You may hear such sayings as “All is Love” and “Life is Bliss”. While these are quite literal statements for some people, it is not most peoples experience on an ongoing basis. In fact, many people live a life of ongoing pain and struggle.
Curiously, many people do their best to mask this, not even acknowledging their pain to themselves. But if your pain no longer holds you, others pain is obvious. It cannot be hidden. Often, it’s like they wear it like energetic clothes, much like those cartoons that show a dark cloud over someone’s head.
But if life is bliss and all is love, why would there be pain? First thing to understand is what pain is. Pain is a signal that something’s wrong. This is most obvious with physical pain.
Emotional pain works the same way. It is a signal something is out of balance and requires attention. Requires allowing and healing. Innocent attention is always the greatest healer.
But if all is perfect and love, why the ability to be imperfect, to go out of balance? Choice. Free will. We can choose to go with the flow or go against it.
But again, why pain? Pain arises as the absence of love, as friction within wholeness. A signal something is off. Like darkness, it is the not-love. Not-love allows us to differentiate pain from love. If it was all love, how would we know it was a poor choice?
The logic in here can get a little tricky, very simply because how we experience pain depends on our state of consciousness. When all is love, pain is within love rather than being its opposite. One is not lost to pain. It is simply a warning, like putting your finger on something too hot.
This takes us into why there can be imperfection in perfection. There can’t, but we are free to think it can. And because we are a subset of the divine, we have the power to create our own reality. Unlike God, we’ve chosen to create limitation and pain.
Why on earth would we do that? Very simply, the tiny mad idea. The ego. The idea of being separate. This occurs due to the cycles of consciousness. Like day and night, consciousness goes through cycles of awakening and falling. During the fall, there is a memory of the ability to create, but our connection to source is hampered or shadowed. The sense of separateness arises and then the desire to control. We cling to the idea of control as a way to mimic our felt ability to create.
I’ve seen people describe the fall of Lucifer or Satan as an example of this.
Out of context of the whole, we try to make our own world and control it. But because we don’t exist outside of the whole, we’re bound to conflict with the whole. This conflict or friction we experience as pain. But as we consider ourselves separate and wanting control, we blame other for the pain. Other people, circumstances, and so forth. We fail to recognize our own responsibility. Or if we do, we blame ourselves.
That’s the dynamic that makes it a problem. When the mind doesn’t understand what’s going on, it makes a story about it and begins the blame game. It starts to make everything right and wrong. Everything becomes black and white – pain is bad, pleasure is good – that seems the best we can do.
Pain is not seen as something to adjust, it becomes something to avoid. We thus begin to resist pain. This becomes a habit and is thus programmed into the sub-conscious. Rather than having a quick pain experience and adjusting things, we begin storing our pain, building up a stockpile. Pain becomes suffering.
But there’s another aspect to pain. Pain wants to be heard. As soon as we start to avoid pain, it gets louder. If we don’t hear, it turns the volume up. And it keeps cycling back until it’s heard. This is the wheel of karma. Of course we can’t experience love so easily when there’s a cacophony of pain.
If you don’t experience life as a flow of love and happiness, you know you have what Eckhart Tolle calls the pain body. Many people are afraid of their sub-conscious or doing self-work because of this big blob of pain just below the surface. Much the same, they fear love and happiness as it can reveal our pain, set it out by contrast.
But in many ways, it can be a boogey man. While going into your pain is not easy, it is nowhere near as bad as it may seem. As soon as you get the hang of just experiencing it without judgment, to just allow, the charge is diffused and it can just be experienced, like a wave washing over you. Then the signal has been heard and the cycle is complete. The pain is over. The suffering volume takes a step down.
The key is learning to allow, to just innocently experience without blame. To be present to what is, as it is. To be OK. As soon as the judging mind steps in, we cannot see. The judging mind cannot see truth, only duality. Don’t believe it. It is not designed to be your master.
Bit by bit, we peel back the layers of the onion and the inner light begins to shine. Happiness begins to peak out from behind the clouds.
This effort is very worth it for a number of reasons.
– our life gets better, smoother, and easier
– stuff like “law of attraction” starts working much better
– we are resolving our deep past
– we lighten our load
– we find new energy available when its no longer needed for holding
– health issues around stress, holding and resistance start to fall away
and so on.
The important detail to understand here is that just because the pain is suppressed or unconscious, does not mean it does not effect our life. In fact, it runs our life and thwarts our happiness. Because it is sub-conscious in habit mind, it rules how we respond or rather react to events in our life. Rather than responding with passion or logic, we often react with pain avoidance and fear. We are on the defense. This will tend to happen more in areas of life where we are most in protection, but will still cast a shadow over everything.
The ego and it’s beliefs about the world form what I’ve called here the shadow story. The backstory of our life. What is your story? Your life is your story. The parts that don’t make sense, don’t go well, or bring you unhappiness are the parts run by the dark side. Uncertainty and indecision tell you there is a conflict between the sub-conscious and the conscious. Desire for change without follow-through tells you of pushing back. It willfully ignores consequences.
A story is fixed. It doesn’t like change. It does not adjust. Any threat to our beliefs triggers a sub-conscious fear response. The ego does not want to be seen.
We see this in eating, relationships, money, work, health… in every area of life. We know what’s right but are somehow unable to do it or sustain it because it conflicts with something deeper. This story is embedded in our very sense of who we are.
This is the opposite of life. Life is free flowing and easily adapts. It wants to be seen fully.