Allowing pain to exist



I’ve spent a lifetime pushing away pain.  Repressing it, hiding it in the nooks and crannies, refusing to feel it boldly and fully.

I’m not alone.  It’s what the human mind does.

It seeks pleasure; it bans pain.

The mind, oh what a dear, so often attempts to assist us.  It feels pain rising and offers suggestions in knee-jerk reactivity.  Here, how about this piece of chocolate cake, honey?  How about if we check email?  Cigarette anyone?  Let’s write a blog.  Anything, anything, anything to help alleviate this accelerating tension, to make that darn pain go away, back to the hell which seemingly created it.

Sweet mind–to make us want to feel good.  I love that something loves me that much.

But this technique doesn’t work, dear mind, because all those repressed feelings settle in our body, between the big toe and left knee, the ovary and intestine, the heart and frightened lungs.

We hold a lifetime of repressed pain hither and yon.  It usually remains beneath the scope of daily consciousness.  Until something–anything–triggers the prison bars and the pain surfaces like a lion’s roar in the form of emotion.  Emotion is so often a repressed feeling that now contains powerful energy.  That underground energy runs the life of so many of us.  It affects so many aspects.  It often controls what we do, what we don’t do, how we respond.

The hardest part of this spiritual journey–for me–has been bringing the repressed pain into consciousness.  Learning how to feel the pain without an attached mental story.  Simply being with the raw sensations of pain without running into the woods and never returning.

It has been intensely scary to fully feel pain which I’ve pushed away since age four.

It has been the most valuable gift.

It changes everything.

It allows me to remain conscious as Life more and more minutes during the day.

Pain has become a companion.  Not as a demon to be feared, but as yet another angel to be allowed.  I don’t always like her.  But the gifts she bears sparkle with jeweled possibility.  She lifts the prison bars and allows us to fly free.





11 thoughts on “Allowing pain to exist

  1. i don’t do the ‘prison’ anything. It seems to me, that if and when I do that, the ‘bad’ words are then ‘bad’ instead of just being the wind blowing and leaves moving and grass growing.

  2. I am feeling ya Sister ! I even think that a spiritual practice is sometimes used to “hide” the pain, distract us away, falsely offering a vision of what could be instead of what is!

  3. This is a tough one. As I’ve aged, & after practicing yoga/meditation for many years (where I learned to stay with pain, feel it, let it flow through me), I’ve come to the opposite conclusion. My physical pain abated, or was ignored, or something! when I volunteered to babysit my neighbor’s 3 year old, went out for drinks with friends, worked on my blog. If the pain is going to be there, I may as well not focus on it. Healthy distraction can be a godsend!

    • yah, I think that is more what I meant, life is just life and it keeps on moving, perhaps for me, knowing when I am living–instead of stuffing or attempting to flee(the prison thing I spoke of) can be important for me longer term–importance determined by my own goals, not some outside idea of having to deaaaaaaal with pain to heaaaaaaaaal. Yes, I still think that buzzwords force an abnormal focus on items in life that always rise up and then flow away in the way all things in life do. Which things in life do I attempt to control, what does letting to mean?(these are questions for the self)

      • Elisa, some outside idea of having to deal with pain to heal sounds abysmal. If you’re not feeling called to it, why do it? Life is just life and it keeps on moving and celebrating that sounds like what your spirit is calling you to do. That seems to be key–watching the way life flows. IF Life is at all interested in watching the way life flows through a certain being.

    • How interesting, Monica. I’ve had the same experience happen, too, where healthy distraction works to alleviate pain. It has felt like a godsend when that happens at times. It’s kind of weird that Life has seemingly wanted to experience this pain through me in recent months. And I am still amazed at the gifts it continues to bring. Although also very challenged about how to share this.

  4. “. . . without running into the woods and never returning.” I’ve felt like doing that on occasion. I sighed in resonance with “I love that something loves me that much.” Not wanting to repress really, mind you, wanting to embrace the desire to escape and the desire to protect, to soothe, to love and be loved. Yet another angel, Pain, a wise companion and a reality of incarnation. To fly away, free . . . maybe.

    • Deb, it’s such a wonderful feeling when we resonate with a sense of inclusion. That we can even see our demons as sometimes angels-in-disguise. To think that who we are is really love and it’s been so easy to mistake it for something else. So good to see you!

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