PAIN part ONE
Pain? What is it, where does it come from, and how can we release it?
These are questions that many people ponder and live with day in and day out. Pain takes many forms and is known by many names. Pain can be emotional or physical. Some people deal with the pain in stride and accept it as a part of life. Others acknowledge pain for a type of feedback and move on. Some people are able to ignore the pain, or make it vanish as if by magic. Still millions of others suffer with pain and allow it to erode their quality of life. In this issue, we will explore pain and what it is, and invite readers to contribute their own techniques for coping with various pains of life, and in the next issue, we will begin to offer some techniques and ideas for dealing with this pain.
So, what do we mean by pain? Pain takes many forms in life. Most of us are familiar with the pains that accompany scrapes and bruises, traumas of the flesh that affect our body. The pain we feel here is a feedback from our nerves, and our body to STOP and take care of whatever it is that ails us. Pain can result in placing one’s hand on an open stove burner, or from unknown origins as with Fibromyalgia or phantom pains experienced by amputees. But the emotional pain we as humans often feel as the result of loss, anger, hurt or threat can be just as real and even more debilitating. But pain is, bottom line, a signal. It is a signal that something is wrong. It is a ruler or a thermometer we can use to tell us something is not quite the way it should be.
In the case of physical pains, as in the hand on the stove, we immediately respond by moving our hand. In this instance, pain is our friend! It is a useful barometer that tells us how to preserve our well being. In the case of physical pain with no apparent cause, chronic pain with all too apparent but ‘hopeless’ causes, or pains that stems from emotions arising from situations we seem to have no control over; the pain becomes a torment rather than a friend. In these cases, we need some way to release, heal, get over or ignore this pain as a FIRST STEP ONLY toward overall wellness.
I say this is a first step, as even when there is no apparent cause, or the cause is not one we can affect a change in, we must remember that the pain is still telling us about some limitation. This limitation may be physical, mental, spiritual, emotional or psychological, but it is a limitation we must keep in mind so that we do not do further damage. For instance- if we feel pain do to a hurtful break up, and we magically erase that pain, jump into a new relationship of the same nature with the same tools as before, we can be insured the same outcome. If we mask the pain so we can objectively examine the past, alter out perceptions and our anticipated actions of the future- we can learn from all of this. In this way, we move on- into a new and better future.
If the body has suffered some strain that causes great pain when the arm, for instance, is moved a certain way- we can certainly find way of shutting off that pain using hypnosis, NLP, drugs, magnets or any number of traditional or alternative therapies. However, if we move the arm too soon, or in a manner it is not ready to deal with, we may do MORE damage that we remain clueless about due to the masked pain. Later, when we find that the arm is not permanently damaged, we are too late- all simply because we have ignored feedback that WAS in fact trying to tell us something. Mask the pain, and then allow the arm to rest and heal- and we have the best of both worlds.
Understand that pain- or as we will call it for the bulk of this text, discomfort, feedback, stress, pine, and other names- is a complicated EXPERIENCE. It is not a thing. It is not a substance. All perceptions of discomfort are strategies that we go through- they are internal representations that include not only the physical aspects that make up the experience, but also our thoughts, programs, memories and judgments.
We experience discomfort not only as present pain, but past remembered pain and future anticipated pain, and all forms of these discomforts are equally useful and equally damaging.
And so… until next time, I invite you to consider what forms of discomfort you have in your life, what are the causes (real or supposed) what you already do to handle those pains, and what would your life be like without them.
If you care to share you thoughts until next issue, I will try to address or include them anonymously with the next newsletter.