Dealing with Pain
 
Marianne Williamson

  
By midlife, most of us have a lot of impacted emotional pain.  That pain can poison our system or leave it.  Those are pretty much our only two choices.

Sometimes depression is to the soul what fever is to the body:  a way to burn up what needs to be burned up so that health can return.  Some dark nights of the soul last months or years, while others just last a night or two.  Either way, they're part of a mystical detox of our accumulated fear and despair.  Any thought not reconciled with truth remains in our psychic "in-box," put in the trash but not yet deleted from the computer.  Whatever energy isn't brought to light, surrendered and transformed, stays in the dark--an insidious force of constant, active attack on both body and soul.

Even if you've lived a pretty good life, unless you've lived it in some isolated mountain village where everyone around you was nice all the time, then you're probably carrying some pain around.  In your 30s and 40s you were so busy that you were able to keep distracted, but sometime. . . that pain demands to be heard.  It will be heard.  And it's far, far better to hear it in your head and in your soul, than from your doctor when the test results come back and unfortunately they do not look good.

Turning on the TV these days, one feels bombarded by advertisements for sleep medications.  

It's understandable, of course, that people who have to get up for work the next morning will do anything necessary to get a good night's sleep.

But there's a deeper story here, of people seeking help in their efforts to handle the monsters that often emerge from their psyches very late at night.  Some of these monsters need to be let out.  They need to be freed from the caves they live in.  They bring messages of pain, it's true, and yet the pain they bring is often important pain.  If you don't feel the guilt, how will you ever reach your motivation to make amends?  If you don't feel the self-loathing, how will you ever reach the motivation to act more responsibly next time?  If you avoid the pain, you'll miss the gain.  Just suppressing the monsters only makes them larger.  Allowing them out--and allowing yourself to finally face them--is the only way to make sure that they will ever go away.

It's not always fun to face your past--not the white-washed, historically revised version, but the real backstory you don't look at daily because it would make you cringe so much if you did.  It's not really about what you don't want others to know; the actual events probably weren't any worse than what others have been through in their lives.  Compared to others, you might not have even done so badly.  But wherever you didn't live up to your personal best, shame remains like an underground toxin.  You live with regrets that haunt you, perhaps rarely during the day when the ego's illusionist worldview holds sway, but during those nights when no pill or drink or amount of sex can keep them from you.  They move through locked doors in your mind as though they're ghosts, which they are.  And no amount of "Go on now, go!" can shoo them away.

Only the rigorous work of taking a fearless moral inventory will do that--the bravery to respect your conscience, to know that if something's up for review, then it's best to review it.  And that can be difficult.  In the words of the ancient Greek playwright, Aeschylus, "He who learns must suffer.  And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."  Numbing yourself--while sleeping or waking--will not erase the pain; only forgiveness and love can do that.  Then, through the alchemy of atonement and grace, the ghosts will go back to the nothingness from whence they came.  And they will be no more.  The past is over, and you are free.
   
   

The need for change as we get older—an emotional pressure for one phase of our lives to transition into another—is a human phenomenon, neither male nor female. There simply comes a time in our lives—not fundamentally different from the way puberty separates childhood from adulthood—when it’s time for one part of ourselves to die and for something new to be born.

The purpose of this book by best-selling author and lecturer Marianne Williamson is to psychologically and spiritually reframe this transition so that it leads to a wonderful sense of joy and awakening.

  
    

welcome page - contents - gallery - obstacles - quotations
 the people behind the words - our current e-zine
 articles and excerpts - Daily Meditations, Year Two - Year Three
     

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation

   

  
®

All contents © Living Life Fully®, all rights reserved.

   

HOME - contents - Daily Meditations - abundance - acceptance - achievement - action - adversity - advertising - aging - ambition
anger - anticipation - anxiety - apathy - appreciation - arrogance - art - attitude - authenticity - awakening - awareness - awe
balance - beauty - being yourself - beliefs - body - brooding - busyness - caring - celebration - challenges -
change - character
charity - children - choices - Christianity - coincidence - commitment - common sense - community - comparison - compassion
competition - complaining - compliments - compromise - confidence - conformity - conscience - contentment - control - cooperation
courage - covetousness - creativity - crisis - criticism - cruelty -  death - decisions - desire - determination - disappointment
discipline - discouragement - diversity - doubt - dreams - earth - education - ego - emotions - encouragement - enlightenment
enthusiasm - envy - eternity - ethics - example - exercise - experience - failure - faith - fame - family - fate - fathers - fault-finding
fear - feelings - finances - flowers - forgiveness - freedom - friendship - frustration - fun - the future - garden of life - gardening
generosity - gentleness - giving - goals - God - goodness - grace - gratitude - greatness - greed - grief - growing up - guilt - habit
happiness - hatred - healing - health - heart - helpfulness - home - honesty - hope - hospitality - humility - hurry - ideals - identity
idleness  - idolatry - ignorance - illusion - imagination - impatience - individuality - the inner child - inspiration - integrity - intimacy
introspection - intuition - jealousy - journey of life - joy - judgment - karma - kindness - knowledge - language - laughter - laziness
leadership - learning - letting go - life - listening - loneliness - love - lying - magic - marriage - materialism - meanness - meditation
mindfulness - miracles - mistakes - mistrust - moderation - money - mothers - motivation - music - mystery - nature - negative attitude
now - oneness - open-mindedness - opportunity - optimism - pain - parenting - passion - the past - patience - peace - perfectionism
perseverance - perspective - pessimism - play - poetry - positive thoughts - possessions - potential - poverty - power - praise
prayer
- prejudice - pride - principle - problems - progress - prosperity - purpose - reading -recreation - reflection - relationships
religion - reputation - resentment - respect - responsibility - rest - revenge - risk - role models - running - ruts - sadness - safety
seasons of life - self - self-love - self-pity - self-reliance - self-respect selfishness - serving others - shame - silence - simplicity
slowing down - smiles -solitude - sorrow - spirit - stories - strength - stress - stupidity - success - suffering - talent
the tapestry of life - teachers - thoughts - time - today - tolerance - traditions - trees - trust - truth - unfulfilled dreams - values
vanity - virtue - vulnerability - walking - war - wealth - weight issues - wisdom - women - wonder - work - worry - worship
youth - spring - summer - fall - winter - Christmas - Thanksgiving - New Year - America - Zen sayings - articles & excerpts
Native American wisdom - The Law of Attraction - obstacles to living life fully - e-zine archives - quotations contents
our most recent e-zine - Great Thinkers - the people behind the words

   
 

We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!