The Courage to Feel Pain

Deep inside of us lies a pain that continues to mask itself as anger. And whenever something triggers this pain, we put our mask on and lash out in anger. We seek revenge to the person who reminded us of that pain. We demand revenge, or justice, not realizing that what’s really going on is a pain that’s been hiding deep inside of us. When awoken, it is simply asking for us to release it, to free it from its mask and let it come out just as it is. As pain. As tears. But we deny it’s freedom. We refuse to cry. It is far too scary for us to feel pain than to feel anger.

For so many years, the mask of anger has protected us all too well, so well that in fact, we have forgotten what it really was. Anger becomes our mighty shield, and we turn to that shield as a default, because it always works. It deflects any accountability and keeps us a victim. We continue to blame all our problems and discomforts on everything and everyone but ourselves. We get to shift all responsibility onto that which is causing us discomfort and this makes us feel in control. We believe that if they were not in our way, we would have what we need, and what we want. We make life, peace, and happiness conditional on external forces changing for our comfort and pleasure. And this keeps us a victim. And when we continue to hold this belief, and continue to allow our mask of anger to cover our truth, we get nothing but more anger. And we imprison ourselves and give our keys of freedom to those that continue to disappoint and anger us. Because after all, if it weren’t for them, life would be perfect… right?

But what if they weren’t there to blame? And what if, even in their absence, life wasn’t perfect? Then who is to blame?

So long as we are human, we will always experience disappointment and betrayal, and as much as we prefer differently, we don’t get to choose what disappointment and betrayal we get to experience. And to those who have hurt us, we don’t get to choose what type of justice is served, or even if it is served at all. But what we do get to choose is our attitude and response to the disappointment. Do we hold tight to our suffering, hold it as a weapon, and hide behind our disappointment with the mask of anger? Do we draw our sword and inflict pain on those who have hurt us? Tempting? Yes… But it does not solve the problem.

Healing is always an option and unfortunately, the only way out of our pain is through it. The first step to healing is to accept that the pain is there, it is real, and to actually feel it. That means to feel pretty crappy for a bit. And then you move on. Most of us aren’t comfortable with feeling crappy for even a short period of time.  When we can put the blame on something outside of ourselves, it somehow makes the suffering less intense- because we have suddenly relieves ourselves from having to feel any responsibility in dealing with the pain that came as a result of experiencing the disappointment.

Sadly, we spend the most energy on maintaining our victimhood. We want the person who disappointed us to feel as bad, if not worse, than we do. We demand that pain be spread evenly, and that all the world go blind in our effort to honor our sacred belief of “an eye for an eye”. Never once do we stop and think, “Maybe it is not just “me” that is suffering, but that the whole world is suffering”.

Not one person on this earth is immune to pain, suffering, disappointment, grief and loss. Rather than see outside our own immediate frustrations, we ruminate. We hold hatred and anger deep in our heart. It is so difficult to see beyond ourselves. It is so difficult to see the pain in others when we are so focused on our own.

The truth of our humanity is that we all are hurting in so many ways, and more often than not, we have absolutely no control over it. Knowing this reality, where do we want to invest our energy? There are only two choices: contribute to the pain or to strive to alleviate it.

May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to
the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.

 

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