You are your pain

This morning as I went about my routine it occurred to me that my aches and pains were part of me. In America and the western world we have been taught through repetition of the media, doctors, parents and teachers to “find the quick fix.” The usually means taking a pill and treating the symptom rather than the problem.

In modern parlance it is now called a “hack” or a “life hack.”  The problem is that it has developed from a way to shortcut a process to save time and energy, to becoming a way to give away our power and responsibility for our own lives. The process of living, even if it is in pain, is to understand ourselves first and others as we learn.

There is no shortcut to life, it must be lived and felt; even if it is painful. It is in our nature to feel pain. We are corporeal beings and along with the pleasing feelings of joy, love, and exhilaration we must and will feel pain in order to grow. I recently asked my mother when she was complaining about her painful knees to me if she had ever asked her pain why it was here. The bewilderment and astonishment on her face was interesting. The thought to look into her own mind and ask her self questions never occurred to her.

How many of us do this without thinking about the separateness that we impose on ourselves with outdated thinking? We are our pain just as much as we are our joy. There is no separateness. Not in ourselves, not with others, not in the Universe as a whole. The thoughts of separateness are in our mind. The divisions of race, religion, politics, are an outdated version of “reality” that are no longer serving the human race or the Earth.

Don’t run from your pain, feel it, ask it questions and then listen to the answers and heal yourself first, then others, then the Earth that we all live in. Reach out with your feelings and be brave enough to set aside your preconceptions and world view. Open your mind to the process, the journey if you will.

Being in pain is not unique, it is a right of passage. That being said, pain does not have to be crippling if we remember that the life we are all living is a process from birth to death, and our job is to learn from all the aspects of being human.

The next time you feel pain before running to the medicine cabinet to “treat the symptom”, take a moment and sit with your discomfort. Ask yourself, what is my pain trying to tell me. To rest, to move, to stretch? Only you can know the answer your body gives you. It is a message that is for you, from you.

As I heard on the Rich Roll podcast recently, “The process, is the process, is the process.”

JP

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