When we're faced with something that is painful on any level, that moment is asking us to step back, take our hooks out of the meat, and observe; also known as non-attachment in Buddhism. This can feel ultra-challenging when our emotions, our bodies, and every cell of our being seems to be laser focused on this particular thing/event/person. However, this is exactly why it continues to carry on as it is: painfully.
We have all heard about our thoughts creating our reality. But how, exactly?
As we speak, think, and do, the universe reflects our personal reality back to us. We are but energetic masters creating or devastating our lives based on our thoughts, words and deeds. Anytime we lambast, judge, or hurt someone, we are ultimately creating more pain and negativity in our own lives. Have you ever experienced a positive outcome for everyone involved when blame and judgment are the primary motivators?
This is possible because we all have the ability and means to change our thoughts. For those of us with trauma or PTSD, the road is a little less straightforward than simple "positive thinking." For some, incredibly, that seems to work. For myself though, it never did--in fact, it made me more angry.
When dealing with trauma, working directly with the physiological is a direct way to rewire our brains. Depending on how ingrained the trauma is, a Hakomi therapist or a therapist who integrates mindfulness and body-awareness into their healing practice can literally move mountains. This kind of deep healing and physiological change can also happen with a loving partner. Both of these experiences have been healing for countless people, myself included.
Once in contact with our bodies--the pain and trauma--guided together in the safety of a relationship with another trusted human, new neurological pathways are created. The more we use those "new" pathways, which show up in reality as new ways of thinking, the more ingrained they become. Eventually, they become the norm.
Meditation can also do this for some. However, for those of us with a stubborn streak or an extra strong ego due to past trauma and ingrained behaviors, the help of a professional or amazing loved one, to usher us safely inside ourselves can be life-changing on all levels. In meditation, or while releasing trauma and finding home in our Selves, we're releasing attachments. Shadows that have casted their lengthy darkness over our present experiences. According to Dr. Deepak Chopra:
Love, spiritually, means letting go of all that is known.
In the fourteenth century text, The Cloud of Unknowing, the unknown Christian mystic author states:
Let go of this everywhere and this something, in
exchange for this nowhere and this nothing. Do not
worry if your senses cannot understand this nothing,
for this nothing is why I love it the better...Who is it
that calls it nothing? Surely it is our outer man and not
our inner man. Our inner man calls it All.
Attachment only causes us all great pain. It's based on ego's needs alone, which never has the whole in mind. Let go of this everywhere and this something, in exchange for this nowhere and this nothing...who is it that calls it nothing? Even here the author understands in our quest for surrender, for non-attachment, we can become attached to the very thing we've set out to step back from. It's a practice, like love, of coming home to our Selves, of checking in with what's inside. Surrendering.
What does it mean to surrender?
Often times, this can conjure up feelings of disdain and weakness. This is our ego making us fearful of defeat and being harmed. We often come to a place of surrender while immersed in a very dark time. We're out of options, tried everything, and we're desperate to find the light. Often, this means finally turning back towards our Selves. We offer up our pain to love, and have faith that by doing our part, the universe will do its part. It means taking responsibility for both our actions and thoughts while living in integrity. We rediscover we've held the answers we've sought the entire time, inside our hearts.
In order to feel our heart, we have to be in our bodies. We have to go directly into the difficult emotions and pain for them to release their icy grips on our hearts. Only then can the springtime of love blossom what's always been inside.