Short and Sweet #48 – Pain

What do you think about pain? Do you hate it, try to avoid it, resist it hoping it will go away? Has thinking about pain this way changed your experience of it or did it just increase your suffering? Have you recognized that your feelings about pain are a conditioned response? What if there was another way to feel about pain, one where you could actually suffer less by changing your relationship with it. Would you be willing to consider the possibility that pain is a friend instead of a foe and that it could help you grow spiritually? What a radical idea, right; pain is your spiritual teacher. We typically only notice pain in our lives and body when it rises up to the conscious level where we can feel it. Do you know that your body stores both physical and emotional pain below the conscious level? Anyone who has had bodywork can tell you that they felt pain in their body that they did not know existed and some have even experienced emotional releases from past events. We usually feel pain when we are emotionally or physically hurt, but we can also feel pain while we are healing. If we feel pain when we are healing, is that a bad thing? The next time you can, notice your pain, notice it when you think you are injured and when you begin getting better, see how differently you think about these two experiences. When we change our relationship with pain, our experience will change. You have experienced this phenomenon in your own life, like when you were a child; you may have hated broccoli or some other vegetable. As the child, you would scrunch up your face, scream and cry because you hated it so much. As you grew older, perhaps your relationship with it changed and you started to like it. In addition, this has happened to you in your relationships, with friends perhaps at a job or in other areas of your life. For now, begin to recognize that your pain has something to teach you about yourself. Know that your pain is not a problem but begin to see it as an opportunity to learn something about yourself and your life. Be open to this possibility and stop resisting. Your resistance will intensify your pain, however by starting to look for the opportunity and letting go of any fearful thoughts, feelings of anger or other emotions that hold you back, your pain will guide you out of suffering and into healing. This will take some practice, patience and commitment on your part. Nevertheless, once you change your relationship with pain I guarantee your experience will change for the better.

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