The Path of Pain

We humans strive to separate ourselves from emotional pain, to protect ourselves from the physical discomfort of it. We run from it because it hurts, we loath it because hurting equates, in our subconscious mind, to death, and we fear it because, to us, death is the ultimate loss that we wish to forget. We blame others for our pain, then, so that we don’t have to feel the ache. We do not allow ourselves to open to it so that it can lead us to enlightenment. We do not accept it as part of who we are.

For, if pain is part of who we are, we think, doesn’t it follow that “who we are” hurts? And if who we are hurts, doesn’t that make us wrong in some way? And if we're wrong, isn't that proof that we're bad? And, since we're bad, doesn't it follow that we don't deserve to be alive? In this cycle of unworthiness, pain is held responsible for our suffering, and we run.

We desperately want to believe what we intrinsically know to be true: that we are, ultimately, perfect. What we don’t want to believe is that pain is the only path to the experience of that perfection. And so, in our ignorance, we push pain away. We never give ourselves the chance to experience the perfection of who we really are, underneath all our of fear-based conditioning.

Rejecting pain closes our eyes to wisdom. If we become angry with another, and we refuse to go within, we miss the opportunity to understand the story behind that anger, and to see what lies beneath it. If we become sad, and we run, we feed into our reliance on the past, we subvert the present, and we ignore the inner beauty that fosters our personal growth. If we judge, and do not follow the judgement back to its origin, we cannot clear our false beliefs about our own worth and, as such, we are unable to witness the love that defines us.

Pain is not an accident. It is not a mistake. It is not an oversight. It is not an interloper. Pain is a part of the soul. As important as breath, pain is the alarm system of the heart that shows us what needs to be seen and known. As such, it cannot be denied.

When we stop believing that pain is an entity outside of us, and learn to welcome it as a part of the human experience that plays an enormous role in our well-being, we will stop fearing it. When we stop fearing pain, we will stop fearing its onset. When we stop fearing its onset, we will stop fearing one another. When we stop fearing one another, we will be free.