Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pain body

This is the last blog I'll write before I return from surgery. Yesterday I was listening to Eckhart Tolle talk about the pain body. The pain body is the energy of all the accumulated repressed pain from the past that we hold in our bodies. It can get triggered by events in the present. He said that one way to recognize that the pain body is activated is when our reactions seem out of proportion to the situation at hand. He says to be mindful that the pain body is activated and to be with the arising feeling gently and lovingly. Sometimes when Gary and I have been apart for a long time I will get triggered by old abandonment fears. In those moments I feel like he doesn't understand me, doesn't hear me and doesn't at all fit my pictures of who I want to be with. I can be very critical and judgemental and unkind. Tonight we were on the phone and I could feel myself getting very impatient and frustrated talking about the details of our trip. Instead of spiraling into criticism I recognized I was frustrated and told him and asked to feel more connected. We did a ritual where we both said what we appreciated about each other. As we were doing the ritual I could feel myself getting small and being afraid. That fear was underneath the automatic pilot reaction of criticizing him and creating distance when I want closeness. As I explored further I felt strong fear about my surgery and that something awful would happen to me. I have never had surgery before and I was spinning a worst case scenario about not being able to talk anymore and how that would effect my life. I was able to share my fears with Gary and he really showed up. He acknowledged my fears and then reassured me. Validating that he could understand that I could feel that way and pulling himself back from his knee-jerk reaction of getting defensive and jumping in to fix me was enormously helpful. I was able to release my fear by experiencing how scared I have been since I was a kid when I feel out of control. Instead of feeding my pain body by avoiding the pain it was bringing up and criticizing Gary, I could release a layer of the pain. I felt relieved and closer to him and more positive about the surgery. I am excited about using the awareness of the arising of the pain body as a vehicle to get closer to myself and Gary and to grow. What do you notice about your pain body? Sometimes it is much easier to recognize another's pain body than your own. It might be useful to ask someone you feel safe with for help. I hope all of you have a growth-filled week and some fun too. I look forward to writing on Friday and sharing my adventures with you.

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