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The Gift of Pain

As Steven Levine succinctly stated, “Pain sucks.”

It makes us pay attention. Pain means tissue damage. We are getting injured, and we need to know.

Any pain, however tiny, is still pain. It still means we are getting injured. Finding ways to block the pain messages (drugs, dissociation) leaves us vulnerable to more damage.

“No Pain, no gain” is a familiar saying. It’s nonsense. Pain means inefficiency, waste, resistance, struggle, inaccuracy, overload. None of these are helpful.

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When we feel pain, we flinch, wince, grimace and recoil. These are all actions that spend our physical resources on something other than the task at hand.

Pain tells us when we are off track. Action that is 100% effective is joyous. When we ignore pain, we override our discernment.

Learning to work without pain can take practice and attention. We have been drilled in the art of denial and self destruction. To get a clearer perspective, we have to put time in accepting our pains, and all sensations, just as they are. This could be formal meditation, or it could simply be moments when we stop and let ourselves feel.

The next time something is frustrating, try pausing for a breath. Check in with your physical sensations. Let go of whatever task or external concerns you have been focusing on, just for a moment. Notice if you are comfortable and relaxed. Notice where and discomfort is located. That might be very clear, or it might be vague. Stay with it, and you will gain a bit more accuracy. Over time, with repetition, this gets faster and more powerful.

August 15, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment