When a pain-based thought surfaces (instinctual, attack-oriented thinking that arises from emotional pain), we can choose where it goes. We can allow it to spin out of control as we create the identifiers, the who, what, where, when, and why, of our pain, or we can choose to follow the thought straight to the heart. We can say, “What are my thoughts trying to show me now?” We can follow them to the source, and allow our pain to be revealed. Rather than seeking retribution and restitution for our suffering, we can choose to simply sit with the hurt and allow it to be. We can trust that we are strong enough to survive. We can seek enlightenment within ourselves. We can seek what remains to be found.
In this act of self-care, we visit the pain that we have so often ignored. We no longer say, “I’m going to punish the other for making me feel the way I do.” Instead, we become curious about who we are, underneath the many layers of protection we have built. We examine the pain that, in the past, has lead us to blame, gossip, attack, and judge. We allow it to exist quietly and fully. We breathe with it while it introduces itself to us. And, with it, we expand, too. We grow with the wisdom of healed pain.
When we choose love over fear in this way, the thoughts that typically arise in moments of extreme emotion (anger, sadness, rage, jealousy, irritation, etc.) have the power to heal us and open us to innocence. By allowing them to do so, by choosing to follow them into the heart rather than into judgement, we reject the old-brain impulse to attack and fight. The pain that dwells in our hearts, then, is released, allowed to join the light, and allowed to transform into strength. With practice and attention, our instinct-driven, pain-based thinking can set us free.
We need not follow our thoughts into darkness. We need not search for a solution in the excoriation of another. We need not be trapped in the cycle of blame and denial.
We can choose to take a dramatic turn and follow our thoughts to the heart that holds them. We can choose to surrender to the pain and be thankful for the opportunity to do so. We can ask the universe for help when it becomes too difficult. We can breathe through each powerful feeling and come out the other side, intact. We can find peace in the very thing we often fear the most.