When we experience emotional or psychological pains and suffering, most of the time we will try to make them stop, try to neglect it, or just run away. It’s a natural reaction because we instinctively want to protect ourselves from worse.
But generally, emotional pain is simply an indicator that “something’s wrong.” That something needs attention. When we just simply run away or suppress the cause, the pain will usually come back. And often it will return being stronger, more intense. Because the root problem wasn’t solved. As said, it needed attention.
There is of course an obvious difference between physical and psychological pain — cutting yourself in the fingers with a kitchen knife while peeling potatoes is surely something else than losing a loved one.
On the other hand, there’s often a connection between psychological and physical pain. For instance, we all know about psychosomatic disorders, that is, in some cases psychological trauma can cause bodily dysfunctions and thus physical pain. Or the other way around for that matter.
When it comes to experiencing emotional pain, really deeply experiencing that pain, I believe we often withdraw, not only because of the feeling that we need to protect ourselves, but because we don’t understand its meaning and we thereby underestimate its value.
When we don’t run away from our pains, our hurting, but look at them attentively, we will discover that they are born out of the simple fact that we love. That we care. Realizing that is something amazing because it actually transforms our pain, it transcends it, at the same time bringing it back to its roots.
Really consciously experiencing pain is not painful in the common sense of the word. It’s not even suffering, which is often only the result of not getting what we want. Understanding our pain can act as catalyst for immense compassion — for ourselves and for that what causes our pain and suffering.
And compassion, which is love, which arises out of the act of loving, is something that magically and mysteriously unfolds in our heart. But it’s more than a “just a feeling.” It’s penetrating insight in our lives, which boast unspeakable beauty. It’s always deepening, radiating ever more intensely, like a frequency it waves and beats. It embraces Life.
Touching this is not really a matter of courage, it’s firm belief and insight that it is a door. A door to what we are — how we are. And we very often approach this, it’s always near at hand, but we as often withdraw. We peek through. Back and forth we go. Until the time comes to remain at the threshold — and finally enter.