Embracing Pain as a Tool for Self - Transformation
By Cameron Day
Every person on Earth has lived through painful experiences. Pain and emotional suffering seem to be unavoidable on this planet, but what purpose do they serve? Is it possible that we actually choose to experience pain and suffering in order to overcome them? If that is so, then how do we overcome our pain and what will life be like without the emotions tied to our past holding us back? Hang on tight, because we're about to go down a quantum rabbit hole, and if you make it all the way to the end, you'll be glad you did.
Evolving through pain
An examination of the spiritual teachers throughout recorded human history shows they all went through periods of intense suffering prior to achieving a state of full enlightenment. Jesus, Buddha, Osiris, Horus, Krishna and many more all have extremely painful experiences and even physical death as part of their recorded histories and legends, yet they overcame these adversities to become greater beings.
"We all have our cross to bear" is a common phrase in western countries with strong Christian influences. What this means is that every person is dragging around large amounts of unresolved pain, but it also hints to us that our own divine nature can transcend this pain, just as Jesus transcended his.
Painful experiences cause us to question our lives and the reality we are experiencing. If we question long and often enough, we may come to the realization that there is much more to us than our physical bodies, our ego minds, and the physical world. These realizations usually only come about because of a disruptive (painful) experience that causes us to question reality as we know it. By contrast, people who have lived lives of relative comfort, ease, wealth and physical gratification are normally not likely to question the nature of reality. Why should they, when everything in the physical world goes their way?
When viewed from this perspective, we can start to understand that painful experiences help us to grow. Don't worry, you probably don't need to experience new pain to stimulate your evolution, because we all have enough pain in our past that we can grow from if we choose to. With this in mind, let us examine the role of pain as a catalyst for evolution, and the issues that arise when we resist and try to cover up the pain from our past.
What you resist persists
Resistance to any aspect of our selves, or against any past or present experience, creates judgment and painful emotions within the psyche. When we judge ourselves or the events of our past as being "bad" or "wrong" and then suppress those aspects of ourselves, we create a division within the psyche where the pain is stored. Because our true state of being is wholeness, love and joy, any pain that exists within us must be addressed and "loved back home" so that we can once again be whole within ourselves.
Unfortunately, our egoistic desire to only view ourselves in a positive light and for others to always see us as "good people" automatically prevents us from admitting our own pain and limitations to ourselves. Our desire to "not feel that pain anymore" creates a resistance point that will subjugate the memory of that pain into a "second class thought" that we attempt to banish from the kingdom of our minds.
This refusal to acknowledge our pain, faults and shortcomings prevents us from truly healing ourselves and our minds. Most people automatically bury these thoughts as they try to rise to the surface of the mind for contemplation and analysis, choosing instead to rationalize "bad" behavior (self-judged, of course) or push away painful memories because "that's in the past and I have to move on" or because they believe that "dwelling on the negative" creates more "negative" experiences.
If we can instead have the courage to allow painful memories to rise to the surface of our consciousness, then without judgment set the ego aside and allow ourselves to truly *feel* the emotions that are associated with the memory, an opportunity occurs to transmute the emotions of pain and suffering, which only exist due to judging the memory as "bad" and resisting it.
What does it mean to transmute an emotion?
All human emotional states are variations on two master emotions: Love and Fear. When a person judges an event in their life as bad, they begin to develop a fear of similar "bad" experiences in their lives. This fear is attached to the event in the psyche of an individual, and every time they remember the experience, the judgment of the situation as "bad" and the fear of it happening again come immediately to mind. This fear triggers unconscious self-protection mechanisms that suppress the memory so that the feeling of fear will go away and they can return their minds to thoughts about pleasurable things.
This innate desire to move away from pain and towards pleasure is an effective tool for preventing us from experiencing bodily injury -- when a hand touches a hot stove, for example. However in our own minds we must push past that reflexive protection mechanism and embrace our inner pain if we want to heal it.
Every time we resist and suppress a memory because it triggers painful, fear based emotions, we use a portion of our own innate energy resources to "seal off" that emotional-memory complex so that it can't easily return to our awareness in the future. This compartmentalization of the mind increases over time to the point where most of us are putting more energy into suppressing and hiding from our pain than we are into daily life. This state of fractured and suppressed self-consciousness is why people manifest disease, hardship and continual pain, which they attempt to "seal off" in the hope that if they just focus on the positive that their life will improve.
We transmute pain, suffering and fear back into a neutral state of energy by allowing a painful experience and the associated emotions to come fully into our awareness without judging it, resisting it or trying to bury it. When the full light of our conscious awareness is focused on a limiting emotional-memory complex while we are in a state of total acceptance, the energy we have put into the pain and the resistance to the pain transmutes back to a state of pure energy that we can reintegrate into our consciousness.
The unknown vastness of Being
Our inner state of being is incredibly vast, although most people are only aware of the very small aspect of waking consciousness and daily life perceived through the 5 senses. However, as every single sage, mystic, master, shaman, mage and spiritual teacher throughout human history has told us over and over again, we are infinite beings capable of infinite experiences, and we are, in fact, divine beings existing in multiple levels of reality simultaneously. Most esoteric traditions also teach that we have a "Higher Self" or divine aspect within us that connects us to the nonphysical realms of existence.
Most people who hear such teachings only form a mental, ego concept of the divine aspect that is within each of us. The ego imagines a cosmic big brother that will give us all the material "stuff" that we want if only we can figure out the right way to ask for it. This is a limited belief that must be transcended because the higher self isn't really interested in our material comforts -- it simply wants us to make contact with it so that we can consciously evolve.
