On feeling the pain

Conversation between Geli and Michaela 

M: Hi Geli

A: Hi Michaela

M: What would you like to talk about today ?

A:  I would like to contemplate on the following: Is it a prerequisite in the process of wakening to our genuine nature that we meet and experience our repressed pain?

M: I think the only prerequisite to awakening is to be ready to see and “meet” everything as it is. That includes feelings and pain. Of course, some experiences have been very painful and the memories of being hurt are hidden. It is like they are stored away somewhere in the basement. The egoic mind can pretend they are not there, but in reality they are festering.

A: I am asking because I was very resistant for a long time to really look within myself.
I can remember that I had recurring dreams, especially since I started following Eckhart´s teachings, of grand mansions where one or more rooms were locked. I knew this rooms were inhabited  by ghosts or evil spirits. Sometimes I felt them attacking the closed door from the other side. This was very menacing and I was shell shocked. I was quite surprised and relieved hearing John Welwood mentioning this kind of dreams which are pointing to repressed parts of our personality.
The dreams have stopped, since I experience eruptions of body sensations, which out of an reflex I first resist instantly.

M: I love your imagination and symbolism. My experience is usually much more direct and immediate. But it is true, the body talks to us in images. Sometimes it is easier to look at a symbol rather than the real thing. What is more, if something is coming up in a dream, the message usually includes the “solution” too. But it is often just too painful or frightening to really look at it. However, if you are ready to take the experience in your stride – which means to consciously accept the pain – then there is no more need for symbolism. It is what it is – blocked energy due to some old emotional trauma. It sits there and it hurts, because the energy cannot flow freely.

A: What I haven´t been able yet to figure out is, if there is a more gentle way to meet my pain – body. Usually it comes up in situations where I am busy doing something else, like shopping groceries or cooking. I would be very happy to find a way to let the pain within me get unpacked in a period of “alone-time”.
I was asking myself, if this means that I want to control the process?
But that is not really it. It is more a practical consideration. I often feel squeezed by the pain attacks, especially if they come out of me when I am not alone, or in public. It seems to be too complex for me to understand.

M:  I think I know what you are talking about. I had something similar for weeks – a constant nervousness and this tight feeling in my throat. Whatever I did, it would not dissolve. Until I realised that I wanted it to go away :-). Well, guess what – the more I “wanted” to get rid of it, the more it attached to me. So the solution was to just accept it and go right into the “feeling”. The trick was just to stay with it as long as it would take. I also do this when I build up resistance against someone, or when I am in public, or meet someone. Usually it is enough to notice it, acknowledge it and fully embrace it.

Do these pain attacks come out more in public or in private ?

A: They just have come up rather randomly in last three weeks likewise in public or in private. I do not like them to come up (lol), if I am very busy with something else. Now that I think about it, they seem to come up if I am in stress or if I put myself under pressure. Do this attacks need my pressure or resistance to call them up?

M: Actually, I think it is panic attacks. Panic attacks are a physical reaction to a “thought”, that may be triggered by a person or a situation. They have a tendency to be incredibly tedious and come up in exactly the “wrong” moment. They feed on the energy of “not wanting something” and cause a stress reaction. So in a way, these attacks do need your resistance (or saying NO to something) to be called up.

A: Ja. In retrospect I realize, that they are indeed re-actions to “others” or tasks I seemingly have to perform  and actually do not want to. Since I consider myself to be a nice and open person, I cannot allow myself to even respond with a “quality no”. OMG. Actually I am neither a 100% nice nor a 100 % open person. But I have learned that opposing “others” is dangerous, so I rather attack myself than them? Can it be that?

M:  Well, there may be many reasons for that and actually – are you ready for this – it is NOT important ! The only important thing is to recognise when you are in resistance and to fully accept the feeling. Embrace it, feel it, follow the energy and feel what is behind it. The moment you create a “story” around it, there is a new fixation point and a new possibility for the ego to want or do not want something. When you convince yourself that you cannot say no, then this is what you become. So better not to create a story and just fully accept the sensation. Stay with it as long as it takes and maybe observe the relation to other people or places. Not to find the reason, but to recognise the pointers.

From my own experience, the hardest part is to stay with  your own stress-reaction without creating a story around it.

A: I agree. I do not want to write an essay about my “rotten” personality.
I rather accept it. Not that I am happy about it, but I can accept it finally, gradually.

Besides this I have come to understand that, even though I have lived a quite abundant life style, in terms of income and money,  I usually re-act out of a place of lack.
I have tried to fill this deficiency with attention from others.
Eckhart doesn´t get tired of pointing to Stillness as the Source of All that Is.
Now I have chosen to be with Stillness rather than expecting other one´s  affection and attention.

M: The “rotten” personality is just what your ego is whispering in your ear. The job is not to “judge”, but to accept. But the true pointer is what you are saying about reacting from a place of lack. This is what I have found under all sorts of reactive and compensatory behaviour of my lovely personality. A place of lack. This is what I never wanted to look at and this is what has been “running my life”, if you will. To be in stillness is the pointer, because suddenly there is no lack and to experience it, is eye opening. If lack is in me, than there is also fullness.

A: The fullness is underneath or behind the lack, as it is the Source of all Being and all form.
Thank you very much indeed for your time and space, Michaela!

M:  Precisely. It’s all about finding that fullness.
It has been lovely as always. Thank you for your time and space, Geli.

August 20th, 2010

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
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1 Response to On feeling the pain

  1. equiwolf says:

    Thank you both for sharing your experiences on this lovely blog. I enjoy stopping in to visit here now and then.

    As you describe in yourselves, it’s been amazing for me to begin to notice feelings that I had no idea even existed within me, and to allow them full expression in presence. When I burst into tears for no apparent reason–no known stimuli–I sometimes have thoughts like, “Wow, I wonder what this is all about?” Occasionally an answer becomes known to me, but it no longer feels very important to find an answer. I have come to acknowledge the thoughts in presence, and the emotional release, and enjoy the peace that seems to ‘magically’ appear when the thoughts and feelings subside.

    Blessings to you both,

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