Pain and Acceptance

Have you ever known someone who you just love being around, who others also gravitate to? They have a special undefined quality about them, something that makes you feel peaceful and understood, accepted just as you are. Hold this thought – I’ll circle back to it in a moment.

I follow, read and listen to many spiritual teachers. My favorites are Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra. Their ideas are so integrally tied into health and well-being, even when they aren’t specifically speaking about health, because vibrant health is so much more than our physical bodies!

As my health journey continues ~ my health has drastically improved in the last two years but I realize it’s an ongoing journey ~ I am really realizing the extreme importance of mental health to the equation – how the thoughts we think directly impact the state our body is in. Thoughts can actually feed physical pain, or even create it. Mental anguish can so easily become physical anguish ~ it’s a direct connection. If our thoughts are full of impatience, unhappiness or dissatisfaction long enough, it’s only a matter of time before our body is similarly affected. On the other hand (and this is the empowering part!), if our thoughts are full of (and directed toward) satisfaction, acceptance, happiness, patience and peace, our bodies will also reflect that state of being. Very cool, huh!

Another way to describe healthy thoughts is through the concept of PRESENCE or consciousness. Eckhart Tolle speaks of this more than any other topic; there’s a reason he speaks of this idea from every possible angle. Consciousness, presence, awareness (and acceptance) are THE MOST IMPORTANT and life-changing way we can approach life. It’s the way to inner peace, it’s the way to happiness, it’s the way to inner resiliency that counteracts all the potentially difficult situations we may encounter.

How to cultivate acceptance and presence?

  • recognize that the present moment is inevitable ~ so there’s no point to fighting it!
  • recognize that resistance to what is causes suffering/pain and less space
  • welcome whatever comes up
  • stop wanting this moment to be any different than it is
  • bring an “inner YES” to each moment to empower you and create spaciousness
  • bring the light of consciousness to any situation
  • being present is more powerful than anything you can say or do
  • recognize that emotion alone does not create unhappiness – THE STORY creates an unpleasant feeling
  • feel the emotion DIRECTLY – not through the filter of thoughts/story ~ feel it in your body…you may need to move, shake, cry, sob, or otherwise dispel the emotion from your body (this is what animals do naturally but we’ve been trained to be in control)

In the stillness of presence, you can sense the formless essence in yourself and others as one.” -Eckhart Tolley

What if the way OUT (of unhappiness, unhealthiness, pain, suffering, etc) is the way IN? The natural tendency is to run from pain: distract, avoid, distance, remove ourselves physically and emotionally. This makes sense, it’s a survival mechanism. But what if our instincts are wrong? What if pain is like a small child who gains more and more determination to get attention, the more he is ignored? I can see how this is true. The times I’ve distanced myself the most from pain are the times it has lodged in my body because it wasn’t address and expelled. So, by acknowledging, being with, sitting with whatever comes up, in whatever form, it can evaporate and never has to continue plaguing us. THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN, wow!

The physical pain might still be there, but feeling and allowing it ~ without the story or thoughts attached to it ~ could certainly reduce it or even make it unnoticeable. This makes sense, right? Try and see. Be still and put all your attention on the pain. Allow it to be whatever it wants to be: a color, a shape, a size, a thing. Just be there with it, allowing without judgement. See what happens. It may take many sessions like this, depending on how long the pain has been there. My experience is that this works!

So ~ WHAT IF (and this may sound too simplistic to be true) ALL WE NEED TO DO TO ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST IS TO BE PRESENT TO EACH MOMENT, TO BRING OUR HIGHEST LIGHT OF CONSCIOUSNESS, OUR TRUE SELF?  What if all we need to do is, instead of resisting whatever comes up in each moment (resistance causes suffering), is to simply accept and allow, and BRING OUR AUTHENTIC SELF ~ the one without a story ~ to this moment?

Back to the person I described above. My assertion is that these people are magnetic because they are present. They bring the light of consciousness to interactions with themselves and others. I used to think I needed to be ‘perfect’ to be accepted. Turns out, it’s not about how you look or dress or what type of car you drive or how much money you make ~ it’s about how you show up in the world ~ as yourself or behind a facade. And you can only truly show up as your highest self when you are present. I believe that this awareness alone ~ knowing you have a choice ~ is the first step toward enlightenment/awakening, i.e., experiencing life ~ in all its beauty and rawness ~ truly and authentically.

I really recommend LISTENING to Eckhart’s audio book, A New Earth. It’s changing my life!

With that, I wish you all loads of love, and of course Health and Happiness,

Marcie, Your Ambassador of Health!

3 Thoughts on “Pain and Acceptance

  1. Claire on October 18, 2013 at 1:30 am said:

    Wow, this is an excellent article, Marcie. So well written and hits home perfectly for anyone suffering from a chronic health issue. Acceptance is the key. Thank you for this gem!

  2. Great post. It really resonates with me right now, I am really trying to work on acceptance (when I read about it, it makes total sense) But when I’ve been in bed for 3 days with a migraine and my kids need me and my house is a disaster it’s feels pretty hard to accept it!! I have some good guided imagery cd’s that help and lots of focusing on my breathing. I’ll check out the Eckart Tolle book you mentioned – I read the Power of Now and liked that one. Thanks for all you do!

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