Pain and Healing

Understanding the play of opposites is the only way to adjust with the never-ending dance of creation.

You cannot have light without dark. Happy without sad. Up without down. And so on. Each requires the other to exist.

For better or worse, we learn that good is good and bad is bad, and develop preferences for one over the other.

What we eventually realise, however, is that you can’t fully control the outcomes of your life. Any number of things can and will come along to lay waste to your best laid plans.

Sickness. Injury. Death. Job loss. Earthquake. Forest fire. Typhoon. Accidents of various shapes and sizes.

Sure as day becomes night, happy inevitably becomes sad. It is just a matter of time—and, for that matter, just a matter time for the pendulum to swing the other way again. It just doesn’t stop.

After awhile, the swing becomes unbearably frustrating. Our attachment to our good and bad preferences becomes unbearable because we work so hard to get what we want, only to watch it be taken from us in some way (over and over again).

This frustration is important. It creates the opportunity to investigate a wholly different approach to the way we operate in the world.

We start to wonder if there is an alternative to the happy-sad-happy or good-bad-good cycle, ie, a way to get out of the trap.

There is. And it starts by understanding good is bad and bad is good. They are the same energy in different form, with different tastes.

This way, we can develop an embrace of both poles and not fear — welcome, even — the arrival or loss of either.

We can see the beauty of gain and we can see the beauty of loss.

(Think to your own life. When you have experienced the most transformation, or the most insight? Was it not when the clouds were so dark, you couldn’t see more than five feet down the road?)

Taken far enough, we only see beauty—even while in pain.

In fact, we see the pain as our healing.

In the end, we let go of all our attachments and desire only what is happening right now—because it’s the only thing we ever have that can’t be taken away from us.

Win, Lose, Surrender

Winning feels great…

Until it doesn’t.

We live with the Law of Gravity here—what goes up, must and will come down.

Similarly, there is the Law of Inverse Gravity—what comes down, must and will go up.

We have day and we have night.

We have winter and we have summer.

Sometimes we win. Sometimes we lose.

The two, seemingly opposed poles are in an endless dance with one another. It is impossible to stay fixed in either or (which should come as good news to some).

The ego, in innocence, not wanting to understand the grander Way of Things, uses effort to both stay high in winning or stay low in so called losing.

Yes—some people want to be depressed, just as some people want to be the champion of forever.

While the ego will enjoy some short-term success relative to the achievement of its wishes, the energy supply of personal willpower and effort is combustible and does not regenerate on its own. More becomes needed.

More work, more hiding, more substances, more playing it safe, more risk, more reward.

If the push of the ego continues, accident will befall us. Injury. Disease. Various breakdowns and slip ups.

At this point, an opening is created. Ideally, the sting of the accident is such that it prompts us to turn the search light within and investigate the inner causes of our problematic behaviour.

We will either see, in lighthearted fashion, the folly of our ways and make the appropriate adjustment, or we will push even harder to “get over it” and resume the status quo.

Pushing even hard to get back into the winning-losing — i.e., happy-sad — flow will, at some point down the line, create an even greater accident. And another, and another after that.

Until, we finally get the joke that many are starting to get.

The choice between winning and losing is not an actual choice. Both roads lead to misery, eventually. Who really wants that?

We are left, then, with the one and only choiceless choice—to surrender, or not.

That is—to give in, or to push. To be ourselves, or to be our egos.

It is a choiceless choice because nobody wants to suffer indefinitely. At some point, every one of us will turn.

To turn means to let go of our effort, willpower, and thinking of what is best for us.

It means to give into the moment and align with what is true for us—right here and now.

It means to stop considering consequences and act without expectation. Just because.

This path of simplicity brings the greatest reward or “win” of them all.

Causeless and abiding peace, love, and joy.

Who doesn’t want that?

Path of Healing

Pain and suffering cause us to investigate solutions.

Right solutions can profoundly change our lives for the better and alleviate our pain. They exist across a broad spectrum, on every level—physically, mentally and emotionally, and even spiritually.

Yet, there is a final stage of healing as important as the solution—the regression.

A regression will very likely be visited on us in the mid-term aftermath of any major intervention that resulted in major life change.

Its job is to take you “back” to the place you were before the intervention to see if anything remains unhealed.

During this time, you might make a “mistake” you swore you would never make again.

This is a highly precious opportunity for you to meet the issue you were grappling with previously, with your renewed level of awareness to reaffirm whatever the new learning is.

This temporary setback, as upsetting as it may be, is temporary. The educational dividends it will pay, far outweigh reliving the pain.

Steps forward, steps back. Steps forward, Steps back. That’s how it goes.