“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” – Paulo Coelho
We spend so much of our time trying to avoid pain at all costs. We have this little voice in our head that says “I shouldn’t have to feel pain,” or “Pain is wrong, suffering is not where I want to be, so I will distract myself in any way possible from actually having to feel any sort of suffering.”
We have judged pain and suffering as an indication that there is something wrong with us. And because we view pain as something that needs to be avoided and fought against, when it shows up in our lives we resist it by trying to deny it, or we avoid it by distracting ourselves with things like addictions, or buying more stuff, or focusing on the lives of others in order to not have to focus on our own.
We start to fear the sensation of suffering so much that we go about our lives doing anything to not have to feel it. We may find ourselves staying in circumstances that are completely “comfortable” and “known” even though in the back of our minds we know that they are not truly making us happy and fulfilled. The irony being, we stay in situations that are painful to avoid having to feel the pain of the unknown.
For some reason the pain we know and are accustomed to feels better than accepting that it may be time to move on. And even though the change we are going to experience may bring about some level of discomfort for the fact that it is new and unknown, experiencing the discomfort is in fact the only way that we can truly move through it to the other side where happiness, fulfillment and inner peace live. In order to truly embrace discomfort and suffering we must first do the one thing that every fiber of our being will probably try to tell us is absurd or maybe even dangerous… stop judging pain as “wrong” or “bad.”
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung
Everywhere we look we are told to avoid suffering. The TV tells us we must look like everyone else, in order to avoid the pain of judgment. We must indulge in food and alcohol in order to always stay in pleasure, we must get jobs like everyone else, drive cars that make us feel accepted, all to avoid any sort of “bad” feeling of unworthiness or not measuring up.
The minute someone comes along and says, “Hey, I’m in pain. My heart is broken, I’m sad, I’m depressed, I’m hurting,” everyone looks as if this person is some sort of social outcast that has something inherently wrong with them. But, the fact of the matter is, everyone experiences pain and suffering to some extent in their lives. Even though we may perceive that we are avoiding it and we may believe that there is some alleged “perfect” existence completely devoid of any sort of suffering, there really is no life that is completely pain free.
But there’s a secret that anyone who has experienced a shift into a higher state of consciousness knows… pain is indicative that a transformation is underway. Anytime our body is rising to new energetic vibrations, or a higher state of awareness is in progress, some level of discomfort will be experienced. Yes, that’s right. The fact that one is experiencing pain is only there to show that a shift in consciousness or vibration is underway, and the more we embrace our pain and love it, the easier the transformation becomes.
While everything we have learned from society is telling us to avoid the pain, the more we avoid it, the longer we stay stuck in it. If we instead choose to become excited about our pain, welcome it with open arms because we know that the only reason it has popped into our life is our fair warning that we are rising to new energetic levels and that old limited beliefs are being dropped, we then start operating from a different perspective and the whole transformation process becomes a more fulfilling experience.
Instead of giving ourselves the illusion that we are avoiding the pain (and I say illusion because even though we think we are avoiding it, it is still happening whether we choose to be conscious of it or not) we can start loving it wholeheartedly that eventually it begins to vanish. The less we identify with the pain as “our” pain, but instead just pain, we actually create a space in between us which allows us to simply observe it and patiently wait for it to pass without attaching ourselves to the story that our mind is creating about the pain.
“Make no mistake about it-enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” – Adyashanti
We’ve all been through periods of time where we were somewhat able to distract ourselves or make ourselves believe that the pain bubbling just under the surface wasn’t really there and therefore not something that needed to be addressed. However, there will be a time in every person’s life that the pain becomes unbearable or debilitating even, and at this point, feeling the pain can’t be avoided.
We are thrust into it and forced to experience it whether we like it or not. When this happens, clap your hands and jump for joy. The degree to which you are experiencing this pain is only telling you how much pleasure and happiness is on it’s way to you. Approach pain from the standpoint that anytime it has appeared in your life, you can welcome it and even be ecstatic because you are changing.
When pain takes away everything you thought you “were” or thought you “needed” in order to feel whole, you are only left with one thing.. your true authentic self. At this point you not only are able to look back and realize why everything happened the way it did, but you become grateful for the pain you experienced. The deeper the depths of hell you had to go through will only make coming out of it feel that much more amazing.