Its a crazy sad mixed up world we live in in modern times. There is also so much beauty around us in nature and the sunlight, in the creations of human beings through which the energy of soul and spirit shines through and in the sunshine of energy that rains down on us when we are shown or show others, love, peace, understanding, forgiveness and compassion.
It may be hard sometimes to appreciate the pure simplicity and beauty in the every day when we get caught up in agendas or programs driven purely by our own will and desires about the way things ‘should’ be. And it seems to me that often when we are too busy or too intent on chasing that next thing we may miss the wonderful things right under our noses, gifts freely given to us. And even our pain may be something that is a gift if we can dig deep to find and unpack the meaning stored within it.
I was reading something recently that spoke of the loss of the sacred that fills our modern world these days, the sense of value for the precious gifts of a human body for example. The author Buddhist monk Anam Thubten talks about how so often our body becomes a source of pain for us, or we wish to distance ourselves from a sense of being lovingly present or awake inside our own bodies appreciating the pulsing streams of vitality and life energy within. In trauma that has physical components the very symptoms and sensations of the body often become a source of pain and resistance and listening to a programme on chronic pain the other day a lady who suffered from it and now helps others spoke of how often we make an adversarial relationship with pain and in becoming too self protective shut down and block our own healing. Healing may actually require us to open up to those sharp or painful sensations we so often seek to avoid and stay present witnessing how they can transform and change when we show presence or loving attention rather than revulsion, distancing or refusal. Trauma specialist Peter Levine when working with his trauma patients gets them to first build a sense of safety with him before they can find the courage to go into some of the pain while pendulating into those areas of life, body and attention that give pleasure or lighter feelings of joy. Severe trauma all too often, sadly has the ability to fixate us at the level of symptoms or resistance to pain.
It seems to me that everything that happens to us happens through our bodies but some spiritual teachings minimise the body and see it as merely a container and that is true, when we die our spirit does leave the garment of our body behind but at least when we are alive our body is the container of our soul and emotions and thoughts and feelings and we have the power to influence the amount of pain we experience by the thoughts we tell ourselves about what is happening to us and how we react to situations.
I read a book a while ago in which the author spoke of how when we are shown empathy the body increases it production of the chemical oxytocin which helps to bring soothing. When we are abused or shown lack of empathy the body will move into a stress response increasing the production of cortisol and other damaging chemicals. It is also understood that gut and brain health are skilfully interconnected. For every nerve leaving the brain to travel to the tummy there are apparent 10 nerves going back the other way. Intuition too is intricately related our tummy or gut. And foods do have an impact on the production of serotonin in the gut. So when dealing with those things that may help us to feel better there is really a broad spectrum of things in the physical and material as well as the emotional that can benefit us.
Understanding how we are interconnected with our environment, with other persons, with the elements and with our thoughts, feeling and emotions may be a long work in progress for many of us. Studies on the power of kind words to affect the chemical structure of water was investigated by Dr Masaru Emoto as noted in an article on the power of kindness I will link to at the base of this post :
Through the 1990s, the late Dr. Masaru Emoto performed a series of experiments examining the natural effects of words, prayers, music and environment on the crystalline structure of water. He noted when kind and loving words were conveyed to the water, they formed a complete crystal structure compared to energies of hate and anger.
Considering approximately 70% of our body is made up of water, kindness has a direct impact on our immediate health.
Author Matt Kahn states: “When human interactions become a way of practicing self-acceptance by treating others with more patience, kindness, and respect, a constant need to be heard shifts into listening as an act of love.”
Kindness, compassion, empathy, respect and love are all very important qualities on our healing journey. Many of us hear on a daily basis unkind voices in our heads that may continue old patterns of shame, being more aware of both our inner and outer dialogue as well as the ways we treat our bodies and mind and hearts as well as those of others, are all very important issues as we continue on our personal recovery journey to grow in tolerance, empathy, love and compassion.