Alive through the pain

I have read a post in Miki Kashtan’s Blog today and there was a paragraph where she wrote about pain in the context of griefing. She writes:

„In opening to the pain I am opening to acceptance. It’s as if the resistance to the pain comes from the unconscious idea that by not accepting it I can have more hope of changing it. Not so. In the acceptance I find peace, alignment, and the recognition that my choice is internal.“

Reading this I felt a stab of pain in my own chest. What agony have I suffered from trying to avoid pain! One of the reasons I am avoiding pain – if I am avoiding it – is the reason Miki is giving: I fear that if I accept the fact that something is hurting so very much at the moment, I feel I might give up on my determination and efforts to get what I need in the future.

But then there is some other blockade that somehow feels much more painful to relate here. It is painful to even think about it. The blockade is the believe that somehow feeling intense pain is un-normal, sick or crazy even. People think that someone who expresses their intense pain should be frowned upon.

Wow – even writing it down like this I want to scream in anger and desperation. „How can you think like this?“ it screams inside of me – „Dont you know the suffering you are causing? Are you too dumb or naive to understand that only through experiencing and accepting one’s own emotions there is a chance of healing? What kind of human being are you that you dont even know this very truth? How can there ever be anything truely positive in your life if you dont know this and live according to this? Wake up! Wake up for your own sake. Wake up for my sake.

What is it that people mean when they say: „Dont keep the hurt alive“? I believe the real meaning of that sentence is: >Dont avoid the hurt in its full extent, in its whole intensity, so that you will be able to let go, heal, be open and to take care of yourself.< And I think when people say: „Don’t keep the hurt alive“ that most of them would not agree on my translation of that sentence.

I think that to most people moving into the pain with open eyes and heart, seems destructive and dangerous. Probably – I am speculating – many people fear that opening to pain could evoke emotions, thoughts and ultimately actions that can cause a lot of harm and in the worst case death even. This fear I can personally relate to.

But I think there is also some other fear behind the believe of people that one should not open up (too much) to pain. Unfortunately to this I can relate much less. It is difficult for me to imagine, but I will try to describe what I understand: Sometimes seeing someone else opening up to pain, opens up ourself to our own pain from experiences of the past. So far I understand.

And I also understand that it takes a lot of courage and energy to deal with the own pain. One faces loneliness at times, helplessness and desperation at others, sometimes the pain is overwhelming, sometimes all this comes together and one involves oneself in actions that distract oneself from pain and thereby perpetuate and increase the pain. I know all this and I have experienced all this. And I understand all this. I understand the fear.

But what I dont understand, what puzzles, frustrates and annoys me at once is, why people dont believe that all the hardship of facing ones own pain is worth it?
How could people chose not to change, not to heal? Because that is what they chose if they dont open up to their pain. They chose stagnation, loneliness, emptiness, shallowness, and worst of all not to be alive.

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