It’s been said that if our minds are not aware we are a sleep. What does that mean? Well it means we go through life moving from one thing to the next never truly being present. We physically are there but our minds are lost somewhere in the chaos of the untrained mind. It means we experience pain and we cover it up with something that may offer comfort. It means we spend time with our family and worry about what will happen tomorrow. It means we take medicine because our untrained mind is always anxious. Life will be like a dream that we have no control over because we have lost our connection with ourselves and the world.
The beginning of the pandemic I experienced more cravings for alcohol than I had in years, I was scared and anxious. Every cough, or sneeze, made me think I was going to die or my children would die. I’ve battled substance use disorder, anxiety disorder, and anorexia/Bulimia most of my life. This was all ways to stay a sleep instead of leaning in to the blessing that pain was trying to teach me.
This pushed me into the corner and right where I needed to be to become awake. To start investigating what I was avoiding and the beginning of the journey home to my heart and true self.
As humans even at the most basic instincts pain tells us what we need. For example when you eat to much you feel pain in your stomach that signals to the brain “hey you, stop eating.” When our muscles are sore it signals to the brain, “hey drink some water, or stretch.” And yet when it comes to emotional and mental pain we just ignore it or cover it up with some sort of self made experience. We think certain things will save us, maybe a marriage, a diet, material things. When really when looking deeper if we think they will make our life better we are mistaken. Only I can make my life better as I allow the pain to teach me how to respond differently to it.
What pain gives us is an opportunity to become aware. To look deep inside and see what we need and what our experience truly is. We should rejoice in pain instead of covering it.
What is the pain you are experiencing there to teach you? Can you sit with it and understand it? I was told to “make friends with my pain.”
Right now at the end of 2021 we all feel the pain and for some of us it’s causing an awakening to happen. We are returning to our roots and finding healing through the earth, movement, and the most powerful thing we have for healing our breath. For some people it’s doing the opposite pushing them into a sleep like state by taking to much medication, avoiding connection, and living in a fear based mentality. This is causing more painful mind states.
I remember a time when pain was so unbearable because I would not just lean into it. I wouldn’t eat for days, I drank to the point it almost killed me. I didn’t know who I was or why I was alive. Some of you may know this pain too. That pain was a gift for awakening. It was a calling card to look and see what was really going on and where I needed to wake up.
Pain is the great awakening. Lean into it and allow it to teach you.
The Buddha said. “Oh nobly born sons and daughters of the Buddha remember who you truly are.”
Many blessings to you in 2022 and may we all continue on the path of great awakening.