“I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.”
I was talking to a friend last night about our daily struggles, our adoption trauma that never ends, my little blind dachshund that is declining in health, my own declining health. Facing my own mortality, loss of what used to be a different life, loss of a mother, loss of a family. Loss of my friends in Nepal and so many other lives.
So many losses, so much pain. From the past, the present and the soon to be.
Instinctively, we try to avoid pain. It’s ugly and messy. In fact, these experiences come to teach us that joy and sorrow are two sides of one coin and you can’t have one without the other. Give yourself a shake, open your eyes to your dark nights of the soul. What is the lesson? What wisdom do they bring? What healing do they offer?
THE WAY OUT IS THROUGH
Actually, it’s the only way if you want to grow and move forward. I was thinking about my books this morning and realized I never talk about the rapes, the near death experiences, the violence, abuse and the effect it has had on my life. It is the way of psychiatry to dig deep, unearth those wounds and heal them…walk through the pain. I’ve gone that route but there is also another to see trauma.
In the Buddhist way it’s simply called The Realistic View. How easy is that? Did you know that Buddha himself began his journey spiritually after losing his mother at a young age and experiencing great trauma? His prescription for the end of suffering is outlined in The Four Noble Truths. Realistic View held an important place. It became a critical component of what became to be known as The Noble Eightfold Path.
The reason I mention this is that The Realistic View means/says that trauma, in any of its forms is not a failure or mistake. It’s not something to be ashamed of, not as sign of weakness, and not a reflection of inner failing.
Its simply a fact of life.
This is the kind of post that can go on forever and I will continue taking about the path that takes you through to the other side to a place of peace in many posts.
Buddha’s prescription was one of self investigation and mental discipline.
Mindfulness and clear comprehension
You don’t have to be a buddhist to get to the other side with this method. It’s for everyone who wants to grow and move forward from trauma. This is the simplest explanation of what the Four Noble Truths are.
1.Life has inevitable suffering
2.There is a cause to our suffering
3.There is an end to suffering
4.The end to suffering is contained in the eight fold path
So often, I hear people saying things like: I just can’t take any more. I can’t continue to live like this. I don’t have a life. I’m in so much pain.
Adoption, reunion, rapes, abuse, mast cell disease, so many things to experience and live with at once. I’ve said all of the above myself. It’s a fine line between everyday life and trauma. I can only speak for my own journey when I say Trauma is the way into the self, and the way out
To be free, to come to terms with our lives, we have to have a direct experience of ourselves as we really are, dark side, warts and all. The freedom the Buddha envisioned does not come repression, holding onto thoughts and feelings or from abandoning our suffering self; it comes from learning how to hold it all differently, holding space for ourselves and others and not getting attached to the many stories/traumas we carry.
MINDFULNESS AND CLEAR COMPREHENSION