If you are present, the pain body cannot feed anymore on your thoughts, or on other people’s reactions. You can simply observe it, and be the witness, be the space for it. Then gradually, its energy will decrease.
This is a piece of writing I did in the days after my cancer surgery. I found it difficult to post it as I didn’t think it had any continuity and it contained a lot of anger and angst, yet while writing it, I tapped into some of the deep things that affected and bothered me. Today I am going to post it and free it from the underground of drafts. Because sometimes the inner censor blocks me and I need to open the door it tries to keep closed:
I am aware lately that I am in a lot of emotional pain. My emotional pain has become physical with cancer and now I need to recover and find a way to turn that emotional pain around. My understanding is that I cannot heal the past. I have to acknowledge it and grieve it, then I need to let it go and create a new present which is not based on the past.
The concept of the pain body spoken of by Eckhardt Tolle addresses the pain of wounds we carry. His idea is that the pain body is kept in place by endless cycles of thinking which take us out of the present moment. My experience is that when I have been stuck in the thinking repetitive cycle of the pain body, I go into lock down mode, Post Traumatic Freeze, flashback, past frozen time.
Movement forward into the present moment and the now will bring tears to my eyes, at that moment I am in the present with the pain in a way in which is not intellectual but physical and then emotional, there is no thinking about it, I just feel it flow somewhere. As I move forward if I don’t contract or bite down hard on the feeling but allow it to move through me it passes. I feel softer where as before I felt hard and compacted. I feel looser and freer, where as before I felt heavy, armoured or blocked.
I am beginning to see that I have been blocked for many years from moving forward by the pain body. Over the past 17 years or more I have been working on unfreezing and thawing a lot of frozen and buried feelings that could not be felt. I have met certain blocks on roads or therapies I chose to travel down from unfreezing and then I have had to move on.
I have got stuck in reactions that needed to be released such as rage, but I needed to have these reactions in order to understand the depth of feeling. I needed that understanding and validation of deep dark feelings due to them having been invalidated and spit off. I also had to heal from the pattern of choosing people who would block expressing of deeper, darker feelings, who were defended against the primal depths.
But then I had to realise that the primal depths and trauma can also capture me if I stay there too long, if I link into the deep pool of traumatised feeling that is so deep and so dark it keeps you prisoner inside the torment of the twisted tangled body mind with all the shocks that you have gone through rising up to consciousness like a flood waiting for ages for the procedure that is going to cut you, not being told what is happening, waiting, waiting, waiting to be born. The pain of past trauma can also magnetise other traumas to it as re-enactments.
I have experienced being held back from life at the door way of my mother’s womb who is too busy doing something else, must do something else before she can give birth to me. This distraction pattern repeats even today when we are together This being who should be receptive to you and ready to open the way to let you out decides to keep you in and so unwittingly, unconsciously this becomes the pattern of your life. At the door of things I hesitate and then sometimes I feel a heavy force that wants to block me, check me, not let me breathe, not let me live.
Knock, knock, knocking on the door and being held back, held down, braced, straightjacketed, teeth removed, hair cut off when you didn’t want it to be, put into horrible heavy school uniforms that are so ugly and don’t fit. Suffering as I try to force myself where I don’t fit and where I don’t feel that I belong.
Being forced to attend Catholic services laced heavy with guilt and repression, having to sit there, kneel there, no escape, suck it up, swallow it down. Meeting the heavy gaze and anger of the repressed nuns who only want to load you with the bitterness of broken dreams, frozen bodies, hearts too locked up by dogma to feel anything, imposing on you lies, guilt, repressions that you know on some level are not true. Getting in trouble for showing initiative, being told it isn’t “nice” at best or evil at worst. Bahh!!
Watching the human parade of craziness that doesn’t seem quiet real. Parents swallowing down scotch, having conversations about all those meaningless things. Inside you long for the birds, for the beach, for the air, for freedom, to dance, to sing anything to overcome this horrible, horrible repression, this horrible prison. The sister you love and long for leaves and you long for her to come back, when she comes back many years later she gets broken, you watch this, you learn from this, life is hard, things can go badly wrong, its a jinx to long for something you desire. It will end in tears.
You did not realise that for many years in your addiction you were longing to ask : where is the life, where is the fire? Isn’t it true this world is a prison and you long for release from this prison of pain surrounded by shackles watching the other shackled inmates going along, mute, blind, effacing? Why stay here in this vale of heartache and tears where the ones you love are tortured while you the bystander knowing none of it is right sit by helplessly? While the earth is raped by those pursuing profit and greed, whose hearts shut down years ago?
Why aren’t we screaming? Why aren’t we protesting? Why didn’t you shout? Why didn’t you raise the roof, tear down the house? Because you were told not to. Go to your room. Don’t say anything. And anyway shouting gets you nowhere, it doesn’t teach you the path of right action that won’t end in you not being traumatised again.
Well this is a scream from within me today of so much that I have held back. This is a glimpse into some of the contents of the pain body, of my pain. This is what emerges during the dark night. There is a darkness around me today. I got back into bed a while ago and I realised that I have been fighting to know who I am, to live as who I really am for so very long in this life. I feel like I have been in a holding bay and in that bay the witness to so much trauma.
Now I no longer want the trauma nor the unconscious repetition of the trauma and so now I must learn to pause and breathe and open the door of my heart to what wants to enter or exit.
I so want to live as a free being. I must carry this new scar with me on my body and in my heart. I must realise that it is a war wound and something in me cries for allowing myself to be cut open a week ago. I made a lot of choices that were not life focused but death focused yet maybe it was a life choice to go under the knife, maybe now I am just riddled with fear.
One thing at times like this when I feel suicidal, when I am deep down inside the abandonment depression I need to feel the pain but I also need open to life. Now I must choose life. Now I must choose love. Now I must choose connection. For too, too long I have lived in darkness, for too to long. Now I must come back into the light.