At workshops, I frequently ask people if they would like to be free of pain, emotional and physical. If they say yes, I ask them to take my phone number so they can call me later and cancel the gift.
Think about lepers and diabetics with peripheral neuropathy who are losing their limbs because they cannot feel infections or injuries. Then think about our feelings and emotions and how important it is to respond to them.
I grew up with a mother whose advice about every problem was always the same, “Do what will make you happy.” She taught me to deal with feelings. Today, I have happy depressions. When I am hungry, I seek nourishment and when I feel gnawing unrest or other painful emotions, I seek the changes in my life which will resolve the unhealthy and painful feelings.
Pain and Suffering are Different
I experience pain but I do not suffer. To me, pain is a necessity, but suffering an option. Suffering relates to the emotional needs of the individual which are not being met. When the pain has no meaning and does not lead to healing of the person’s life, the individual suffers greatly. We have to realize that life is a labor pain of self-birthing.
When the pain is something we choose, it hurts far less than the meaningless pain imposed upon us by others. When you use your pain to become a more complete human being the curse turns into a blessing.
I have done major surgery upon people who awaken and say, “I have no pain. I am a little sore.” I explained to the nurses to please stop writing, “Patient refuses pain medication” in their chart and write that the patient had no pain.
Times We Feel No Pain
I also know from personal experience with a back injury that when I was operating, or painting a portrait, two activities where I lost track of time and was being loving and creative, I was not aware of my pain. When I stopped either activity, I needed to lie down due to the pain. I think any activity which makes you lose track of time is the healthiest state one can ever be in.
Major abdominal surgery can be done under hypnosis and even acupuncture. To me, this reveals the power of the mind to control pain, to be free of pain.
I do not blame the patient or deny the many painful syndromes that require medications and various anesthetic therapies but I am saying that one cannot separate the sensation from the individual and their life and beliefs. Two people with the same affliction do not necessarily experience and suffer the same degree of pain.
When we are experiencing pain because family is telling us how not to die, we are in big trouble. We need to keep our power and find meaning in what we choose to do. I find support groups are very helpful because we’re able to share with each other and not be told what by others what to do.
Read more on Open to Hope by Bernie Siegel: https://www.opentohope.com/we-dont-die-our-bodies-do/
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