Smiling through the pain

To plaster on a painted smile to hide pain may appear to be living in denial, it may also be a response to a world in which our true feelings were shamed or not welcomed expression.

I often think about this when I listen to talks by Eckhart Tolle, he does not share a lot about his family background but it must have be torturous from the little he does say in some of his videos.. He said he nearly went mad with an intense pain body and then he had an awakening, his principal teaching is mostly about awakening through accepting in and releasing our suffering to live more fully surrendered in the present moment

And when I read the writings of Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh lately and he speaks about smiling to our heart through suffering that makes sense, after all life is impermanence, if we look all around in nature it goes through many cycles of seeding, gestation, birthing, growth, blooming and blossoming and then decaying and then the return to the fallow state. Sadly, in our culture, versed in what Purlitzer Prize winning author Ernest Becker has called the denial of death we would like to air brush all of these dark phases out of the picture and as soon as death raises its head many seem to get absolutely terrified..

One of the aspects of suffering significant early losses and trauma is that we know from a very young age that not a lot can be relied upon to stay the same, we have often to deal with losses no one talks to us about or helps us to make sense of possibly due to their own un-integrated ones.. And as kids we are just open to the magical and to th world of wonder, and feeling..

As a child, I know I used to talk invisible presences all the time, as my older sister told me this later in life, she thought it was a great joke.. Then there are the words that stand out so strongly in the AA Big Book about finding ourselves at the depths of our rock bottom from trauma or addiction, beyond human aid. This means at pivotal times there was no one to turn to at all in human form. Possibly due to their own emotional vacancy, or emotional neglect no one could be there to be our mirror for a time and so we may meet an inverted or distorted mirror.

We may also turn to substances and religions and the archetypal dimensions which may open us up to great spiritual and artistic resources but may lead us to being pathologised in a culture that also denies the veracity of these things.. In time we do have to find a way to walk in the world though, as painful as that might be.

Lately I find myself between so many different worlds. Leading to the lunar eclipse I helped someone again with a promise of money only to have everything turn out wrong and once again I am nearly emptied out.. There was nothing i could do at one point but cry and feel absolutely terrified, on Wednesday I went to the police and then had the person provide evidence they were genuine, when I opened up to Scott about it I got slammed.. This is the precarious world I find myself in lately.. But somehow I have kept moving forward.

For some reason going through all of this is just making me appreciate the simplicity and poignancy of the present moment even more.. We were out and walking by 9.30 am today and the autumn colors were intense.. I felt the moisture on the ground, we walked down the back streets close to Nana’s old place and to the park before going to the milk bar for a coffee, there we met a lady with another cavalier dog and a lovely young woman called Tamara who has just moved to my home town from very far away in Perth.. It was so good to start my day like this, instead of on the computer.. I felt fully engaged and as if I had made new friend, as before she left Tamara said she hoped to see me again..

I am also finding my readings of Thich and Buddhist Nun Pema Chodron are sustaining my soul at the moment and keeping my spirit both bouyant and joyous.,

I astarted the day with a morning Chi Gong practice and meditation to these words adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh’s.

Breathing in I feel my heart

Breathing out I smile to my heart

Breathing in I touch the present moment

Breathing out I feel myself grounded in the precious present moment.

Smiling to any pain or sadness does not mean I am repressing and denying it or painting on a smile, it means I am acknowledging that impermanence is a part of life.. Losses do not come to punish me, but to wake me up, should I chose to see them as attacks I will stay cycling in misery. If I really want to find peace and liberate my soul to joy then I am best to welcome them into my heart deeply, breathe them in and then let them go allowing the deepening into feeling and presence that fully engaging with each experience ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ brings to me..

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