For many people, love is pain. Conscious or not, they carry a story of disappointment and heartbreak. We see this backstory throughout our culture, with dysfunctional relationships portrayed as the norm. In the “new thought” church I go to, a significant percent of the congregation is single middle-aged women. And while they hear and follow a message of peace, they continue to hold a story of pain. Men fair worse. They’re often not even working on it. We’re trained to “be a man” and stuff our emotions away in a box. It’s no wonder many men are angry and suffer from heart disease.
For myself, when I was able to cry again, I saw that as progress. When I could cry freely, I was surprised what a release it was. What freedom.
The heart is a precious gift. When we think of ourselves as separate, the belief arises that we must protect ourselves. That we must guard our feelings. When it becomes about a me and an other, other is unsafe, not to be trusted. When it’s about me, we take everything personally. Other causes us pain, confirming the first belief. And therein lies the root of suffering – resisting our experiences and taking them personally. This is the end of innocence.
Thus, we have two things to change.
We want to see our life clearly enough to experience that stuff happens. It has nothing to do with a “me”. Then we will stop taking what happens and what people do personally. Even deeper, when there is no person, taking it personally is meaningless.
At the same time, we come to see what happens happens. That our experience is not about what happens, it’s about how we perceive it, how we respond. In India they have an ancient story. You enter a darkened room and see a snake on the floor. Your adrenaline rises. You cry out, ready to run. Then you turn on the light and see that it’s just a piece of old rope. The difference is perception. What is did not change.
Perception is everything. And perception is determined by our consciousness, the degree of awareness or light we reflect.
This also illustrates how simple the solution is. Raise your alertness or light and the shadow stories fall away. Indeed, it is the solution to all problems.
Problems can never be solved on the level of the problem – remember thats what caused the problem in the first place. It is the perception itself that sees it as a problem rather than something to be taken care of.
And that points to one of the more curious aspects of the journey. That when we rise above a problem it sometimes doesn’t even need a solution. It never existed in the first place, except in perception. It was a monster under the bed, a bogeyman.
Most startling of all, some of the things that do a vanishing act include much of what we once may have described as the “human experience”, like suffering and pain. Failure. Loss. Death. Even you. Yup – all ideas of a “me” are a ghost. A fake. An illusion. Made up only because of loss of perception.
But don’t take my word for it. I’m not here either. (laughs)
What is here, under all the stories of pain and loss and fear, is who you really are. You are never lost nor die. The real you is never lost to pain. The real you is love, a limitless, unending ocean of love.
Love is all inclusive, so it includes pain. But that is such a small aspect of it. Where can we see pain when the light is on? When love is limitless, spilling out even through our pain. Dissolving all resistance in it’s path.
Why do we choose pain? Only that we have lost touch with who we are. That is the solution, whatever the question. What is remains. But how it is seen changes completely.