Pain Part 2
Pain is experienced by everyone differently, and I think that this is a good place to start. Each person experiences life through their own unique filters and strainers. These filters and made up of the thoughts, ideas, judgments, emotions and decisions we have made surrounding our personal life experiences and observations. Because of those, no two of us experience ANYTHING- but especially something as intimate as Pain, in exactly the same way that the person next to us does- and if we did, there would be no way of knowing that for certain. When we speak of pain, we must ask ourselves basically what this phenomena is, out side of the medical/ chemical components. What purpose does pain serve? Pain is an indicator. Pain is a sensation, emotion, judgment or thing we experiences that is meant to call our attention somewhere.
Emotional pain calls out attention to something that is not giving integrity to our souls. It waves a flag that says “wait… this is not “of the light.” This thing we have just been through, the emotions we are experiencing, are not nourishing our souls, but rather are depleting them in a way that is draining the light from our own spirit. It also calls attention to a lesson that we have chosen to learn or stumbled into, for one reason or another.
Mental Pain is that of toxic thoughts we think. Thoughts that make us go ‘round in circles in our minds, often preventing us from exploring or DOING the things we need to do. Mental pain takes the form of analysis we use to point back upon ourselves and often then turn things back around into emotional or physical pain. Mental pain is seldom noticed until it has affected one of the other two pain plains, but it is very real and we would do good to train ourselves to recognize what causes this mental pain before it manifests on one of the other levels.
Financial pain… Yes, it seems to me that we can experience a kind of financial pain, especially when we extend the metaphor of finances out to include out physical wealth (health) and our over all sense of stability. It makes us look at out concept of wealth, well-being and stability. It makes us call attention to how we respect or disrespect the resources we have been given and/or worked for. This includes natural resources such as air, water, oil and such. Our nation is feeling a sort of economic pain at the moment in the form of gas prices!
Physical pain is the one we are mostly familiar with. Touch the stove, get burnt, move your hand, learn a lesson! This is pretty straight forward. Here the cause for the physical pain is apparent, and on a pragmatic level anyone can see where this kind of thing is very useful. It helps prevent us from damaging this fragile shell that we parade around in. This type of pain is one that most of us live with, and on some level, we do so gladly. But what of the pains that seem to have no source, or which don’t go away. Fibromyalgia is a good example, as is endometriosis and many others forms of pain which do not seem to respond, universally, to any one treatment. In these cases, we need to examine some of the OTHER types of pains to get a better grasp on cause, lesson, and remedy.
C.L.E.A.R. thinking is a good acronymonic way to think about it. It stands for: Cause, Learning, Equity, Address, Remedy Thinking……
Cause- What is the cause of the pain both obvious and not. In this stage, it is a good idea to explore the obvious cause on an external level, and the inner cause. In other words, if you stick your hand on the stove, the obvious cause is that your hand is on the stove. The inner/ secondary cause is that you do not wish to burn your hand. Now, it is best to save THIS kind of analysis for AFTER your have remedied the situation- but in this kind of observation we see that this pain is useful. But- what about this scenario:
You have unexplained back pain- No physical cause… or perhaps, let’s say there IS a physical cause… you pulled it lifting a heavy box at work. So, the cause was the box….. or was it? What OTHER causes are involved here? Here are a few possibilities: Not wanting to ask for help. Fear of saying “I can’t.” Unwillingness to accept not being as “young” as you once were. There are MANY more such things.
In the case of fibromyalgia, there are various schools of thought. One says there is NO physical cause, therefore no real cure. One says it is a virus, another it is a yeast, another a bacteria- and on and on. But, what else…. It is also, an un-useful belief on the part of the patient that they must be free from this physical sensation in order to function. Now, I am not saying that it is UNREASONABLE to think that- but I am saying that there is an internal system at work that is also a part of the cause. If there was NO internal belief or preference that said you should be in comfort to function, then the “pain” here would be acknowledged, and the sufferer would move on.
Learning is next; it is valuable to ask what this pain can teach you. Is it there to tell you to: move your hand! Ask for help! Use more caution! Learn to ignore it and move on! Get out of that job you hate! Get out of that marriage you hate!
Equity considerations come next… That is, what do you have invested in this pain? Again- I am NOT trying to say that people who deal with life limiting pain are trying to keep it, on a CONSCIOUS level…. However, anyone who has “suffered” with a problem for any length of time has a lot of equity tied up in it. If nothing else, it is part of their identity, and until you examine what and how this pain has given to you, good or bad, and what you have invested in it… it will be harder to shake it!
Address each of those observations. Really get over yourself for a moment and ask what can you do, symbolically or metaphorically to let the pain know that you appreciate its lesson, but you are ready to remedy things and move on, if even metaphorically.
Remedy the situation by: moving your hand, fixing the marriage, getting a new job, asking for help, reading about controlling your body with your mind or WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO… and remember that if your THINKING is in the right place, your body and your life will follow suit.
So, take some time between now and next visit to explore whatever pain you have using this C.L.E.A.R. THINKING model, and next time we will focus on taking power away from the daemons that drive pain!