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The Purpose of Emotional Pain
|Emotional pain burns, that's for sure. Like fire it can bring total devastation leaving a desert in in's wake.
But it could also be thought of as cleansing. Out with the old, in with the new. And in a controlled environment it can be beautiful, comforting and purposeful. To be revered. This is how Mindjoga teaches us to look at our internal pain. And does not the phoenix rise out of fire?
''The metaphorical knife through the heart can be as painful as and leave scars as deep as the hand burned on the hot stove. But because we can't see it, and truthfully, because we don't fully understand it, often that injury just gets passed over''
When you put your hand accidentally on a hot stove what happens? Three things.
· Nerve receptors send messages from the hand to the brain and back and you pull it away PDQ
· TEND TO THE WOUND.
· Learn not to put our hand there again.
We can clearly see the purpose of all pain is learning what not to do again, what threatens our being. Survival.
But when we feel the knife through the heart? What do we do?
· Nerve receptors send messages from the hand to the brain and back and we react with stress.
· We brood, play the injury over and over again in our minds
· We often go back for more
Why don't we learn as we do with physical pain?
Why do we brood instead of tending to the invisible wound?
||Cast your mind back to when you were young and what happened when you did something cute & clever? Yes! Accolade, attention, acknowledgement, acceptance. Connection. Love.|
Now think about a time when you felt bad. Maybe in the supermarket with mum. She said no to that chocolate bar placed right under your nose. You REALLY wanted it. You cried. You were angry with her. Frustrated. You showed it. Accolade? No! Acceptance? No! Love? No! Attention? Maybe, but not in a good way! Behave. Stop crying
Push that sadness down. Push that anger down. Hide it away. It doesn't belong here.
Unwittingly mum has just helped you start the potential growth of illness in your body and bank of toxic negative energy to cause pain for a lifetime. Nobody's fault. But everybody's responsibility.
We have learned from an early age that negativity is unacceptable in society. So we push it down, keep it hidden.
The good news is, it is ALWAYS still possible to fix this. We just need the tools to do it.
|Why do we suffer such high levels of emotional pain these days?
The simple answer is because technology has evolved faster than humanity can and this advancement has created a LOT of stress triggers in our lives.
Take the stone-age man for example. His stresses would come and go. Sabre tooth tiger would appear, the situation would be resolved by our automatic flight or flight reaction; then his body would come back to balance. It might be days before another tiger appeared.
And really nothing else in his life would be too stressful. He didn't have our deadlines
. Or even a clock for that matter! The demands of his kids would be pretty simple, he wouldn't have a mortgage. His food came from the ground. He didn't have to worry about his bank balance.
|Look at how these same things affect us in modern life. We're literally stressed all the time, every few minutes, or every few hours if we're really really lucky. There's constant sources of stress in our day. A constant number of things threatening who we have to be, where we have to be, how we have to present ourselves to fit in. |
How we even find the basics for survival is fraught with stress.
We are as stressed as the level we are out of control of our lives.
And, of course, the majority of people's lives have come to be controlled by the banks.
To the stoneage man, stress would be a special occasion. He would recognise his stress because he did not feel that way often, the rush of adrenalin, the palpitations, heart pounding, alarms going off in the brain. The work of Robert Sapolsky, professor of biology and neuroscience at Stanford University comparing human stress to that of animals in the wild shows very much the same.
Stress really only is the body's response to the mind's reaction to whatever is going on in the moment
Why don't we learn from emotional pain the same way we learn from physical pain? The answer is in the need. Take the physical burn. We know the treatment. People will rally round with cold water and sympathy. Balm and bandages. We receive attention, understanding, advice, we feel acknowledged in our pain. Nurtured, loved.
But with an invisible wound, the knife through our heart, people don't really know what to do. Attention wanes and while the physical burn heals with love and fresh air, the invisible wound is pushed down to fester in the dark. The pain is unresolved. Cracks in the heart still open. And where we avoid the hot stove next time, we tend to end up in the same emotional pain over and over.
We all know that doing the same thing over and over again gets the same results right? So why do we keep putting our hearts back in the position of pain? How can we learn from a burn from a hot stove but not from a burn to the heart?
Because there is no NEED in the physical burn. We can go through life without 3rd degree burns on our hands. But we can't go through life without love. And a huge part of love is unconditional ACCEPTANCE.
And that metaphorical knife through the heart which makes us feel as if we could die just as if it were the real thing is always about REJECTION of some kind. If we keep going back time and again creating patterns in our life it is because we are looking for love and connection and acceptance because there is a real need which threatens our survival just as much as physical injury can. The death from lack of love is much much slower than the death from lack of air or food or water. We might hardly notice it in someone.
Love is as essential as air, water, food. It's survival.
Intrinsically it is worth the risk.
Research shows that orphans born, fed, watered, changed but left without hugs & kindness; die.
So our knife through the heart is a thwarted wanting. Of hugs, acknowledgement, affirmation, attention, accolade. We all seek to be lit up like little glow worms. To feel happy, loved, ACCEPTED. WHOLE
And what's the solution to end the debilitating cycle of emotional pain?
To first love ourselves so we will never feel lack.
When we practice Mindjoga we begin to see that we do not need the other to love us because the other is us. We begin to feel part of a whole and clearly see the sense in loving ourselves first. When we do this we become extremely fit emotionally and from there are able to love others in the way we love ourselves.
A weak heart receives the knife through it very easily. A strong heart is like trying to put the knife into marble.
How do we get to the point where we think of the knife in our heart as the hand on the hot stove and learn from it in the same way? That previous pain of the knife through the heart is stopping us from feeling loved, finding love, acceptance, accolade from others. Very different situations trying to respond with the same reaction over and over.
How can we change that so that we all can find love and acceptance and accolade and feel good about ourselves?
Firstly we have to see the pain as a blessing. The stoneage man's opportunities to evolve were few and far between. But even then, surviving the first sabre tooth tiger attack he would most certainly be looking at ways to increase his chances of survival next time. Hence the evolution to the iron age with it's tools (!)
The blessing in our high tech, high stress, environment is that it offers us many many opportunities to evolve.
Evolution has obviously become a pressing thing for the Universe.
The symptoms of emotional pain can range from sadness, withdrawal to high anxiety and anger. When we become aware that these, just like physical pain is simply an opportunity to learn we can begin to change the way that we react.
Like the hand on the hot stove requires a very quick reaction so with the knife to our heart. The reaction just allows us to repeat what we've always done.
But doing the same thing over and over again just brings the same results. When the hand meets the hot stove we pull away with the same reaction which will always minimise the damage. The same thing is happening when the knife goes into our heart. Only we need to evolve that reaction in order to evolve to our new high tech, fast paced lives.
How do we do that? With Mindjoga we hijack the reaction in the moment before the nerve receptors kick in. Take control of your emotional pain
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