Reconnecting to our own higher Self simply opens the doors of perception so that we can explore the vastness of our own consciousness. Our higher self, once we establish contact, can be our personal guide on this journey of self-examination and self-healing. (Go to page 2 for much more)
A bigger picture view of Karma & "Re"incarnation
Because our consciousness is unimaginably vast, it will compensate for our refusal to embrace the pain of our past experiences in such a way that the pain can be explored, understood in the context of creating wisdom, and eventually transmuted so that the pain AND the energy that was used to suppress it are freed up to be used in unlimited modes of expression.
For example, a person who was molested as a child will usually suppress the memory of the experience and the painful emotions associated with it such as shame, self-hatred, hatred of the molester, etc. Repeatedly suppressing these emotions for years makes them more intense in the psyche, and that person's consciousness will seek an outlet so that the energy that is being suppressed can be released.
Quantum Physics has shown that time and even physical matter are both simply manifestations of consciousness. This means that consciousness can and does use the rich tapestry of physical human incarnation to gain wisdom through experience. If a person refuses to work through repressed pain, then the vastness of their consciousness may create another incarnation, another lifetime to work through these issues. Sometimes it will create more than one incarnation.
A portion of that person's greater consciousness will incarnate into a lifetime where the suppressed emotions from *this* lifetime can not be suppressed. Using the example above, in one lifetime they may incarnate as a serial sexual abuser. Another lifetime may involve being serially sexually abused. Yet another lifetime may be spent consciously being a "sexual deviant" with willing partners.
All three lifetimes are happening simultaneously and in parallel with the current incarnation that "spawned" them because past and present are physical reality concepts based in the illusion of time, and our higher aspects of consciousness exist outside of time. Indeed, our higher levels of consciousness mold time and physical matter as easily as children mold play-dough.
If a psychic "past life reader" were to examine this person's psyche and other lives, they would tell the person that they have "past" lifetimes of being sexually abused and being an abuser, which is why they experienced abuse in this lifetime. However, if the person can completely integrate the painful experience of sexual abuse into their consciousness, if they can take back all of the energy they have put into judging the experience, judging themselves, judging the abuser, and then reclaim the energy they have put into suppressing the emotional-memory complex, they will have no more need to process those emotions through other incarnations. When that occurs, what happens to those other lifetimes?
Dimensions of time and erasing incarnations
Through bravely embracing our pain, holding it in our awareness and reclaiming our power associated with it, we can unravel the hidden fragments of our minds that extend out into other incarnations which exist solely as a means to process the pain. Once every trace of the fragmented pain is reclaimed and brought into full conscious awareness, we will no longer "need" the other lifetimes that were created only for the purpose of bringing the hidden pain into the light of awareness, and those incarnations will simply cease to exist.
This concept of simultaneous incarnations that can be created and dissolved is challenging to accept and is impossible to "prove" with our current state of science and technology. The mind boggles at how powerful we would have to be that an entire incarnation could be created to address an issue that is unresolved in our psyche. Yet isn't that the exact premise of reincarnation -- that we "come back" to work through lessons that we haven't learned? The only real disconnect is our perception of time as immutable and ever flowing in one direction.
The concept becomes clearer if we shift away from thinking of time as a linear force and instead imagine time as a board game where each square on the board represents a point in "linear" time. In this physical lifetime we go through just a few squares on the board game of time, which is all our physical senses can perceive. Yet the higher aspect of our self is outside of the game, and it can put a game piece (lifetime) anywhere on the board that one is needed. This means that a "future" incarnation can be placed in your linear "past."
If the game isn't being played fully by one lifetime's personality, the Higher Self that is overseeing the game will simply put a new piece (lifetime) on the game board of time that will "play out" the necessary acceptance of experience that is missing from the other game piece. Should the original player elevate their game to a higher level and embrace their hidden pain, the supplemental game pieces are no longer necessary to complete the game and can be removed from the board.
How do I elevate my game?
The center of our universe of consciousness is simply where we place our awareness. Therefore, we become the prime creator of our own inner universe once we consciously engage our evolution through self-healing. Any lifetime could have become the "master player" on the game board, but *we* chose it to be *this* lifetime. We can know this because you are reading this article now and I have written it using a body experiencing time in the year 2008.
The process of reclaiming energy tied up in fear based emotions and repression takes time, effort and tremendous patience. The rewards, however, are vastly beyond anything we can imagine for ourselves in our present state of consciousness. The "inner space" created by removing the walls of repression and resistance that we have built up around ourselves allows our minds to operate from a space of present moment awareness, awareness of the infinite, and awareness of the game of physical "reality" that we are playing.
When there are no longer any secret compartments in our minds, we won't need too many other players/lifetimes in our game of physical incarnation. Through expanding our consciousness into an undivided focal point of our incarnation game, we elevate the way we play the game to a level where miracles occur. In truth, we are simply allowing the infinite energy of creation to naturally flow through us, for a miracle is simply an event created by an undivided, unlimited consciousness, which the limited ego mind cannot comprehend.
Don't put your inner world aside when it asks for attention. Choose your tools of transformation and set your mind to delving into the aspects of your life that you have been trying to forget. Bring them to the surface, dive into their depths and bring those fragments of your self back home through self-love and forgiveness.
Cameron Day is a long distance spiritual healer and psychic explorer, with a focus on helping others integrate their “material mind” with their own higher levels of Divine Mind. He has created a system of self-transformation tools that anyone can use to clear limiting patterns and access their own higher wisdom. This system is available for free at AscensionHelp.com. He also offers one on one remote clearing sessions to help you get as clear as possible as quickly as possible so that your experience of life can be more abundant, loving and joyful.