I want to share something with you that has radically changed my life, specifically in some of my most challenging moments. And this simple practice is a loving antidote when you are in pain.
And I want to open wide the kind of pain I am talking about. This practice helps with physical pain, spiritual pain, and what you may be feeling most of all right now, emotional pain.
Emotional pain can be strong emotions, big dips, disappointments, surges of anger, and even going numb.
And I imagine during this time, you deeply desire some sunshine, some rays of hope to enter your being and open your heart again. I imagine you would love some space and perhaps some joy, a smile, and laughter.
In fact, I would love nothing more than to experience some joy with you!
So, here is the practice:
Bring love and kindness to your pain.
If you can think of your pain as a young part of you that is crying, then this places your focus on comforting this part of you, as opposed to judging it or trying to act as if it’s not there. The crying child within you wants to be held, and the tears stop once there is loving acknowledgement and acceptance.
There has been endless toxic messaging around “being a whimp or sissy” and bringing shame to our tears, or even worse saying the best way to get through pain is to just “shut up and get over it.” In most cases, this messaging is really a reflection of the person saying it, and their inability to process or feel their own pain. When this message has been passed down to us through family lines, it can be terribly confusing, and ultimately damaging, because it’s saying to bring anger, shame, and fear to your pain instead.
If you can imagine your pain as energy that is stuck in your body, then when you ignore or attempt to “get over it” this just contracts the energy even further, and in most cases, just elevates the intensity over time. What will actually help your pain to transform is kindness. It’s turning TOWARDS your pain, but with love.
Bringing love and kindness to your pain actually melts the intensity and allows you to be present and then discern what will actually HELP you most in the moment. However, when you meet your pain with judgment, then you have shut off that opportunity and will find yourself in the same place again and again.
Which I know you don’t want. I know you want to move forward with some hope and feel your pain transform. Because when you realize you have the ability to transform your pain in any moment, no matter the circumstances, you have tapped into your deepest confidence.
The confidence you are ok.
I will share an example of how this actually works in the moment of pain and then offer ways you can incorporate this practice starting today.
I started getting debilitating migraines back in 2019. At the time, it was terrifying, because I hadn’t experienced anything that intense since I was 8, and I didn’t understand why it was happening. While the migraines were diet related when I was 8, I no longer ate any of those trigger foods, so was scared something major was happening. When I would get a migraine, I would spiral with the pain, feeling so scared. And every time I did this, the migraine got worse. I had this voice in my head on a loop saying, “you will never get better. Something is wrong and you have NO idea what it is!” I met the pain with fear, and judgement that I had done something wrong to deserve this.
When I finally got the answer the migraines were from mold toxicity, and I started to feel better with a detox protocol, I really started to notice my mind and how judgemental I was towards my body that it was having such a strong reaction. I also noticed how the migraines got worse when I did that, and wanted to change it, so I began to meet the intense pain with love and kindness, and found something radical happen. The pain would level off, instead of getting worse, and then I could attend to the pain with something that actually helped like Qi Gong, Reiki, or lying quietly in a dark and quiet room.
Just a few weeks ago, I got a nasty sinus infection. I was in bed for a week and woke up one night with intense sinus pain. In fact, the pain was just as intense as a migraine and there was no where to go. The pain was there, but I didn’t spiral, because I knew the answer was to meet it with love and kindness. I remembered how when I judged myself, it always made things worse, so I started to rub my sinuses, drank some hot water, and did a mudra that brings energy down from the head.
And I was able to fall back asleep.
And I was able to heal.
I was able to transform the pain in that moment.
The experience of my migraines actually ended up being a teacher on many levels. One, my body was telling me something was off, AND they gave me an opportunity to see how I treated myself in the face of pain. When I treated myself with judgement, the pain always got worse, but when I could bring love to myself and be kind, the pain would relax.
Remember the analogy of pain as stuck energy? Well, the judgement intensified the energy and the love relaxed the energy.
It can be this simple.
So, here are some ways you can practice this, when you are in pain.
* First acknowledge you are in pain, and you can do this by saying, “even though I feel pain, I deeply love and accept myself.”
* Place a hand on your heart or belly or the place where you feel the pain to bring comfort.
* You can even imagine a warm light entering your body or your heart or mind, infusing you with unconditional love.
* Bring your focus to your breath, and practice slowly inhaling and exhaling to bring space and relaxation.
* And once you have accepted and brought some warmth and space to your being, then you can check in asking, “what will be most helpful?” This can also be a moment to reflect on things that have helped you in the past, whether they are a hot bath, calling a friend, taking a walk, or perhaps doing some light massage or meditation.
Bringing love and kindness to your pain places you in a position of agency. It reminds you of your capability and the truth that you are a magical being. You can transform pain. You can transform intense emotions.
And while this may not be what you were taught, you are capable of it because you were born whole. This practice is really just a reclamation.
Be gentle with yourself, especially during this tumultuous time. There is nothing wrong with feeling pain. You are human, and this is part of being a sensory being.
So, turn towards your pain with your greatest power. Your power of love and kindness that has been with you since birth. It’s all there inside.