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FACE THE WOUND
Our whole conditioning, our parents, our society, and our culture support us in doing anything and everything to avoid or numb out the pain in our hearts and in our souls.
We would rather turn to intoxicants, painkillers, or sedatives than face the wound. And if these avoidance strategies seem too extreme, then food, entertainment, texting, and Internet surfing can become acceptable substitutes. If we’re lucky, these strategies are a temporary measure, like a Band-Aid. If we’re even luckier, they’ll stop working altogether and the wound will be exposed. Once that occurs, the search for wholeness can become more conscious.
Today, unlike in our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, all kinds of psychological methods, therapies, healing modalities, and self-help tools are available. Many of us turn to these in an attempt to heal our nagging sense of incompleteness. While this is a valiant and worthwhile refocusing of our attention, it can be a tricky situation, because once personal wounding is revealed, the attempt to heal it is likely to be unconsciously driven by the desire to get rid of it. This is not a surprise, as this “aversion to pain” mechanism is the driving force behind almost everything we do. It’s part of humanity’s primal survival instinct. We are compelled to become more lovable, loving, empowered, successful, or more abundant because we believe that if we are perfect or good enough then we will attract only positive experiences and create the exact lives we want. In other words, we attempt to control our life in order to avoid pain.
Unless we make the choice to take a different route than this, we will not be free to evolve beyond this primitive mechanism.
Even the spiritual search can become a “bypass method,” or a way of avoiding unresolved emotional issues. When all other methods fail to protect us from pain, spirituality offers the salve of transcendence. Some part of you is likely to be greatly relieved to hear that awakening or enlightenment brings an end to suffering.
However, when this belief is held onto without honest examination as to its validity, it’s nothing more than a convenient avoidance of unwanted emotions—yet another safety strategy employed by the ego. The fantasy of a pain-free life is a tenacious one and the mind makes up so many stories about what awakening or enlightenment looks like.
None of these are true.
The reality is that by sitting inside the brokenness of your personal story and surrendering to the futility of searching for a pain-free life, you can discover the shimmering radiance that remains unbroken and unblemished in it all. When suffering or pain is fully met in the open space of unconditional acceptance, you are offered the possibility of discovering who you are beneath it. It ends of the story of wounding once and for all, and heals the “original sin” of forgetfulness.
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