Pain is a fact of life. As much as we would love to, we can’t avoid this. This mass evolving heap of intelligent stardust in large part evolves and grows because of pain.
Pain is an exceptionally good thing if you use it. How do you use it?
Pain is pain. Whether its physical, emotional, mental, spiritual – pain is pain. It is a calling. It is an initiation. Each situation is unique, everyone has their own curriculum. Comparison to others is an exercise in futility.
Pain is just part of life, suffering is our choice. In the neuroscience of pain research we find there are 3 components to pain: 1) the physical or life experience; 2) the related emotions; 3) our thoughts and beliefs about it. Sometimes we cannot change the circumstances. We simply can’t. When we lose a child, when we face catastrophic loss, when we are exiled refugees with no home, there is a certain pain to that that no one can remove. There are, although its rare, certain physical conditions that simply come with a good deal of pain.
We can, however, deal with the emotions, thoughts, and beliefs about what our life situation is. Pain is a fact. Suffering is a choice. We can choose to cross the river from suffering back to real joy. Everyone, all of us, can cross that river and re-awaken joy, purpose, energy, focus, clarity, courage, service, compassion, and vitality. All of us.
And miracles do happen. Miracles are when God bends the laws of nature for us. they happen all the time. Miracles are when Love triumphs over fear. Spontaneous healings occur ALL THE TIME. And sometimes healings take the form of acceptance, forgiveness, joy, even death.
Tony Robbins says: “Pain is when your life conditions don’t match your model of the world. Suffering comes when your life conditions don’t match your model of the world and you feel POWERLESS to change it.” That is the key: suffering comes from when we feel like there is no where to go, when we feel bereft of Power. The true healing journey, then, is not about getting rid of pain, its about calling our power back and learning to powerfully transform how we give our power away. The deepest healing is not being pain-free, its in calling all the aspects of our energy back that we give away in our barter system for love and certainty.
When we are deep in it, we must courageously get the help we need to find that power again and gain the needed insight and self-honesty by which we reclaim our power. Inch by inch, and every inch counts, we move and reclaim the power that was given away. Paradoxically, what feels like the thing that is in the way, IS the way (see Mary O’Maleys new book). We are never apart from Light.
Pain digs inside of you and opens a deep well. It is our CHOICE what we fill this with. We can fill it with fear, anger, blame, shame, and despondency. OR, we can fill it with love, gratitude, courage, inspired action, vulnerability, and the spirit of a fearless warrior. Our choice. Every moment, every day.
In our pain, if we are punishing ourselves, or anyone else, for something out of our control, that needs to stop. Now. If we are punishing ourselves or someone else for anything from the past, it needs to stop. Its a requirement for freedom. The past is dead unless we breathe life into it. “Let the dead bury the dead.”
Our choice, every moment. Einstein said one of the most fundamental questions we can ever ask ourselves is whether or not this Universe is friendly. In a world where suffering and pain seems to to pervade more and more – from Orlando, to Syria, to the countless anonymous tragedies every day, to the quiet desperations carried on the hearts of most people, its a tough question to ask. And no one can give you the easy answer on Sunday morning at 11am (or Friday, or Saturday, depending on your faith). We have to dig in and choose. And we have to find out for ourselves.
That is exactly what the crucible of pain is all about. It is a Crucible of crisis that midwifes the birth of an indomitable spirit. An Indefatigable spirit that has the fortitude and gumption and grit to actually stand as force of good. A true and noble spirit that radiates kindness, hope, and joy even in the midst of painful circumstances. In this crucible, the birth of your calling is celebrated. The pinnacle of your purpose is perceived. When we get enough of these indestructible spirits, fueled by the endless fuel source of Love, we can and will turn this ship around. These empowered people speak up, they vote, they love, they speak up, they forgive, they fight, they give blood, they raise their children with deep mindfulness, they are honest, they are fearless (even when they are scared). They know the ineffable Peace of God when they close their eyes and listen to pure silence.
The wise and courageous ones know that pain on any level means work is to be done, and they don’t shy away from it. At once, they dig their heels in and commit to seeing it through no mater what. Paradoxically there is a confidence and peace that engenders profound serenity and a clarity in their eyes. You can’t explain it, but these are the people you love to be around. Its who you really are, when you stop running.
Pain is a fact.
Suffering is 100% our choice.
There is a way out of suffering.
You must do the work.
You are completely endowed with everything you need to do this Work.
Our egos, our small ideas of who we are do not have the mo-jo to move the mountain.
Your deepest core, your deepest heart, your True Self is 100% dialed into Source. Discover this. Pray. Meditate. Ask for help. Just do it.
Commitment and belief that you can see this through, that WE CAN SEE THIS through, are needed ingredients.
Dump all your reasons why it can’t work. Put them in a balloon and send them to the sun where they will be burned. Lighten your load and release the binds that tie.
Never, ever, ever, ever give up. From the walls of Jericho, to Thomas Edison, to Abraham Lincoln everything and anything is possible when we just keep taking the next step. The next step. The next step.
Pain digs a well, what do you want to fill it with today? It is our choice.
Dr. Matt Lyon