We had a rough patch this weekend. It didn’t last long, but in the course of events my son’s energy got small. And then he retreated to a story of a recent disappointment that had nothing to do with the experience at hand.
This was interesting to watch, because attaching stories to feelings is a very natural coping technique. In this case the trigger was unrelated to the story, though. He was clearly feeling badly about what was happening within our family, and then seemed to fall into a victim mode of saying he was feeling bad about a recent event.
This got me thinking: What if the opportunity is to simply see the pain and acknowledge it for what it is - a feeling of fear or pain - and then taking great care to acknowledge the feelings flowing happening in the body, rather than using the head to assign a story. Or, perhaps to see both: the pain and the story, if it arises. And then, to see that they are unrelated.
Because sometimes fear simply cycles. Pain cycles. It’s like the weather - on a random Monday morning sometimes fear is activated in my body. It is deeply uncomfortable when it happens, and I retreat to my head and the stories in order to avoid the feelings in my body. But instead, maybe it’s enough to honor the pain cycling through my body without my mind getting involved, trying to figure something out, assigning blame, or creating a story of the meaning.
I was thinking about this experience as I was walking through the woods this morning. And then I noticed that my fear was cycling and that there was a fear, or a story, attached to the feeling of fear.
Aha! An opportunity to practice what I had just observed in him.
And so, as I walked I narrated what was happening in my body: I feel fear. I feel pain. My pain cycle is activated. I feel puny, I feel vulnerable.
And then: I take complete responsibility for honoring this pain. I take complete responsibility for honoring the feelings present in my body in this moment.
And then: Archangel Sandalphon, help me know my personal power to turn this pain over to the Divine. To transmute this pain into wisdom.
And then: Archangel Sandalphon, I see that I am taking the actions of another person personally. Remind me of the times I have behaved blindly, out of my own narrow gaze and pain. Allow me to see everyone involved in this situation (the story) with compassion. Compassion and wisdom. Allow me to see what within me is ready to be healed, that enabled me to take someone’s behavior personally.
And finally, something very interesting happened. As I walked the feelings within my body transmuted into something else: sadness.
As I walked and acknowledged the feelings cycling in my body, honored the fear, and then handed it over to the Divine, it somehow began to change. Underneath the fear was a deep sadness. A deep and ancient sadness of the world. This sadness calibrated to all the pain of all the experiences of all the people of all time. Sadness for the pain we have caused others. Ancient sadness, so much more than my own story.
It resonated deep within my belly, and I somehow knew that it was ancient, not mine, and resided below the human plane. It was perhaps what triggered my pain, it was the original kernel that found a pathway to my fear. This pain elicited a tenderness and compassion within me. Tenderness for the universal pain experienced by all.
This, too, I turned over to the Divine.
And somehow, witnessing the universal human pain at it’s source and opening it up to the Divine somehow healed it. A channel felt created between the subterranean Universal pain of the ages and the Divine, and once this channel was opened up the pain was healed at its source.
And then, just like that, it was over. My awareness returns, slowly, from the experience but it is now restored, clean, and peaceful. I felt as thought I took the deepest to dive into universal pain, witnessed it, opened and connected it to the Divine, and then healed it.
This feels like a divine power, to heal myself.
Norma Van Horn