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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Resistance Turns Pain to Suffering

The daily meditation I’ve been doing, mostly to Stephen Levine CD’s, makes me aware of how hard it is to soften to the pain (as he describes it).  I clench a lot, which makes the pain worse and turns pain to suffering.  Not resisting it helps.  It seems counter intuitive to NOT resist pain, and it is.  But if you try and do the opposite of what your body does (clenches against the pain) the suffering and even the pain, will lessen.  It’s true, I’ve done it, but I have to relearn it every day until it becomes intuitive NOT to resist the pain.
Why would you not resist the pain, you ask?  Well, if you try to soften to the pain by relaxing whatever part of the body that is in pain (my whole lower body, my jaw) the pain really does lessen a bit.  But you have to be aware of it ALL THE TIME if you are in pain all the time, like me.  I’ve often written that pain is just something the body does, but suffering is a choice.  Well, it is and it isn’t.  It’s only a choice if you choose not to try and have mercy on the pain.
Loving-Kindness is not easily practiced, especially when turned inward.  Letting the discomfort just be there, without pushing it away is not an easy practice.  But if you try, you just might be able to live with the pain a little better.  Because if you are like me, the pain is going nowhere. 
I still haven’t decided if my NF and all that comes with it is there to teach me something in this life, of if the gene that mutated just did what it did; I mean, how many of us win the genetic lottery like Angelina Jolie?  That’s why I am so against looking at those people and feeling rotten because we got the ‘short end of the stick’.  In reality, unless you are a close personal friend  of the genetic lottery winners, you haven’t a clue what their lives are really like, what they suffer from, etc.  So don’t go there (even though I brought it up).
Whatever the case, I need to figure out a way to live with the pain, the constipation, the change in my blood pressure, heart rate, the cancer (breast, 2005), the rare stomach disorder I had in 2007 that required surgery, the horrible teeth, locked jaw, all the diseases I’ve survived which are too long to list and whatever hasn’t hit me yet.
So I’m meditating.  I’m trying to love myself as I am, and as I’m not.  Sending mercy and forgiveness into every sensation and softening to it each and every moment of every day.  Being conscious of it is the hardest part of all.  Especially when all of the sudden, even my Miralax stopped working.  Also, my insurance won’t pay for a refill but once a month, and I need it more than that.
Karen Drucker

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