? (that’s a subject all in of itself)
This fuels suppressing addictions to escape our pain as fast as you can. This enables a self-destructive pattern of self-hate of self-abandonment – which leads to more pain by the way. When we think that pain is bad then we think that we must have done something bad, that if we are bad we think thoughts like we are not worthy and that no one will accept us. Humans are very social and we associate separation as one of the worst things to experience. Those of us that feel the chronic pain start to associate the pain as being us. We no longer can see the call to action by this association and we may even fear being associated with a person who is no longer in pain.
So what are we to do?
Pay. Attention. Integrate. Now.
What if instead, we were present with our pain? What would happen? What if instead, we asked our pain what it needs? How does it want to be supported? What if we stripped the self-destructive meaning away from our pain?
Pain is not wrong or bad, it is an indication that you are alive. Pain is a compass that calls us to be present in the now. It is a catalyst to awareness and expansion. Pain is a way for us to know joy and happiness. Without knowing black, we can not understand white and vise verse.
Suffering, on the other hand, is when we give a negative meaning to our pain.
For instance, when most mothers in the eastern side of the world give birth they do not associate it with suffering and need fewer epidurals and have shorter labors. They are not raised that pregnancy, labor, and delivery are a medical condition that must be treated. They are not raised in a society that associates birth with traumatic screaming and dis-empowerment of what their bodies can do. Therefore they are more likely to succeed at their healthy deliveries for both mother and baby without medical intervention. Another example is when soldiers in WWI had to undergo surgeries and medical procedures without anesthetic they were associating their wounds with pride and did not identify with the suffering involved in the procedures.
So what do we do if we have associated our chronic pain with ourselves as a whole? We need to separate the two. Look at pain as a teacher. Make it’s own entity and observe it as a spectator. After that, we can start to integrate and understand what its message is for us.
Ask yourself these questions:
What bad thing would happen if I sat with my pain and allowed it completely instead of trying to make it go away?
What would it take or what would have to happen for me to completely allow my pain?
What bad thing would happen if the pain truly did go away? and for good?
The next time you feel pain remind you that pain is the experience that will empower you to make a change back into your joy and happiness in a more profound sense. To appreciate that joy and happiness and to fully be able to allow it completely and be able to be present with it.
Pain does not mean that something has gone wrong. It means that you are on the verge of an awareness that will expand your existence. Pain does the exact opposite of isolating and abandonment by also calling the presence of others to support you.
By changing your perspective of pain – that means you are evolving into the exact life you were meant for. You start to extract the suffering that goes along with it. Pain has come into your life so that you can step fully into a be present with your joyful – happy life.
So my message for you today is to stop making your pain enemy #1, because what we resist persists. Once we can turn towards our pain and seek out it’s a lesson we are more empowered, our pain diminishes and our lives are filled with joy.