I blew the dust off of my yoga mat this morning and spent 30 minutes with some of my favourite poses. I forgot how soothing it was to spend time just breathing and moving my body. When I am struggling with something I have a tendency to do busy things like clean the bathroom or go for a long walk. This morning since my struggle was internal I decided to go inward and listen instead. What am I doing and why am I doing it? That is the question I asked myself this morning. Sometimes I don’t get any insightful answers, I am just left with more questions. Perhaps the answers are hidden in those questions. Then again, maybe sitting here with a cup of coffee and writing will illuminate those dark corners inside me that I have not been willing to fully shine a light on.
Bring on the light! Okay, where is it? No great moment of illumination has happened. Yoga reminded me that it takes time to work the stiffness out, just be in the moment and breathe, just be. How can I forget these things so quickly after I have learned them? I don’t like being in pain and as a typical human I just want the pain to stop and apply short term fixes looking for a long term solution. So I turn to one of the best things I have ever learned from Buddhist philosophy, embrace the pain. All the things I do for quick fixes only fan the flames of the fiery pain. Sit with it, befriend it, love that painful part of yourself, love yourself. The flames will burn, shape and reshape you and out of the ashes a new you is born. So tonight I will sit here and burn.
Well, yes, pain burns but at least it has heat. So I look for the positives in pain and to be honest I cannot even describe this pain. All I can tell you is that my soul is crying out for something so strongly that it feels as though I will cease to exist if I don’t find it. Pain, it is warm in my case, also reminds me that I can feel some wonderful emotions. Pain teaches me that I have a heart, I have more in common with others than differences, that I care for myself and others, I have the ability to love others unconditionally and pain reminds me that it is not always returned to me in kind. Okay, pain whether physical or emotional is my teacher. What exactly is this pain educating me on?
I just got to meet someone that I had previously only had contact with through writing and phone calls. Huge risk for both of us since we had an idea of who each other was but that first meeting always says so much. I recognized him instantly and walked towards him arms and heart wide open. First moment wasn’t so awkward phew. What a relief! We got to spend two days together. We ate, laughed a lot, walked, sat, talked and talked some more. We have huge differences in opinion on certain matters, but it doesn’t matter. We learned from and about one another. We learned. It was a beautiful two days and then it was back to our regular lives. I am changed forever because of meeting him. I am changed because by learning about him, I learned much about myself. Sometimes seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes can give you a new perspective. Arkemedes it was an honour to meet you my friend, I ask the universe to send you many blessings on your journey.
Now it is 6:30 at night and I am sitting here in my slightly soiled chair exploring my pain. We all have some pain in our lives and how we approach our own as well as the pain that others carry says much about us. Embrace the pain, yours and theirs. Compassion and love can heal the most damaged of us. We just need people in our lives who are willing to stand with us in the fire and bring their own pain with their arms and hearts open. We can bring great healing to others just by creating that space where we can support and acknowledge each other. No judgement, just space for healing from the pain.
2 thoughts on “Embracing the Pain”
‘Feeling gut-heavy like a leaded weight is sitting at the bottom of my stomach or holding my breath so perhaps the irregular fluttering of my heart might stop pushing against my sternum.’ Describing it helps me. It opens a door to pain in a way that moves me just a bit away from it. Like detachment. Like maybe I have some control over the sensations. But, I know, from experience, there is no analgesic in the world that will deaden it.
I used to think I wasn’t going to survive the breathtaking-ness of it. I would curl around it and press against it, hoping that would make some kind of difference. Only howling eased it.
Now I realize I put myself in a position three years or more ago to have to live through it all again. This time, for God’s sake, it was deeper than I remembered it. This time I asked “Where did you come from? Why are you here?” and I had a chance to label it, breathe into it, and cry it out. Loss of a long term partner was triggered by the rejection of a short term one. I realized I was crying, not just about him, but about all the rejections I think I have felt. This time though, when I saw what I thought was insurmountable pain, I dug into it and saw the core. I stalked the emotion I had been able to name and sought its very beginnings and worked with childhood perceptions which are not part of my life any more. As my adult self, I could see where my child had misjudged some things and I set them to rights. It’s taken a bit more time than I wanted to readjust the foundation of my being and see myself as worthy. But I’m stronger in faith in myself than every before and my actions in my life today are more centered and loving and forward moving than they ever have been.
I am amazed at this process. I don’t want to do it again too soon, believe me. I just think i proved to myself that there is a learning curve and that I am capable of living through this kind of pain should it ever come up again. Also believe me, when I say, I am going to be more careful in my choices, not closed, just careful in what I let into my life again.
Thanks for sharing. You opened a door for me to share as well. Love ya, E
Thank you Earlene! Your words of wisdom and experience help me feel that I am not alone with this pain and give me love and hope. May the creator bless the path you walk my friend. Love ya, D