SPIRITUAL PAIN: The Doctor is In!
It seems that for most of my adult life I’ve had more trouble with my doctors than with my pain. Or to put it more precisely, it’s always been more troubling to go to a doctor than it was to grin and bear the pain. And that suffering doubles for some of us when it comes to spiritual pain!
Indeed, we’re conditioned to believe in our long suffering –not only physically and psychologically, but also and even more significantly, spiritually. But why? Seems most of us have suffered long and hard enough by now…hell!..most of us could open up our own Spiritual Pain Clinic! Humm…maybe we’re on to something here?
Seeing your doctor.
The doctor is in. And the Doctor is you. Or more precisely, your self.
When it comes to healing your spiritual pains, you’re your own doctor! The doctor is always in…inside. And the doctoring you need to end spiritual pain is not complex and expensive, troublesome or even tiring. That’s because what you are is spirit, and whatever is causing the pain is also spirit. By “spirit” let’s agree we mean, in this instance, “reality.” Spirit is not some vague weak essence; spirit is solid and vast, strong and powerful as reality. And just as pain in our body asks for our attention, spiritual pain urges us to pay attention to our deepest longing.
Use warm water.
All you need to use to doctor your own suffering is what the sages and saints over the centuries have used to heal their spiritual pains –warm water. By “warm” we mean “loving” and by “water” we mean “truth.” Loving truth. (Water often symbolizes ‘truth’ in the Christian tradition)
Indeed, the balm of loving truth when applied gently is the great healer of most of our pain and all of our suffering. But before we explore this a little more, let’s clarify what we mean by “pain”. We do not mean that physical pain is, or can be, avoided and traditionally, medically, masked, so much as the healing of our psychological pain. You know – the myriad angers and fears invented and otherwise invested in personally, socially and culturally over the years in our heads and our hearts. That pain.
Stepping off the wheel.
Like the classic mouse running inside the wheel, we have come to feel and believe that our life must be a daily struggle. We cling both to our pleasure and our pain, as if that were all life has to offer – a teetering, grasping upside ride, followed rapidly by a dependably depressing – and often devastating! – downside dive…of course, as we mice-men know, the reward of pleasure is immediately followed by the suffering of pain. That’s the proverbial Wheel of Samsara, the conjoined twins that give birth to our conflicted living. Indeed, we humans hang on for the ride because we fear who we are and what we might be without this constant turning of the pleasure/pain wheel.
Indeed, that pain can be too much of a pain to give up, right? Who would I be without my suffering? What would happen if I stopped struggling with what is, here and now, and stepped off? If I eased off on wanting to control – on insisting that things be the way I want them to be?
The love prescription.
To be your own spiritual Doc does not require special training or years of advanced techniques, although for many of us seekers that is what has “happened” as we pursued what we thought or felt was the thing to do to find the truth. But perhaps, here and now, we may find that in fact, and in truth, we already have what it takes – love. And it’s really not hard to love –just stop running away from your desire-less self-nature and lean into that knowing.
Loving is easy!
Loving is easy. Easy-because-natural! Easy because you already are it, right? “Loving” is just another word we can use to point to the truth of our natural being which is goodness. Loving truth is not something you do – you are it. You are this ultimate truth (and not any fanciful or fearful mind-made critter called “James” or “Jane”) That is the truth, whether we realize it or not. That truth is the doer; it does set us free. It lubricates the pain and liberates our suffering. So why do we hesitate and halt, negotiate and prevaricate, when it comes to healing our own pain?
Fearing to lose.
Perhaps, like the rest of us, you’ve got a long history of holding out, indulging in, running from and insisting on, a certain picture you have about who you are and what this is? And that whatever pain you have, at least it’s yours! It’s “who I am” and what this life of favored pleasures and avoided pains is about, right? Well, it’s not only yours – it’s our suffering all over the world; you and me transmit our pain like a reactor that’s melting down. That is, until we stop our internal reacting, and begin to act from love.
Love sans frontiers.
The good news is, of course, we can be our own doctor; we can restore our self to our natural well-being –simple awareness. And when that happens, when we alter that personal, invested and conditioned relationship to pain, the endless suffering ends. And we start transmitting sans frontiers that which healed us –love. And the more we transmit love by loving, the less we –this greater Self we know as the world around us, will suffer. Indeed, we meet and are met; we touch and are touched, by love…by our Self. And it all begins right here at home. With the healing of our conflict and pain, we begin to radiate that “peace which surpasses all understanding.” All it takes is a little warm water, lovingly applied!
“Be with your own self, listen to it, obey it, cherish it, keep it in mind ceaselessly…As long as your urge for truth affects your daily life, all is well with you.”