Owning Our Pain By Mary Cook, M.A., R.A.S.
Enslavement to craving renders mature, healthy, spiritual thinking and behavior impossible. Craving comes from feeling incomplete. We are incomplete when we refuse to see parts of ourselves.
We are incomplete when we imagine our pain is unique, or too small or too great to be healed. We are incomplete when we perceive a particular feeling or experience as our identity or our life.
We are incomplete when we believe our problems and solutions are outside of us. We are incomplete when we fail to see our connection with others or with our God. All of this belies and grossly underestimates who we truly are.
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Denial of our whole, real self gives rise to a false self that focuses on possessions, power and prestige. We try to make permanent what is inherently transient and wonder why peace eludes us. All of life is in continual flux. To attempt to make constant what we think gives us joy is a blind, massive effort in futility.
We carry the pressure and weight of our unhealed pain through addictions, compulsions, eating disorders, physical illness and violence.
We are ignorant, impatient, intolerant and desperate to hide emotions we fear through anger, control and distractions. We create illusions about ourselves, others and life to protect us from the original and subsequent painful truths that escalate beyond measure.
We falsely believe that defenses and offenses protect us from emotional pain, instead of realizing that they create more conflict. We attack anything that threatens our walls of imprisonment, thinking the enemy is external when we have made war with ourselves.
All variations of joy and misery are inside us. To know we are angry, hurt, rejected or sad, we must have experienced peace, helpfulness, acceptance and happiness.
To appreciate abundance, compassion, courage and health, we must have experienced deprivation, suffering, fear and sickness.
These are universal feelings. When we accept and understand their arrival and departure, they are a normal part of our human experience. When we over-empower them however, we begin a battle we can’t possibly win.
When we judge and condemn certain feelings and fervently attach ourselves to other feelings, we suppress truth and the maturation and resolution it imparts.
We endow people, places and things with the power to produce feelings we desire and feelings we detest. Once again we falsely believe the enemy is external, and anger and frustration intensify.
The conditions for peace are to acknowledge all that we are and all that we have done. We cannot change what we refuse to accept.
We cannot meet a goal if we lack a starting point. We cannot surrender what we have not owned and understood.
The machinations of ego and self-will don’t amend our core life experience, nor do they bring us serenity. Only spiritual transformation does that.
Fear of owning our pain means that the pain remains in its primitive form inside us and the consequences of pain dominate our life. Bullies need power over others to flee their personal demons. They cannot hold us hostage unless we ally with their fear.
Whether the bully is internal or external, the solution is to practice letting go of fear. We must relinquish our weapons of judgement, hate and vindictiveness. We must transcend our liabilities of insecurity, inferiority and impoverishment.
Disarmament requires illumination. The power of addictions, character defects and defenses diminishes in the presence of insight. Our self-examination must be deep and discerning.
The task is to know ourselves fully and not confuse our identity or our life with any specific feelings or experiences.
Rather than fight for what we desire and fight against what we detest, we provide attention, interest, open-mindedness, patience, and time to reveal the origin and purpose of all of our feelings. This then precipitates a natural maturing process.
We require a thorough understanding of both our human flaws and our spiritual nature. This gives us humility interwoven with blessedness.
We are thus no longer compulsive and rigid but spontaneous and supple. Clarity is not found in doing battle. It is discovered in stillness and quiet contemplation.
Abundance does not come from greediness or grasping. It emerges from surrendering control and outcome in favor of divine purpose.
The smallest light of truth shines brightly against the darkness of denial. Once we see rightly, we cannot return to blindness.
No matter what our internal or external experience, our mission is profound. We can find and take the highest ground.
WWW.MARYCOOKMA.COM Mary Cook is the author of “Grace Lost and Found: From Addictions and Compulsions to Satisfaction and Serenity”, available from Amazon.com, etc.
Mary has 36 years of clinical practice and 29 years of university teaching experience. She is available for telephone and office counseling, guided meditation, and speaking engagements. Her Facebook page is:
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