“So many people get judged when they refuse to put their pain away. They get judged for showing it, for speaking it, for insisting on sharing their memories of abuse with those they know. I am not talking about those who overwhelm strangers with their stuff- I am talking about legitimate sharings with those they are connected with in daily life, including those who abused them. All too often, they are fed one repressive message or another: “Don’t look back,” “What’s done is done,” “Don’t be a victim,” “Your feelings are an illusion,” “Be strong.” What is ironic about this is that those who insist on embodying and expressing their feelings are actually the brave ones- unwilling and unable to live a false life. Their stuff is breaking through their defenses because they are tired of carrying the weight of buried truths. They want a healthier and more authentic life. Those who seek to shame their revealing are actually less courageous- turning to repressive mantras in an effort to bypass their own unresolved feelings and memories. If they can shut others down, they can remain shut down themselves. But shut down doesn’t take us anywhere good. If we don’t deal with our stuff, it deals with us.” Jeff Brown
The questions are among the words above. Discuss Jeff Brown’s beliefs and Idea’s about how we can share our shadow or not with the “real” world. I resonate with this because I have had this experience over and over again as I traveled my path!
What is pain?
It seems to cover a wide class of different things.
At one level there is the pain that brain creates for mind to experience. This seems to be a set of systems from deep evolutionary time, evolved to give a strong negative reinforcement to brains – to ensure that most of the time we get the message – “NOT HEALTHY – DON’T DO THAT AGAIN”.
I’ve had quite a few different pains, as I’m sure most of us had. Drove a garden fork through my foot as a kid – that hurt; got an infection that blew me up so I looked like the “Goodyear Man”, and spent a few hours paralysed, unable to alter the pain in every muscle, every joint; jumped off a roof onto a weather board with a 3″ rusty nail sticking up – that hurt, both going in and coming out, and for the next 4 days as my foot swelled to the size of a football, and every heartbeat was like a sledgehammer blow; cancer tumours can be very painful, and it doesn’t ease up; had three fingernails torn off by a chainsaw – that wasn’t much fun, understand why pulling fingernails was an effective form of torture; lots of skin lost to motorcycle accidents; a few serious burns; a few broken bones; several poisoning episodes; asphyxia, knocked unconscious.
Had a bit of the other sorts of pain too. As a kid, got rejected and picked on by lots of people, often, from school yard bullies to high school headmasters (different sort of bully), and many others. Most sorts of injustice you can think of – examples of them, emotional loss, pain of many sorts and flavours.
I don’t like pain.
I don’t seek it out.
I don’t let it stop me doing anything that seems to me needs doing.
Agree with FOS that it doesn’t pay to bottle stuff up inside, and pretend it isn’t there.
Doesn’t work to let fear rule us.
Doesn’t work to refuse to accept any aspect of reality – not just the stuff that happened, but our emotional responses to that.
What works is to accept what is, as it is and as it isn’t – to the best of our limited human abilities.
Agree with Mendy that to a very large degree, we are our own creations, and the more aware we become of the very many levels that exist within us, and the many systems within each level, the more creative power gain. Most cultures had developed approximations that were useful within particular stories; modern science offers whole new levels of clarity and power, and the system seems to be potentially infinitely recursive, so don’t expect any sort of final or complete answers – ever. The evidence I have from my investigations of the nature of systems, and the mathematics of infinities, leads me to treat any claims of “Truth” with great suspicion.
Agree with Judy, that we must be able to face and experience our hurts, to become master of them. So long as we allow their fear to dominate us, we are controlled by them. I love Frank Herbert’s Dune quote, from the Bene Gesserit litany against fear “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Agree with Deb, that we must be conscious of our audience when we speak, and speak to the highest within everyone.
Agree with OM that we are social animals, and that we can develop many levels, many views, many aspects.
It seems to me that in a very real sense, pain is illusion. Experientially it is real enough in one sense, yet in another sense, it is only neurons firing.
It usually carries information. Accept the information, be informed by it, and let the rest go.