In this post I would like to address physical pain, the one that comes with injuries and illnesses. I will address in my next post the emotional pain of depression. Something I got far too familiar with for many years and where I still see so many people around me struggling with.
I want to write about physical pain because last week, coincidentally on Friday 13th, I pulled my calf muscle. Now I am not superstitious, I find that superstition does not go with faith and spirituality but I understand and use astrology to guide me through phases. And it so happens that the full moon in Cancer on the 12th called for tensions and frictions and started a cycle of journey into the Self. Should you be interested in knowing more about it I posted an excellent astrology article from Wake up World on my facebook page.
I addressed physical discomfort and illnesses in my post Becoming who you are meant to be: Part 1 – listen to your body. I referenced the work of Lise Bourbeau whose books provide very useful tools in understanding the message of our bodies. In my specific case the calves obviously have to do with our ability to move forward. I had been experiencing several pains located there for a couple of weeks but, despite the wisdom I try to share in my posts, I remain a human being stuck in a physical body with my flaws and limitations. One of them is being determined… which is good… until it manifests as a form of stubbornness… which is less good. I didn’t listen to my body as, like most of us in the new year, I was eager to resume my daily exercise to shed the weight of the holiday season… and I pulled my calf muscle.
Needless to say I was in quite some pain but mostly I was frustrated and angry. My beginning of year was a bit rocky and I had put all my energy to get back to a positive, uplifting mood and exercise plays definitely a big part in it. Incapacitated, I had my moment of anger towards the Powers that Be in the form of: ‘What the f… do you want from me? I am trying to be well and positive!!!’ and then it hit me:
Being in pain automatically focuses us on ourselves, pulls us inwards instead of being directed at the outside world.
Being incapacitated forces us to slow down (literally!), change our routine and fill it with different things. In my case the message of the calf was not so much an incapacity to move forward rather than a will to move too fast and burn the steps.
The thing is the Universe has its own timing. Strength, determination and awareness of what needs to be done is great. But it needs to happen in its own time and that is something we are not in control of.
As such, pain is intimately connected to the notion of time. We cannot close our eyes and wish it away, we have to go through it. How long is actually not relevant, albeit frustrating, it is the process that is relevant. The process of acknowledging it, accepting it, understanding why it is here and what it has to teach us, slowing down, going inwards.
There is a distinct difference between intellectually knowing what needs to be done for us to (hopefully) reach enlightenment and getting there. I know I have to let go but it does not mean I know how to do it consistently. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail and feel I have gone backwards but it is not true. The simple fact of trying, trying again is what will take me there. The result and the time it takes is irrelevant.
There are things we cannot rush. We need to internalise them, make the learnings and revelations our own. Feel them, integrate them until they become part of who we are.
Pain connects us back to our body. We are a being in three parts: body, mind and soul and our soul does not talk to us through our mind that is far too busy constantly processing the data, fears and worries linked to our reality. Our soul talks to us through our body. When we are in pain we are forced to connect back to our body. Learn how to walk again… Somehow it is like a rebirth where we are forced to do the steps we normally do without even thinking about it and, this time, think about it, feel it. Slowly. Appreciate the fact that we can actually walk and be prepared to run again but, this time around, in full consciousness.
Pain is always an indication that we need to change our life or something about it because it is the way we are living it that hurts us.
And it is only when we experience physical pain, injury or illness, that we are forced to look at ourselves and, if we are courageous enough, take the necessary steps to stop the pain.
In that respect I find that the Western world and related medicine has still a lot to learn. Dealing with the symptoms, taking drugs to ‘feel better’ only works for a bit. If we do not address the core blockage that it is linked to, in our lifestyle, in our priorities, in our souls, there are little chances we will truly heal.
Pain also offers us the opportunity to do different things. In my case, not being able to walk properly and do any form of exercise left me with much more time to read and discover new things. It forced me to rest more and by doing so allowing messages from the incredible invisible world around us to make its way to me.
Truth is, we need to look more inwards and less outwards to the outside world and what it is giving or not to us. Understand ourselves. Who we are, what we want, who we want to be and how to get there.
Pain is just a message of our soul. A warning. Pain is not here to punish us but on the contrary to liberate us.
Does it mean that when we are fully liberated we will never experience any pain? I don’t know. I will tell you when I get there.