Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants

Dr. TonyNSA

How do we feel pain? I don’t mean the sensation of it. I mean, what do we do with the sensation of pain?

Because not all is as it seems.

In the movie “The Matrix”, the main character discovers that he’s been living with a false sense of reality. He thought his life was one way while it was really a totally different way. This story is a really good example of the misperception that we develop in our lives. Living in Survival Mode, we eventually get used to feeling what our “normal” is and we become less aware of the tension and stress in our bodies. 

Many of us don’t realize that we have a web of tension inside until we feel the pain of living with it for so long. When it gets to the point where our bodies can no longer bear the strain, we start to feel pain.

But the main message that we get through big Pharma and the media is to seek comfort and avoid pain at all costs. After all, pain is disruptive. It interrupts our lives. So if we listen to these external messages, we tend to develop an antagonistic relationship with pain and other symptoms (secondary conditions). We’re told to take pain-KILLERS, we FIGHT cancer, diabetes etc., and we’re told to numb ourselves so that “we can get on with our lives”.

As a society, I think we have a fundamental misunderstanding of pain and other symptoms, as they relate to healing. In the context that I’m thinking from, healing is not just that the symptom is gone; Healing is also when the patient is different in a fundamental way after healing. They may have acquired a new perspective on life, or developed closer relationships, or they may have a reorientation of values.

Whatever the shift is that happens, it sets the person up to not have to experience the same pain or other secondary conditions because they have healed: their body is physically more sound, their nervous system is upgraded and they have derived some meaning from their experience. Ultimately, they have learned the lesson they needed to. They are richer for it.

The next time you feel pain in your body, see if you can notice the almost instantaneous reaction that follows:

Why? Why me? Why now? Oh no this can’t be happening, it can’t happen now! This is going to spoil my plans. What’s wrong? I bet it’s because … . This reaction that follows is often how we experience pain. We don’t actually feel it or at least we’re not present with it.

Why would I want to be present with pain?

After all, it’s so uncomfortable! “I don’t like it.” “I hate it.” We look for who’s fault it is. We look for someone or something to blame. That’s often why we go to the doctor: to be able to blame someone or something.

You have arthritis. You’re old. You have a pinched nerve. You have a condition known as … .

Do you find it easier to blame someone or something as opposed to taking a closer look at yourself and seeing that maybe this is the culmination of how you’ve been living your life?

Pushing yourself constantly

Having unreasonable expectations

Being hard on yourself

No joy, just work

Being dishonest with yourself

Trying to make yourself fit so that you’ll feel accepted

Avoiding things/Procrastinating

Holding grudges

Living anything BUT your authentic self

Holding onto parts of yourself that don’t serve you anymore

Being able to be aware of when we’re doing these things is the gift of pain, tension and other bodily feelings. If we shut them down, if we’re not present with them, we will not become aware that we’re living with a false sense of reality.

When I look at the list above, I can see how I have lived each one of those and how my body has held tension because of them. We ask so much of our bodies. 

I can also see how I have learned from my body to express more of my authentic self. I can catch myself much more quickly when I’m expressing old patterns and I can shift out of them by shifting my body’s awareness, tension and energy.

If you’d like to learn how to feel and be present with your body more, come and join me on Thursday, July 11th for the Rise and Shine class!

Let me tell you a story
The meaning we give