Learning about seeing pain differently

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 1863 words 8 mins 16 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2016 Paul West

The ego has built some very terrible things which we regard as extremely real. These include pain, disease/sickness, fear, death, emergency, intensity, attack, and separation. When these things seems to be happening, the ego is sending out a very strong message to us.

The message says, "you should stay the hell away from this it's really bad". (Beware, this advice may be misleading ;-)

Pain quite literally tells you in an experiential way that it is something you do not want. And nobody wholeheartedly wants to be sick or dying. And attack can be particularly upsetting. The ego keeps reinforcing the idea:

"This is really really terrible and it's really happening and you should want it to stop" (Beware again, this ego advice may not work ;-)

And so typically that is the reaction that we have. If I've got pain, I want it to go away. If someone is attacking someone, I want them to stop doing it. If I am sick or diseased, I want to get rid of it.

The trouble is, these attitudes... These reactions... These ways of experiencing these 'temptation', is precisely the OPPOSITE of what will actually HELP the situation. The ego's counsel is ALWAYS completely opposite of the truth and leading you down exactly the wrong path that results in things becoming far worse. What it claims will save you, and what it claims will heal you, and what it claims will fix the situation, DOES NOT, and so you seek for but you do not find peace.

So let's look at the opposite, which the ego warns you against.

If you are in pain, love the living FUCK out of it. Welcome it. Don't resist it. Drop all desire to get rid of it. Don't make it wrong. Don't judge it as bad or a mistake or something that shouldn't be there. And in particular, stop being a victim and OWN the CHOICE to put it there.

Instead of being a passive victim of it, instead be proactive in choosing how you wish to perceive it. It is also useful to extremely exaggerate how much you WELCOME the problem. For example:

"I am choosing this pain (or whatever the thing is)."

"I really wanted to have this and this is what I've received."

"This pain is absolutely beautiful and lovely and I love it with all my heart."

"I am the one who chose this pain and I've done a really excellent job of choosing it."

"This pain is absolutely amazing I totally love it and welcome it and want it."

"I allow this pain to stay for as long as it wants to, it is completely free to do so and I don't even want to get rid of it or make it go away."

"I feel really happy about this pain being there, and I am truly grateful that it has shown up just like I planned."

"I love this pain. This is the best pain I've ever created. This pain makes me completely happy because it is exactly how I wanted it to be and it has met all my conditions."

"I accept this pain and allow it to remain."

"I let go of resisting this pain or trying to make it go away."

"I let go of labelling this pain as negative or a fault or something I did wrong, there is no guilt in it at all. I am completely innocent."

"I surrender all attack on this pain and give it to you Holy Spirit."

"I am open to being completely still with this pain and simply observing it without any desire to change it or judge it."

"I surreneder this pain to you God, please heal it in my mind and I gently let it go to you now."

Notice that we're having an ATTITUDE which is completely the opposite of what the ego says your attitude SHOULD be. When something goes wrong, the ego puts it into the hierarchy of illusions and tells you exactly what kind of severity of reaction this calls for. If you let it, you'll react according to this hierarchy and be a victim. So the ego says this pain is not something you can possible want - that YOU are not something you can possibly want - so go ahead and WANT IT, to defy the ego and reverse its assertions.

The keys here are you need to include:

1. Complete ownership for having created this

2. Complete ownership for actively still creating it and wanting to

3. Gratitude for having created exactly what you wanted

4. Openness and welcome that is heartfelt

5. Allowing and accepting whatever it, letting it BE without you changing it

6. Surrender of all of the reactions you were having about it and all the ways you were making it out to be something wrong

7. Willingness to let it be free so that you can be free

8. Offering it up to Holy Spirit now that you have LET GO OF IT and have stopped trying to attack it or make it wrong or get rid of it yourself

9. Willingness to ASK Holy Spirit/Jesus/God to now heal it and take it from you

10. Actually DOING SO and letting go of it in peaceful surrender.

To the ego this is total madness. It will tell you if you try to accept or allow something that's clearly bad or awful, that you have regarded as real and upsetting, you will just condone it and keep it. This is not true. It will tell you that you should stop even trying to 'live with it' because if you do, you literally will be stuck keeping it and have to live with it. This is also not true.

