There is great power in suffering and pain -primarily in learning to distinguish between, and separate, the two. Chronic pain is our harshest teacher. It is also one of the egos worst enemies, as it demands our awareness into the presence, threatening the ego’s existence.
The ego behaves much like an invasive, unshakable parasite –it has an inherent need to cling and latch on to our every thought with such ferocity that we intertwine the damaging mind made stories it conjures up with absolute reality. The two –the stories we make up and reality– become impossible to decipher between until fierce awareness of the self and of the present moment exist. This is how pain escalates into seemingly inescapable suffering –which is to say, the mind itself is the root cause of suffering, not pain. As it has been said many times, “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. Once intense awareness of the present moment arises, suffering begins to disintegrate and the door opens for pain to work towards the evolution of our soul.
I have yet to experience something that brings us closer to our true selves and to the deep truths that dwell within us and connect us to each other and to the universe than pain after the death of our egos dissolves the mental agony and suffering it has created. I know this to be true because chronic illness has changed me in so many ways, ways in which I most likely would have never changed without; at least, not at such deep levels within. Illness revealed previously undiscovered parts within, parts which I otherwise would not have discovered for a very long time, if ever.
The paradox of intense, all consuming pain is that it is an invitation to either something awful (the creation of “poor me” victim attitudes) or something beautiful (an extreme transformation within, advancing our hearts and souls at an accelerated rate)
Only when our worlds of comfort, and illusions of safety, are shattered do our souls and hearts grow at unparalleled rates.
Only when we are forced into isolation and are away from all others do we begin to better understand mankind and ourselves.
Only when we sink into loneliness do we, overtime, begin to value solitude and understand the crucial importance of it.
Only when we are tortured in the dark soul of the night are we able to revel in the vibrant essence soul of the universe and, for the first time in our lives, finally emerge into true light.
It is then and only then, that we no longer beg to return to our old lives, but become determined to live new ones. It is then, and only then, that we realize we were never fully alive before.
Meditation For Separating Pain From Suffering
It is shockingly and honestly almost scary how easy it is to convince myself a pity party would be enjoyable, good for me, and at all acceptable. However, deep down, I know this is not true. It is only the natural resistance born out of fear that rises before entering into the present moment when the present is extremely painful.
I’m only human, you are only human …I hope. Regardless, such resistance is entirely normal and okay, if you recognize it for what it is and do not give into it. The more you practice this, the more you awaken to the truth that pain is impersonal, inevitably leading you to impose less needless suffering on yourself, those around you and life in general.
When you are in pain and able to tune in to your inner core, as opposed to complaining and grasping for external crutches which only create immense suffering in the end, you can sit back and think “that is pain,” and “that is not ME.” Becoming capable of doing this is one of the highest rewards you can give yourself.
If you are screaming at me while reading this, cursing me for not understanding how extreme YOUR pain is (I’ll close the comment section just in case though 😉) and convincing yourself your pain is surely worse than anything I’VE experienced, I do not blame you. I used to scream at the annoying me’s of the world too when I came across advice like this. I used to defend my pain –and for that matter, call it MY pain, without realizing in doing so I was claiming ownership of the very thing I claimed was oh so awful as if it were a badge of honor. Of course, since I did not see this at the time, I would have been furious and flown into a rage at anyone who suggested I was doing so. I played the “my pain is worse than yours” game like so many do, like that was a good thing (assuming it were even true and possible to tell), and I played it quite well if I do say so myself. I am not proud of this fact, nor am I ashamed. All it says about me, or anyone who relates to pain in this way, is that we are human beings.
What I have learned is if you think your pain and suffering are too intense to face, accept, and learn from, you are 100% without a doubt correct –for as long as you continue to think so and feed these beliefs, you make your beliefs regarding pain and your ability to handle it stronger on a subconscious level, and the cycle of how you relate to pain throughout the rest of your life becomes harder to break. Subconscious beliefs like these become damaging, and can dramatically alter the course of your life for the worse. It is important to examine yourself for damaging subconscious beliefs about life and about yourself, and to become acutely aware of the ways in which you are buying into them and strengthening them; because they are not true and only serve to hurt you more and limit your quality of life.