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Help Me Change the World Paradigm: You Will Experience Less Pain the More Willing You Are to Feel It

By November 11, 2019Food for thought, Pain

We’re in a real pickle right now. I feel a worldwide acceleration towards the mindset that most pain we experience as human beings is bad, to be avoided and eventually eradicated from the planet and our lives. 

This idea that there is “good” pain (like working out or hustling for a career you care about) and “bad” pain (like a physical injury, anxiety, emotional pain, digestive discomfort etc) is, in my opinion, the real root cause of our current collective pain. 

Because of our collective instinct to run away from pain instead of turning towards it with curiosity, there are few people we can turn to for help; because the people we’re turning to for help also can’t tolerate the discomfort of pain (their own first and foremost, and because of that – ours). So they’re first instinct will also be to help us fix it right away, get rid of it as fast as possible or they may offer us a way out…that isn’t through the pain, but rather a circuitous path of avoidance. This could be unnecessary surgery, painkillers and even something as seemingly benevolent as herbs or dietary changes meant to eliminate our symptoms quickly. 

In fact, I see many holistic healthcare practitioners adopting the same mentality and strategies as western science, just clothed differently: we malign entire food groups and isolate single nutrients as either problematic or helpful; we suggest rigid diets that will eliminate our symptoms while considering this the cure, not stopping to consider that perhaps there’s a deeper issue here that could mean the difference between managing pain (such as digestive issues) and truly healing them. 

We’re good “managers” of pain. There are a million ways to manage pain, from numbing with food, drugs, alcohol, sex or distracting with social media, laughter, sarcasm or judgment; we manage pain with pills, splints, steroid shots and preventive (unnecessary) surgery as well as diet restrictions, supplements and therapy. 

What has to change for the paradigm to shift?

We must each, individually, turn towards our own pain and make friends with it in all its manifestations: physical sensation, emotional disturbance, psycho-spiritual crises like not knowing your purpose or maybe even not knowing who you are. 

Pain will deliver to us messages that, when made fully conscious, allow us to move beyond this level of human development to the next…where we no longer need to confront that particular pain again. 

Ironically, then…the more pain we are willing to allow into our lives, and the more capacity we cultivate for turning towards these experiences with curiosity, the less pain we’ll have! 

When you begin to cultivate your capacity to be with your own pain, to feel it fully, to allow its rightful place in your life, you will become a healer for others. Not professionally (unless you want that), but simply because of your presence. Your energy of being unafraid of pain and discomfort (and your ability to get curious about it) will be healing for everyone in your life, and you will begin to model a different way of being human. 

Let me know in the comments if this is resonating and making sense for you, and if you’re with me! And if it’s not making sense, ask me anything. Let’s make this a discussion for everyone’s learning benefit. 

Comment below, I’ll see you there 🙂

XO
Elisha

 

11 Comments

  • Therese says:

    Hi Elisha,

    Spot on in every respect and I can absolutely relate as I am just seeing the source of a particular physical pain and realise I actually inherited the conditioning/mindset that has created it as well as adding my own stuff to the mix. All the things we inherit and/or create as a means to not actively engage in the world beyond a certain level. Interesting that you point out about hustling for a career, we are educated to want that and in most cases people will fall into line in one way or another, but does that make us a full human being or would it be better to be a fully realized human being before we choose how/if we engage with the world?

    • Hi Therese – I think the career thing is a both/and. Meaning – sometimes it takes trying certain things (even “wrong” careers) to wake up enough to know what is the right path. I believe we “actualize” our potential by LIVING, by following our instincts and impulses, or making decisions that lead us…to the next right thing. Along the way, we can orient to it all as our “life curriculum.” Meaning, whatever is happening right now in my life is what I’m supposed to turn to for my own growth. Doing so will lead me to the next phase, and so on. Hope that helps!

  • Calee says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this message around befriending pain, Elisha! I’m with you. Physically, emotionally, and metaphorically, we are trying to excise it out of all parts of our lives–and clearly, it isn’t working. I love that you are connecting consciousness to our physicality–I feel like the fact that we are incarnate beings is getting overlooked all the time, even among those who are “conscious.” I’ve arrived at a place where I’ve done a lot of emotional work, but am now trying to get my body to catch up; at long last, I’ve come to understand that my ego will never outsmart my nervous system, even though I’ve tried many, many times 🙂 Through my journey, I’ve come to believe that we have to truly embody our consciousness, so I was SO happy to stumble across your work and to see how you’re connecting the dots. This is changing the world! Thank you.

    • Calee – “At long last I’ve come to understand that my ego will never outsmart my nervous system” – YES. Love this, thanks for sharing! I’m so grateful for your presence in this community. Thank you for showing up…this isn’t easy work, but it’s the most rewarding work I know.

  • Emily says:

    You resonate loudly with me. Yes & Amen.

  • I looooove what you’re saying here, beautiful lady! It’s the truth, and very few are willing to speak it. If we get brave enough to stop running away from ourselves and our pain, we’ll find the real, lasting answers we need on everything from politics to religion to to money to death and all the small, daily things, too. Thanks for your work! You’re not alone. 🙂

    • Thank you for your support, it means the world! Not just the support of this mission, but living it in your own life. That’s how we’re going to change the paradigm. I’m grateful for YOU!

  • Your last few episodes sooo resonate with me and confirm thoughts I have been having the more I work with myself and others. The world is in a state because of trying to push pain away, suppress it, pretend like it does not exist or have control over us. I get it. It’s like a quote I saw somewhere and like to use although I don’t know who said it. I have seen it ascribed to The Buddah but I have no way of knowing that for sure. But is goes: “PAIN IS INEVITABLE. SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL” How to look at and deal with the pain we all have is what we are collectively being made to deal with which is why there seems to be so much more pain and suffering in the world. Right? The more we try to run from dealing with it, the more we will be REQUIRED to pay attention. Or…..?

    • Hi Adjeley – thank you as always for your thoughtful comments, and your support! I know you’re doing amazing work in your part of the world – thank YOU for that, I know it’s rippling out. And yes I agree – the more we avoid/numb/run away from the pain of life, the bigger/louder it will get until we are forced to pay attention. That is my belief anyway.

  • Elisha– all I can say Is I Love ‘ya– you speak the truth–Kathnell

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