If there’s one thing more inevitable in life than death and taxes, pain is it.
One question that has been in my mind over the years is, “If pain is inevitable, then how do you heal it? How do you cope?” And this question is always in my mind when reading about the suffering in the world – I see it to be all caused by emotional pain which has stagnated into darkness. Which is sometimes violent. Sometimes not.
Physical pain and physical wounds are very different to emotional, that much we know.
If I was cut, there would be blood which I would need to clean, apply pressure, get a bandage. If the cut was severe, I’d need to call emergency services and go to a hospital and receive urgent medical attention. Then in a few weeks and maybe longer, poof! A scar.
It’s all very linear and time orientated.
But if there was any emotional trauma in the mind from that cut – say if I was attacked and stabbed – the process of healing would be much, much longer and trickier.
And this is the other thing – it’s non-linear and not time orientated (in that you could be dealing with this trauma for a long time).
The topic of this article is obviously very long and requires more attention than I can give it, so I’m going to try and make a point on this topic that could help you.
Back to non-linear.
Chinese Medicine associates healing as an activity with the image of water in nature. Is water a linear thing? Rivers curve and bend, meander and wander. Go this and that way. Even the sea is controlled by the moon, which over the years has be associated with mystery. Healing and being healed, recovery and recovering, are mysterious non-linear things.
In order to heal emotional pain, you need to ease your frustrations and expectations for this to be done in a month. You need to know that your healing process with slow, but also random and unexpected. You need to be as patient as the river is.
In this western world, there is an assumption, or at least a cultural standard, that the tangible physical world is the real world.
When that is our baseline, then the natural assumption is that what is not physical is not real and all in our heads.
So when it comes to emotional pain, our inner worlds, our emotions and other’s emotions, we’ve been conditioned that it’s not real and because it’s not real, not tangible, there’s no framework to heal and deal, even less to acknowledge and accept the emotional pain.
So the third thing:
To heal your emotional pain, you need to know that it’s real and that the world inside that you have, is also real. As real as flesh and blood, as real as the clothes you wear, as real as your pet cat, as real as the incident that started all of this.
And the actual act of healing? It’s too much to write and detail here, and also highly personal.
But a tip: if healing is associated with water in Chinese Medicine, then think on how water is. Water doesn’t do anything, it simply is. It’s “being.”
That’s the hardest thing to understand about healing emotional pain, is learning how to be with it, notice, listen, focus on it fully, rather than “doing” anything with it, as doing can sometimes easily become ignoring through action.
(Might be back to face reading tips next week, felt like writing more about the principles of Chinese Medicine this week.)