How Pain Can Be Your Greatest Teacher
Have you ever been broken? So much that you felt empty, barren, void? Left without life, left without reason to live, even for a moment, or for a longer time? Have you ever been so sad that you felt the subtle, yet immensely heavy veil of sadness overtake every cell of your body as a physical feeling? Have you ever felt so wrecked that you could not recall any other feeling or state of being alive, other than that misery? Have you ever wept so deeply, so much, that you were drained of tears, breath, memory, life, and any kind of human feeling? Entering a phase of stillness of everything around you, utter quiet, where even taking a breath seems unnecessary and redundant? Have you ever felt so depressed that you felt every sheath of your being mangled and desolate? And have your ever felt certain that feeling was there to stay? There was no rush, no reason to worry. That was the feeling that you would be in from now on. And you didn’t care if that was what was going to happen. You even felt safe, almost invincible.
Have you ever lost yourself completely in such a moment of melancholy? Have you ever lost track of time, thoughts, stress when you were in such a state? Have you ever experienced time dilation, or even time stopping, when you were feeling so emotionally weary? Have you ever experienced calmness, after all feelings have peeked and then suddenly dropped and gone? And now, do you recall ever having felt that way in your ‘normal state’ of life? That absolute state of tranquility after the storm, the detachment from any things you might have perceived as ‘problems’ earlier, the meditative-like state of total sorrow, the feeling of freedom from any attachments.
And have you ever felt a surge of inspiration flushing your spirit after a long struggle? A drive to create, to write, to dwell in something that nourishes you, that channels your emotions and transmutes them into something beautiful? A sudden awakening of your creative self? And perhaps you felt a sudden feeling of awe for that unexpected state you found yourself in, a bizarre kind of life out of death, a miracle resurrection, a rising of the Phoenix through its ashes.
And now, know, that you can have all that, not only in a state of downright wretchedness, desperation and gloom. You can have it all, any time you want. Not because it will happen to you. But because you will choose to make it happen. You will be the creator of that state. And if it has happened to you, you are fully capable of recreating it at will. With the perk of having lived through a sneak-peek of how that state feels like, you know what you will be aiming towards. You just need one magic component, your adamant Will. Your Will, paired with your own deep wisdom for your self, self-discipline and courage. And that is what makes you the best teacher and healer for yourself. You know yourself better than anybody else, the traps you can fall into, your weaknesses, your strengths. And by keeping this image of that end-state calmness in mind, suddenly the journey will not feel as difficult. With that knowledge, you will discipline yourself as you tread that path, through tests and obstacles, to your liberation, to glory.
Pain can be our greatest guide. It can take us in states we haven’t experienced ourselves in before. And it can reveal to us sides of us that we may never have known. A hidden potential. A hidden desire. A Higher Self, struggling to crawl out of our visceral existence. The worst thing that happens to you, can be the best thing that happens to you. It takes open eyes, an open mind and an open heart. Know that you can wield the coin of any circumstance you find yourself in; if you find yourself on the negative side, learn from it, and then turn it around to the positive side; if you’re on the positive side, keep it and nurture it. Use everything that life is giving you. Feel what you need to feel, and then, with your mind and your heart together, rise above it all and turn ‘what happens to you’, into ‘what happens for you’. And all you need to do is remember that state of bliss you once reached, stillness, strength that got birthed from sensitivity, and refabricate it.
Your life is your art. As Buddha put it, “what you think, you become”. Gain from your Pain, physical, mental or emotional, receive him as a blessing. And you will discover pain is not your enemy, he can be your friend, your ally. And if you don’t let your pain be your teacher, then your pain will be in vain. And it will come again and again. Not because he wants to, but because you let him. And that is the real tragedy.
Elli works out of Qi on Thursday evenings, offering Ancient Greek Meditation, Ashtanga Yoga and Yoga Nidra. You can read more about her here.