Wisdom of the Ouch
"There's no cure, except the retreat into love.
See the friend directly, or burn in longing for Him-
what does the whole world mater, apart from that?" ~Rumi
For many years (and still today for hours and half days) I spend time running from the pain I feel. Because my life is so full of love and support who am I to feel pain? Because if I feel pain that somehow disqualifies all the hard work I've done all these years. Because divorcing suffering was one of the best things I've done and pain reminds me of suffering so ... I've got a bad case of spiritual bypass folks.
Lately I started wondering again... what is pain anyway? How does it do that thing that it does- connect us from this world to the next? When we are physically hurt or birthing a child it's obvious what pain is. This primal call that makes us human and carries us over thresholds. In moments of deep truth when I had no choice but surrender fully to a moment of pain I've seen beautiful things. I've seen the light and those honest to God angels I always talk about. I think I began on a spiritual path to stay away from the pain that was buried inside only to find out that becoming "embodied" hurts. That getting real and free and courageous comes from being with what is.
Becoming embodied asks that we look at our own hearts and ask the questions that we usually blame others for. We don't come to her for answers as much as a way, a place to be. To explore and discover new ways, old wisdom. A place inside to trust and build a relationship with. Like any relationship and just like the moon with the heart there will be many phases.
On my journey into the fire of the heart I spent many healing sessions completely engulfed in pain. There were times as my heart opened that my hands became temporarily paralyzed. Unable to open regardless how badly I wanted them to. Other times my body would need to move or flail or tense up and then release. I would need to masturabate after them sometimes to release some of the energy I felt moving through me. I had stayed small for so long that my body for years needed a special time and place to safely open. It was almost like my heart was speaking through the movements my body was making.
Some say that pain is weakness leaving the body. That feels true to me except I don't know if I would call it weakness. Coping mechanisms, ways my ancestors learned to deal with immense pain and traumas maybe.
I "know" our ability to experience pain is directly linked to the phenomenon of joy. So much so I've let myself scream loudly in the shower tapping into the feelings of loss this heart has endured. Yet still in moments the frustration or anger covers up this very useful human feeling ... pain.
I still run from pain when it comes because for a long time I was lost inside it as my only reality. Letting it drive while I changed the radio stations, feet out the window cigarette in hand. We got pretty far on that ride, pain and I. We had some great times together to be honest. As long as pain was driving I didn't have to feel her. She was separate from me and for a long time that served. We had a wild time, pain and I. Until one day we stopped for gas and pain went to go grab a Red Bull and never came back. Not at least the way she had been there driving all along.
I waited and waited, flirting with the truckers and whomever pulled up to get gas. Between distractions I wanted pain to come back and take the wheel so badly. I felt fine and even kinda happy but I had no idea how to drive. We made our way to some beautiful places and even with some great people. I always made them drive.
it this day no one came to drive, not even ol' trusty pain. So I got out of the car, went around and hugged everyone I saw at the gas station for blessings and sat down in that seat pain had been occupying all along. At first I felt terror and was paralyzed and I could barely press my foot down. All I could think was .. "I don't know, I don't know... I can't."
When I began to drive I did it the only way I knew how, from 0-100. I mustered up the guys put my liberation bikini and baseball hat on and went as fast as I could until I crashed and burned that car and everything in it.
I was now in the drivers seat with no car and pain it ends up didn't go away, she got louder in my heart. She began to push everything close to us far away so I could focus on her and what she needed. So I could stop and feel the warmth and love of the fire we were inside. She kept me up long nights in tears as she purified all the ways I was done living. The ways of being I had carried since I was in the womb and perhaps before.
I had been sober about 4 years but was in detox. A pain detox. A co-dependent relationship detox. An I'm not good enough, let me carry all of your baggage so I don't have to feel my own detox. Naturally being birthed again at the age of 34 was not all wildflowers, squats and avocado toast. Although they helped a ton.
Very slowly over time a good Godddess I want to live cry began to emerge. Emerge from pain. A voice that sounded different than the one I'd always had. I knew the thoughts that were telling me otherwise we're not mine and I had to do the only thing I could. I had to learn how to care about me the way I cared about others.
Some waves crash down so hard so we can wash up on the shore with a truly new perspective. Sowmwaves we wouldn't willingly choose to swim in. But those waves are the ones we learn how held by grace we always are.
I wanted to share this because as much as I don't allow my pain to drive this babemobile anymore (for too long anyway), I want to invite her in with grace. I want to allow her to come in and connect me to being alive when she needs to. I want her to keep me humble.
In moments I feel how she softens and guides me into the compassionate nature of the heart. I want to not feel like such an alien for feeling so much all the time. I want to learn to love and accept this part of myself, not only for the ways it helps others but also for the ways it helps me.
I ran for a long time and then I stopped. Every time I let in the grief and made a commitment to staying awake no mater how hard the emotion I was met with pain yes but also with profound presence, support, love and honest to god angels.
The honest to god angels that can giggle with my tears. The angels that know the wisdom in the ouch.