Allow Yourself to Feel Pain
The best way to heal is to go inward. It's a dimension, not a direction.
As I have been having difficulties this past week with strong compulsions and emotional surges I felt like I had no control over, I decided I needed to set some space to figure out where these strong emotions were coming from. This morning, I decided to eat some special mushrooms that I have been saving, but have never tried before, the prized Pan Jams, or Panaeolus Cyanescens. I have been waiting for the right moment to try these and decided today was the day. What I didn't expect was to feel pain. This is the first time I have ever experienced it during a mushroom journey.
Never ever have I felt so much pain after eating mushrooms. EVER. Not even in my many Ayahuasca Ceremonies.
Gut wrenching pain. Feeling this hole in my stomach. An emptiness and feeling of being rejected.
The worst kind of pain because you feel it at all levels of your being. Emotional and physiological. Naturally, the question I started to ask myself was where is this coming from? Sometimes events of the present, such as parting ways with a current partner, can reopen old wounds (from your parental relationships, past romantic relationships, etc) that you might have thought had been healed, but weren't. I have come to realize that a deep wound had been re-opened from a previous relationship many years ago, that I thought had healed, but didn't. I also realized that this wound stemmed from my early relationship with my mother when I was a child and not feeling like I was enough.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try to avoid emotional pain, it follows us everywhere and can stay with us for very long periods of time. Usually dormant and quietly causing trouble, but under certain conditions, it can erupt in full destructive force like a volcano breaking down the mind, body, and spirit, and leaving us to wonder where its coming from.
I find myself asking why it hurts. Why does heartache hurt so bad?
From a yogic perspective, its quite simple. What you call as your body and mind is a complex amalgamation of memory. Through all of your senses, you gather memory – what you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you taste, what you touch. Out of all these different ways of gathering memory, what you see and what you touch are the deepest forms of memory. Especially, what you touch. The cells in your body remember everything you have ever touched! Even if you consciously don't. So when you are intimate with a partner such as sharing emotions, your bodies, living spaces, sensations, and more, two different memories have merged together.
The problem is that when you part ways and try to heal, it becomes very difficult because you are trying to rip out a memory that is a part of yourself. You are literally tearing yourself apart and killing something that is a part of you.
This is why its not just an emotional and psychological process, but a very physical process as well. You can feel physically sick, nauseated, or even have chest pain or heart palpitations. Even if you are emotionally and psychologically in a balanced state, you will still see the whole system go through a certain level of suffering.
So now I find myself asking what is the best way to deal with such pain. The best thing to do is to take as much time as you need to feel the emotions that arise and work out the memory. While many of us (myself included) sometimes have thoughts that the best way to get over someone is to find someone new, jumping into another relationship too soon is one of the worst things that you can do. Doing so will cause a lot of struggle and turmoil in the system because you will be creating more memory and further confusing your body. It’s extremely important that the body has enough time to work out the memory and keep it at a certain distance. By not giving yourself enough time, finding peace and joy will become a very difficult thing to do in your life.
I'm sharing this because today, I have realized how important it is to really feel. Nobody wants to feel anything. The moment that an unpleasant emotion rears its head, people will do anything they can to cut themselves off from feeling like distracting themselves, rushing into another partnership, using substances, etc. Difficult emotions, like shame, anger, loneliness, fear, despair, confusion, are a natural part of the human experience. It’s just not possible to avoid feeling bad. Avoiding so only suppresses our emotions and prevents us from fully healing. When we learn to deal with difficult emotions by practicing acceptance of how we feel, moment to moment, we create space in our lives for all parts of the human experience, the ups and the downs. This is what life is. By creating such space and allowing yourself to feel emotions like sadness and grief when you need to, you will feel like you have just released pounds of heavy baggage off your back and open yourself up to a new experience of living - Self Compassion. Support yourself like a good friend would. Comfort yourself with kindness and understanding rather than greeting difficult emotions by fighting against them. Its OK to be sad and grieve. This is where true healing takes place.
"Holding pain will be hardest thing you do. Feeling pain is the bravest fight you will fight. Running, avoidance, fear in whatever form, it all brings you further away from being a full, feeling person.
Pain is clarifying, cleansing. True." - Lauren Cucinotta