PAIN POINTS TO THE GLORY OF WHO WE ARE
THE COMPLEXITY OF PAIN
We all know what pain is, at least physical pain. But there is also emotional pain. Less tangible, it can still be as debilitating as paraplegia and as sneaky in its development as cancer. Undiagnosed and untreated it can ultimately present as much a threat to life as a stroke.
Painful episodes can be handled mindfully when you have the proper skill set and use it. Simple! So why are you and most people around you so emotionally vulnerable, explosive or dead? How did this happen?
The role of physiology and socialization in pain and suffering
In the late 1880s, Darwin, known for his theory on human evolution, wrote: “the heart, guts and brain communicate intimately via a nerve” – the pneumogastric or vagus nerve – the critical nerve in the expression and management of emotions in both humans and animals (…). When the mind is strongly excited it instantly affects the state of the viscera.”
More than 125 later, Bessel van der Kolk, a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of post-traumatic stress goes further:
Now, many people who don’t know a lot about trauma think that trauma has something to do with something that happened to you a long time ago. In fact, the past is the past and the only thing that matters is what happens right now. And what is trauma is the residue that a past event leaves in your own sensory experiences in your body and it’s not that event out there that becomes intolerable but the physical sensations with which you live that become intolerable and you will do anything to make them go away.
In fact, your body cells record and store not only trauma but all our physical, emotional and mental experiences as well as what goes on in your environment. Most of the time, you are unaware of this. Spiritual teacher Berdhanya Swami Tierra confirms this: “Yes, in fact, the cells of our body carry not only our personal experiences, stories, concepts, pains and joys, but the whole glory of what we are.”
There is also a socialization aspect to how you perceive and manage emotions, painful or not, a set of skills usually acquired at home, unconsciously, and reinforced by habit. For some, it’s much easier to hide painful emotions under the carpet while some will blame others for how bad they feel. The thing is, there is a skill set that can be acquired to living your emotions fully in the moment rather than from past experiences.
If you are reading this, you already know a few things about your suffering:
1. Your usual response patterns no longer work.
2. You have the power to take things in your own hands.
3. You are willing to view your emotions differently.
If you think that you are doing this course to help someone else, think again. Remember that you cannot fix others regardless of how hard you try. It could happen but only indirectly because the person in front of you can no longer use his or her usual response with the same results on you. However, there is no guarantee that he or she will want to change. You can only present a new model of emotional response. In fact, at this point, you don’t know what your new emotional expressions will look like. You don’t know how strong your commitment will be over time to discover the extent of your glorious beauty.
Although the path from pain to beauty is immensely gratifying and healing, it also is unpredictable and challenging. The good news is that there are jewels to be found every step of the way. And these jewels are parts of your self, the fragments of your limitless essence reclaimed one by one.
Before starting, know that this path will put you in front of the whole palette of human emotions, from the ones you like best to those you may fear or dislike. Paradoxically, they are your allies in this quest.
ALLOW YOUR EMOTIONS TO BE
Accept all your emotions. By that I mean neither block nor judge the emotions that you feel. They are part of human nature, of your human inheritance. However, it is the “charge” you attach to them, how you interpret them and how you manage them that gets you into trouble.
The key is to let them in, let them be, feel them, and let them go. Yes, some do pinch and some are so nice that you want to hold on to them. The trap is when you start to believe the stories that come up in your mind regarding the pain. Notice that you have artfully developed them over the years and with much conviction. Yes, you have also learned to interpret and manage them according to values received from family, peers, society and experience. However, the first skill remains the same: ACCEPT TO FEEL WITHOUT JUDGEMENT AS THE FEELING OCCURS.
NOTE: If you have not already signed up for the tutorial From Pain to Beauty: 7 Steps to Recover from Emotional pain, contact Face to Grace by email. You may also be interested in the course Balancing Your Emotions With Aromatherapy and Meditation.