Saturday, December 27, 2014
The Illusion of Pain
I was thinking a lot over the holidays having a lot of time to just relax and do absolutely nothing (which is rare for me). I was thinking specifically about emotional pain. Having a strong interest in helping others understand and come to terms with pain, I was toying with an idea. I’ve written in my books about the concept of malware. Malware as I’ve used it is very much like a computer virus that get’s in and infiltrates your computer’s operating system. I see pain not at all differently. It becomes like an emotional virus that infiltrates and infects our mental human operating system. Once resident (and there is something resident in all of us), it results in pain deep within us that causes our perspectives to be jaded, skewed and well, often, completely inaccurate. It causes us to lose our ability to see the truth in our human interactions. There is much we can do once we realize that we have something within us that needs our attention. We can learn to find out what it is, understand it and then learn to see things differently thus minimizing the effect of the “malware.”
A interesting thought I had was whether pain ever truly healed or not. I mean, it seems that once we have been emotionally wounded, those wounds never seem to go away. At least not entirely (if they did, how come we keep being triggered?). We go through our lives reacting, wincing, transferring and projecting the pain that we’ve suffered to and through others as we interact with each other. I think malware stems from beliefs we have created around emotional wounds. For some, the malware is mostly benign and so there is no real or dramatic harm done. But for others, this malware becomes an epic roadblock to our ability to have and maintain healthy human relationships. What do we do then? Is there no hope? Is there no cure? I think that the pain caused by malware (and that term should be read as a hidden belief held with a pain charged memory) cannot ever be healed. Yes. You read that right. Pain suffered emotionally cannot be healed. It remains resident like the RAM resident programs in your computer’s operating system (e.g., programs that take up memory continually while your computer is running – draining and dragging on your computer’s performance). This malware in the human mental operating system does the same thing. It runs in the background taking up precious energy, clouding our memories, our vision and our experience and there it remains, mostly undetected by us consciously. Oh, others may see it and even draw it to our attention but in so doing, it just results in poking the wound causing us to react.
I have proposed that pain cannot be healed. That once you have formed a belief with an emotionally charged memory, the pain is there and remains forever resident in our mental operating system. Well, that is until you can find the precise belief that is at the true core of the malware and seek to understand it. Now, that understanding part is like climbing Mount Everest and just like climbing said mountain, you’ll need a guide. You truly need someone to help you navigate unfamiliar terrain, to help guide you around the cervices, canyons and steep slippery slopes. It isn’t easy. But, once you have engaged in the climb and endeavored to find and root out those beliefs that formed emotionally charged memories that resulted in malware running in the background of your conscious existence, you can begin to understand. Once you come to understand the belief at the core of the pain, you don’t really heal it or make it go away but you come to understand it. Once you come to understand it, you start removing the energetic charge of emotion. With the highest level of understanding possible, you could completely transform the malware through understanding and then the whole belief and its perceived emotional harm can be transformed as if it where a fog being dissipated by the sun’s light. We don’t remove it completely in this regard but we understand it. Through awareness, we can understand our own behavior and eliminate reactions to certain situations that trigger the original pain from the belief. Once you can get to this plateau, you can walk a little taller, with more confidence and less of the malware filters your experiences. You learn to react differently.
Now, how do you know if you have something infecting your human mental operating system? There are many ways to tell. What are you afraid of? What causes you the most pain? What do you dislike the most in others? What do you dislike in yourself? What have been the sticking points in current or past relationships? Did you know that you are so amazing that you will actually attract to you the very specific kinds of people you need to interact with that will help bring the original belief to light? Did you know this isn’t limited to personal relationships and that it can happen on the job, during shopping trips or even while driving? We even invite certain situations to us that will brush up against that belief and cause us to wince a little bit not as punishment but as a reminder that something is resident in the psyche that maybe shouldn’t be. If you can find it, and I do not by any stretch of the imagination mean to suggest that it is a simple and easy process, but you can dissipate the malware through understanding. When you can do this, your perceptions and perspectives are automatically transformed and your old behaviors and desires for interactions are also transformed bringing you new and hopefully healthier experiences.
I think that we run into these situations on purpose. I think it is part of our life or lesson plan to take on certain things to over come. That doesn’t mean we have to stay stuck in the class. See my article on A Class in Life for some additional food for thought. I believe that we were not put here to suffer for our sins (or past beliefs that formed emotionally charged painful memories). I believe that we were put here to learn and transform the things we hold within our egoic selves or little “c” consciousness that prevent us from knowing fully the truth about us. Once you can find a way to dig deep beneath the layers of the accumulated beliefs that have truly caused you nothing but pain and a compromised human mental operating system, you can live a more meaningful life with a sense of greater well-being. Anything is possible when you make up your beautiful mind and take action. As the Tao Te Ching says, even a 1,000-mile journey begins with a single step. So too, does the journey of healing begin. Although healing is a funny word, when you get to the true essence of it, healing isn’t really about finding an emotional wound and treating it. It is removing the idea of something you think exists through understanding the truth from a 360-degree perspective. When you can get there, all illusions fall away. Pain never just heals on its own with time. It is a filter we carry with us to protect certain wounds we believe that we have accumulated. And, well, we do have them as long as we choose to run certain programs (read: View certain experiences in a specific way to protect yourself from pain). Sometimes just acknowledging something exists and going through the pain helps you to release it. However, when you can come to a state of true understanding, the original wound in the mind is eliminated through the transformation by understanding it. The pain is gone, we heal and learn to live with our experience as well as learn to integrate the emotions and all of the reinforcements of it that we’ve carried all of these years. That does take time but it is worth it to explore I think. A life lived in emotional pain is a tough life to live. If you find yourself there mentally, physically or spiritually, please do seek out the right kind of assistance for yourself. You have so many options from self-help books, counselors in psychology, metaphysics or spiritual…all can be of assistance if you want it.
My theory is just that, a theory. I write about this often and have touched on these subjects in a number of my books written specifically to bring light to these concepts. ChangingPerspectives: The Journey is theDestination, ExpandingHorizons: Growth and Beyond, So, It’s Over. Now What?, Awakening from the Dream and Solving for X all carry this theme as does my online training course, Exploring the Conscious Self (see Training tab). We all carry what we carry for very good reasons and through the experience of carrying wounds, we learn. This means that an emotional wound is not a death sentence but an opportunity or challenge, if you are to take up the challenge you actually presented for yourself to overcome. That is the metaphysical or spiritual twist to all of this, I suppose. As a metaphysical practitioner, I cannot help but look to all sources for understanding. Through being resourceful and tenacious, I find there is nothing I cannot overcome. The only failure one can ever truly achieve is never trying. But even in that, we have a choice. We can endeavor to grow with intention or continue to unconsciously. Life truly is amazing. With my theory, I have intended to paint a picture of understanding because I have discovered that this simple act of understanding or being open to understanding or seeking understanding has become the key that has unlocked so very many doors for me. I hope understanding opens doors for you as well.
As you go into the New Year, I challenge you to consider “understanding” in all that you do. I challenge you to become very curious about your lives and the multiple meanings every single interaction and event holds. Enjoy your time here in every way that you possibly can. I wish you great blessings of love, light and understanding.
© 2014, J.L. Harter (photo and words)
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