Saturday, January 12, 2013

Painfully Lost in the Small View

Pain, loss, tragedy, frustration and embarrassment are part of our life stories, as much as growth, joy, delight, fascination, and ecstasy.

We seem to go through a spiraling pattern of evolution- bright, open, free turns and heavy, painful, withdrawn ones as well. However, pleasant and unpleasant are part of the same growth, the same path of enlightenment.
When the heavy, painful experiences are upon us, it is helpful to recall that the pain is from opening and letting go of these false or former realities that are no longer current. It is the pain of dying to the old idea of your life and who you are, and the restructuring of your view of reality in the light of new shifts and truths. Oh, that doesn't sound so bad, right? But the truth is, it is easy to get lost in the texture and terrain of the suffering when experiencing it.
The left brain/ego is concerned with past and future and fully absorbed in the up-close, individual experience. In painful experiences, it zooms in on the source of the suffering and obsesses on the tragedy of it all. It loops around over and over in the lament and agony, and feels so alive in the torment. The ego/individual self loves to affirm its own existence, because it is very insecure. It obsesses on solution and closure, even when only time and space can resolve the ache.
The solution is to spend more time in yoga practice, meditation, deep relaxation, creative expression, and in Nature, or in general in cultivating present moment awareness/mindfulness. Mindfulness is the experience connected with the right brain, it is the broad view, widening the lens of your attention, so that it no longer zooms in your suffering, but sees the suffering as only one part of your total current experience.
"Breathe, Feel everything, Let it go", I tell myself, and my students, frequently, "and respond honestly with what you experience." Honesty beckons us to let go of the unhealthy relationship, accept loss, forgive ourselves for making mistakes and to learn from them instead of beating ourselves up. Honesty makes us notice that the pain may be there, but there is also peace, there are also things to enjoy, there are also many blessings to count. Honesty reminds us that nothing lasts forever, so neither will this pain, and we can turn it into growth and personal development instead of feeling sorry for ourselves.
Its easy to sink into the heaviness of defeat, to feel sorry for ourselves, but that mood is only healthy once in each experience. Once the facts have permeated our awareness and shock is no longer necessary, the only humane way to resolve our suffering is to practice extreme self care and be present. Don't get sucked into the hole of depression, don't give in to self-pity, its like a drug. Its lazy. Its cheap. Its ugly. Instead, breathe, feel everything, let that moment go. Again, breathe, feel everything, let that moment go... And continue to move on with your healthy life.
Automatically get yourself present when you start to drift down that filthy hallway of "what if's" and reinventing the past, and other counter-factuals. "If" nothing, work on accepting Reality as it is but touching it in the present moment. Don't waste time worrying about the future, and "what will happen when..." Instead, immerse yourself completely in the moment at hand, the task at hand, the company at hand. Use self-care: take a walk, eat healthfully and not too little or too much, use techniques that bring you peace, and that bring you into the NOW.
...And an amazing thing happens.. The pain will slowly heal, like a cut heals, from the inside out.. And naturally the scab falls off, and then eventually you won't even see the mark anymore, or if you can, it certainly won't hurt, just remind you of a time and place and experience and lesson.
A story.. Part of your life story.. Not THE entire life story. So don't get lost in the close-up when you can soar above the total experience and feel so much more then just your pain.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

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