Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Embracing the Pain

As much as I hate to admit it, my blog has some definite self-help themes running through it. The only reason I don't like admitting that is because I don't want my message mistaken for something it is not...

I will never suggest that my discussions and advice here will make your life better, easier, or happier. I offer advice and speak about topics that will help you find the path that leads to knowing yourself, growing, and exploring.

I am a firm believer in the following concepts:

1. Humans need to evolve our state of consciousness through our own seeking.
2. The process of evolving ourselves can be fraught with pain and peril.
3. If you avoid change, you avoid the reason we are here.
4. Every person has the ability to experience fear and triumph despite that fear.
5. Everything we fear can be traced back to our inherent fear of death.

I propose a radical change in the way you view life.

When you feel afraid of something, instead of turning away or hiding from it, stare it down. If you can only handle a few seconds, that's enough for the first time. Try to turn away, calm down, and then look again. Do so until you can rationally consider what you are seeing without feeling panicked.

Then, try to figure out why it frightens you. Is it because of a prior bad experience? Is it because the object of your fear is dangerous to your physical or emotional health? Is it an instinct passed down from the time before we were conscious upright beings?

Now, an amazing thing can happen. Whatever it is that causes your fear, trace it back. Afraid of being bitten by a spider? That is because some spider bites have killed people. Afraid of germs? That is because some people have gotten sick and died from them. Afraid of heights? Afraid of flying? Afraid of having your heart broken? Afraid of your child dying? Every one of them goes back to the same thing. We don't want to die, we don't want to be alone, and we don't want to feel pain.

These are the three major fears to which all other fears can be traced, and the latter two (alone and pain) can be traced back to death as well. We could fear being alone because it means we could die without having a legacy and thereby immortality, through other's memories of us, through having children, through having done something important. Pain is a physical reminder of the possibility of death, it reminds us that death could happen at any moment, therefore we fear pain. (Obviously pain is uncomfortable, but I am speaking to the irrational fear and avoidance of pain, not "I'd rather not hurt" which is the more rational mindset)

We don't want to get to know the inner depths of our being for a big reason: it ties to every fear we have. It can alienate us if we change, thus triggering our alone fear, it could potentially make us crazy which triggers our death fear, and it can potentially hurt - a lot - triggering our pain fear.

Seriously, going through what it takes to really find yourself, who you are inside, what you really are, will ultimately mean destroying the life you have today. Eventually, few scarce vestiges of the person you are now will remain, and you will be someone else. You will likely lose or give up most of your possessions, you'll probably end up living somewhere else, doing something else, even looking like a different person. You will probably distance yourself from family and friends - or they will distance themselves from you - and your priorities will not be the same.

But... we can't only look at that part of it. Even as you lose all of those things, you'll be gaining so much more. You will find new friends, new family, new priorities, a new place to live and a new way to live. You will find yourself to be stronger than you had thought, and you will learn that the changes you put yourself through have tempered your being like steel, making you stronger and bolder and calmer.

And then, you'll do it again. And again. And again. Each time becoming bolder, braver, freer, with less fear.

One small step, followed by another, is all it takes.

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