The reason the ego's attitude is false is because there are a whole shitload of attitudes that you are having which are REINFORCING the pain and making it worse. In fact, you are the one who put it there. But while you keep REACTING to its appearance, which typically is "I want to get rid of it because it shouldn't be there", that just makes it worse and keeps it. When you lift away all of those reactions and layers of condemnation, judgement, guilt and wrongfulness, you are stripping away layers of 'making it real' and holding it in your mind, which actually FREES YOUR MIND from the illusions surrounding this. So you're actually undoing your reactions, seeing innocence and harmlessness in the thing, and thus getting yourself to the point where you can LET GO of it. You can't be free while you won't let IT be free.

The reason for this is that whenever there is pain or suffering or sickness, it is because there's some part of you that you do not LOVE. Some part of you where you see guilt or wrongness or non-acceptance or sinfulness. So that part of you that you refuse to accept HURTS and turns into sickness. This may or may not produce physical sickness but often it does. So you're not really dealing with your body being sick, you're dealing with your mind being sick - some part of YOU (not the body) needs love. So as you look at the body sickness and you keep launching counter-attacks and defenses against it, all you're doing is hurting the part of you that hurts, even more. That only compounds it and keeps it. Plus it makes you very unhappy because the ego's default reaction to pain and sickness is unhappiness. And yet the fact is, it is a choice to BE unhappy by not loving a part of yourself that MAKES the sickness appear in the first place.

Do you really HAVE to be unhappy and afraid and guilty and lost and hopeless 'because of' a pain or sickness? Do you not have any choice in the matter? At the very least, even if changing your attitude about it does not have any effect on making the sickness BETTER at all, physically, at least you will FEEL GOOD instead of feeling like shit. It IS far better for you to choose to be happy because of sickness than to add a layer of feeling shit on top of the physical sensations or symptoms. Having a headache is one thing, but also having a headache and feeling depressed and unhappy is a whole extra layer of despair. You don't HAVE to have that experience. And what you might find is, if you CHOOSE to have a happier experience about what is happening - a more welcoming, loving, open, allowing experience, then maybe, just maybe, your body will fall into line and actually HEAL to match your change in attitude. Since the physical sickness is just a symptom/projection of your unhealed attitude about yourself, internally, changing your attitude MUST change the projection.

The more support for sickness you can strip away the better, and all of your default negativity and victimhood about being sick DOES compound and support and reinforce it. What happens when you withdraw that support? How can a sickness have a strength, when you weaken it by withdrawing all of your mind's support for it? Make no mistaken, seeing yourself as victimized BY sickness or BY attack or BY someone dying or whatever, that very much strengthens the EFFECTS of that thing happening. Choosing to be happy and loving toward it, instead, which is completely against the ego and does take some WILL (affirmations help too), CANCELS OUT your belief in the effects. When you deny that something has affected you, the cause is undone and you are HEALED.

Jesus DOES ask us in ACIM to cancel out all of the effects of things in order to undo them and to DEMONSTRATE that you are invulnerable. You can't do that if you insist that there's no way you can love or be happy about whatever seems to have gone wrong. You've got to start somewhere. Worth a try?

How much of your life have you spend in the default reactionary space of feeling shitty about bad things that are happening? Has it worked? How much effort have you spent fighting against things that have gone wrong and failed and that are malfunctioning? Has that really helped at all? It has not worked. Try something radical. Try the exact opposite way of dealing with it and see what happens. Holy Spirit can amplify the effects of your willingness to SEE YOURSELF AS WHOLE AND HEALED, because it is in line with the truth.

The only thing you need to be wary of is the ego turning this into a reason to become SARCASTIC, which means that you're saying one thing and believing another. You need to find some amount of belief and meaning in what you're affirming. And because you're trying to UNDO the beliefs you already put in place in your negative reactions, it may take some effort of will and persistence to change your beliefs and to actually FEEL that what you're saying is true. After a while of saying it and MEANING it, you should feel a growing sense of peace and acceptance about the issue, and it should seem easier to be less upset about, and to surrender all of your counter-attacks upon it. Then you will have a GENUINE WILLINGNESS to hand it over to Holy Spirit.

Go for it.

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