We have been wired to move towards pleasure and away from pain, so why is it that millions of us are experiencing some kind of pain, emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually?
While life brings us many experiences, and pain is one of them, what is it that keeps us from moving through the pain and into healing rather than pain lingering in our lives? Instead of moving through it, we avoid it, medicate it, compare it, ignore it, simmer over it, analyze it, complain about it, freak out about it, blame others for it, blame ourselves for it, and use anything within our reach to make it go away. Unfortunately, this urge to separate ourselves from the pain, keeps us separate from a vital aspect of ourselves – the part that is working hard to give us its message and move on.
I have had chronic hip pain for over a decade. Each year I felt more frustration and less patience for this part of me that had not yet given up its secrets for healing. I understand there have been several traumas in that area since childhood. Doctors said there is some arthritis and there is only ‘so much’ I can do to relieve the pain. I used to see my hip pain as a problem, something that kept me from having what I wanted (pain-free movement and flexible strength) and I treated it as such in my mind. I would avoid it, medicate it, complain about it, seek new treatments for it, ignore it, and blame myself for it when I felt powerless to make it go away. The stand-off inside continued until I decided to find a way to heal the separation between us.
I love my inner child exactly as she is, and I let her express whatever she is feeling when she is ready.
As I went inside to spend some time with my hip pain, I realized that the ‘pain’ was looking for a way to be fully seen and heard without my trying to fix it, change it or make it go away. It reminded me of what my inner child needs when she feels angry, hurt or scared. When my inner child is in pain, I treat her with all of the presence, love, and comfort I can muster as the inner-parent she needs. I love my inner child exactly as she is, and I let her express whatever she is feeling when she is ready. I realized that my physical pain wanted the same thing from me. I spent the next few days spending time with and sending love and acceptance to my left hip each time I felt the pain there. If you are on Facebook, here is a link to a brief FB live I did on the subject that includes a brief video meditation.
The pain in my hip helped me to see that I was afraid to fully move forward into my life in a variety of situations. When I was in a job that kept me feeling small, I didn’t leave because I feared disconnection from my colleagues. Each time a part of me wanted to move forward into my own joyful expression, another part of me questioned the price I’d have to pay. Now, the pain reminds me to slow down and feel into what prices the ego thinks I must pay. These prices are simply the old story my ego tells about what is and isn’t possible in my life. When I challenge and change those beliefs while giving unconditional love and attention to my left hip, the pain simply drains away.
Very few of us have been taught that love is the medicine that heals the separation between us and within us. And it is the same for our perceived pain. We know how much we crave the unconditional love from the outside, yet we can provide that same unconditional love to ourselves from the inside. When we can offer unconditional love to our pain, that pain can finally feel fully seen and heard so it can give us its message, and when it’s ready, move on. When I go inside and focus my attention on the place that feels painful, I can let it know that it’s OK to be here and it doesn’t have to leave or change. I’m not trying to make it go away or make it bad or wrong for being here. I tell the pain that I understand it will give me its message and move on in its own time. I’m happy to hold space for it and listen deeply to have it feel fully seen and heard. If it’s not ready now, it’s OK. I’ll still be allowing it to be here until it has completed its purpose in giving me the message and is ready to move on.
How can you send love to your pain today?