In our fast-moving society, we want to be able to have quick-fixes. It seems like we’re either moving away from something or moving towards something all the time. When we are confronted with pain, we remind each other that the strong learn to “live with it” and move on.
Others, who are not strong enough, may resort to quick fixes such as taking medicine, consuming alcohol, or using drugs in order to find relief. You can see this from the millions of people who continue to ruin their health by smoking cigarettes to relieve pain. This is why cigarette companies have also made billions of dollars through victims of pain by giving smokers a chance for five minutes or so to “escape reality”.
Besides “learning to live with it,” getting help from peers, going through emotional tantrums, or resorting to medicines, alcohol, or drugs, there is another way to finding relief, but it is probably the most unpopular way to do so. This is usually because it’s the hardest thing to do at first, and that answer is to accept pain.
Have you ever heard that all pain is “self-created”? Think about this for a minute. Who is the self? The self is your mind and everything it identifies with including the memories you have had in the past and the thoughts you want in the future. Pain happens when we absorb ourselves in the past of the future and resist what is happening in the moment
Here are some examples:
- You ask a person out and they reject you then you start resenting them. You experience pain.
- You walk up to a person and they start yelling at you then you yell back. You experience pain.
- You remember a moment of how badly you were treated in high school. You experience pain.
- You realize that you cannot afford to pay an apartment bill on time. You experience pain.
- You do not like how you look at wish to no longer live. You experience pain.
Are all these thing self-created? Yes, because the self is the mind. Your mind is creating all these things in order to resist and try to escape what’s real. What is real? Your emotions can give you an indication of what is real and what isn’t. Whenever you feel pain, your mind is in a state that’s not real. Whenever you are at peace, everything becomes real.
Why do you think getting rejected by somebody else, getting yelled at by somebody else, getting treated badly by somebody else, not being able to pay an apartment bill on time, or not liking the way you look causes pain? It’s not really the situation, it’s what your mind makes of the situation and this causes you to feel all sorts of anxiety, frustration, anger, and depression.
But what is really going on here? Is it the situation that is the bigger issue or the negative emotion that is the bigger issue? Usually, the mind feeds off of negative emotions by creating more self-inflicting thoughts which create more negative emotions which create more self-inflicting thoughts and this becomes a dangerous cycle that really was not meant to be in the in the first place.
What if you could go through all of these things and be at absolutely peace with yourself, would they still be of an issue? Some of the necessary things we need in order to survive such as paying the bills would still be an issue, but this could be more rationally solved if you were at peace. If you’re overweight, going into frustrated complaining mode isn’t going to relieve the situation.
You would feel better if you accept the body you have right now and then find a solution to rational solution to lose weight. The example of somebody yelling at you would be better resolved if you did not yell back at you and moved on with your life as there would be no resistance and thus no argument. The first two problems involving memories of the past don’t exist; they only exist in the mind.
To find relief from pain, you have to realize that your mind is causing pain. It causes pain when you try to resist what is. What is is what is happening right now. Look around you right now. Look at the walls around you, look at your hands, look at the mirror, and as you are doing this don’t think of another thought.
For example, when I look around my room, I see a bookshelf filled with books, a wooden table on one side, a small mattress, and a tall lamp. These things are all real and the remind me of the moment that I am in. I’m not somewhere created in my mind, which is sometimes pleasurable to do, at the end of it, it just creates pain because I realize that’s somewhere I’m not when I come back to looking at the bookshelf filled with books, the wooden table on one side, the small mattress, and the tall lamp.
That’s what most people do though. They think of the future, they think of the past, but they don’t accept the moment they are in because the moment they are in can be painful already. Why would anybody want to experience pain? Experiencing pain leads to suffering, and suffering leads to something beyond the mind. This is called consciousness.
Consciousness is being aware of everything that is going on around you. You are not trying to fake reality by letting your mind interfere. When you’re conscious and your mind starts to interfere, you become aware that it is interfering. When your emotions are start to happen, you are aware that your emotions are start to happen. When you experience pain, you are aware that you are experiencing pain. What happens when you experience pain enough? Eventually, it goes away because you are it.
You are no longer pain, but you are pain. Pain, discomfort, and other negative emotions happen when there is an incongruity between avoiding what is and accepting what is. Think of it as if there were two puzzle pieces and trying to fit them together, except one of the puzzle pieces is upside down. This causes pain as the harder you try to fit them together, the more complicated it seems, and the more pain you receive.
When you become conscious of everything that is going on around you and you accept what is, you rise beyond the mind. You realize that no matter how hard you try to fit that upside down puzzle piece with the right side up one, it’s not going to work. You flip the upside down puzzle piece one, and suddenly everything seems to make more sense now. You may even laugh at how ridiculous the situation seemed beforehand. You feel relieved.
So next time, when you feel pain, instead of resorting to just “living with it” and moving on, going into an emotional tantrum, or resorting to medicine, alcohol, or cigarettes, accept the pain for what it is.
Take some time and sit quietly. But don’t think so much. Be conscious and aware of whatever pain that’s happening with you because it’s trying to teach you a lesson here. And although you may not find immediate relief because you will be experiencing pain in the beginning, you will find something a lot more special in the long run, and that is peace within yourself.