Can you imagine going for a root canal to the dentist and not having to have anesthesia? Or being able to bounce back from a loved one’s loss without a day after day reliving the suffering? While these scenarios may seem dramatically different, they have one thing in common— the ability to free yourself from the suffering that is usually tied to pain. You’re going to learn how in this article.
Most of us grow up learning to avoid pain. Based on this premise, we have entire industries. From painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet to mood drugs such as Xanax, Prozac, and Valium, doctors give prescriptions such as candy to help us deal with physical or mental-emotional pain.
Let’s be clear, if necessary, these drugs can provide welcome relief. In the short term, they can be helpful. Long-term solutions, however, are poor. Used as solutions, they end up covering up, perpetuating, and exacerbating your pain’s cause instead of addressing, resolving, and healing it.
What if you have an innate ability to transform how you relate to pain that not only relieves you from suffering, but heals the cause of your own pain? Let’s explore two fascinating insights and a technique for doing this!
Insight #1: Pain is a messenger
Let’s start by revising a basic pain premise. What if it’s a signal to alert you to pay more attention instead of pain being something to avoid? What if the purpose of pain is to recognize and act on something? What if there are significant messages of pain?
If this is so, then instead of distracting yourself from pain or killing it, recognizing it, turning to it, and trying to understand what it is asking you to do is important. Now, it may seem straightforward in the case of physical injuries. If you cut yourself while dicing vegetables, for example, it hurts, and this signals you clean the wound, apply pressure to stop bleeding, and use a bandage. This is probably all that is needed with a minor cut.
Yet, if you cut veggies in the future, you might also make a mental note to slow down and be more careful. You might have been rushing around feeling too much stress and not enough time to do it. If so, you may also recognize your need to prioritize — to let go of what’s not that important and focus on what’s, so you can take your time and be more aware of what you’re doing. So, you see, even a simple cut’s pain might contain vital information. Pain can bring insight if you pay attention.
This is particularly true with emotional pain.
Look at your Bill Pay and see that the checks were actually sent out for both months and cashed already! You choose to go in and chat with them. You will greet the instructor when you arrive at the school, who says nothing. You expected him to raise the issue of payment after the urgency of the text you received. So, you’re telling him about the text you got. He quickly and defensively replies, “Well, we must keep the doors open!”
You can learn to handle all kinds of pain without suffering if you practice this mindful approach. You can recognize pain, attend to its messages, take appropriate action, and let it go when the purpose of pain is fulfilled.