Love is the great healer. But usually not the first one we turn to! This post is about how we tend to deal with deep core pain.
That is not the kind of pain that comes quickly and goes quickly, like hitting your thumb with a hammer or someone calling you on your shit. This is the brand of deep inner pain that stays with you and keeps rearing its head over and over throughout your life. This kind of pain can feel anywhere between annoying to devastating.
In my observation, here is the usual trajectory of how most people deal with their core pain and trauma, in this approximate order:
Step 1. Ignore the pain and deny it. Wish it would just go away.
Step 2. Feel bad or depressed about it. What is wrong with me??
Step 3. Try to medicate it away with legal or illegal drugs, compulsive activities, addictions, escapism, work-a-holism or adopting seven cats.
Step 4. When that stops working, ask for help from friends, therapists, spiritual teachers, doctors, support groups or your Rabbi. Process about how your parents screwed you up.
Step 5. Once you find that the pain keeps coming back even after receiving all that therapy, support and drugs, go into existential despair about the meaning of life
Step 6. Once you get tired of living in existential limbo, seek a deeper spiritual solution to your pain through religion, spiritual teachers, self-help gurus, positive thinking, The Secret and loads of books and podcasts. You can hang out at this Step for years, checking out all the latest teachings and teachers.
Step 7. Finally you realize that even after all that spirituality the core pain is STILL THERE…… so you try to deny it again and wish you could just get on with your frigging life! But it keeps relentlessly resurfacing. It could keep getting your attention through some combination of chronic pain, fatigue, low-grade depression, self-sabotaging relationships, dandruff, nagging money problems, weird health problems, or a sick compulsion to watch TV news programs. So you decide to get “mature” and just live with it.
Step 8. Or, you may actually choose to start loving yourself a whole lot more and stop running. Commit to bringing your love, your presence and your vulnerability to the truth behind the pain. If you are really fortunate, you will learn how to connect your inner core pain with the boundless love and presence of your true self. As you do that, you FINALLY feel your life transforming from the deepest level and you actually start getting…..