Although hard to hear and believe when you are in the midst of it, pain has the potential to make you grow to the heights of your ability. However, to do this, you have to go through the grief or pain.
The poem below talks about the rigour required to carry on after suffering, to trust that in your deepest and darkest hours, no matter what occurs, you can still lift your heart, towards heaven…
An inspirational poem:
Refuse to fall down
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down
lift your heart toward heaven
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled,
and it will be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you
from lifting your heart
toward heaven —
It is in the midst of misery
that so much becomes clear.
The one who says nothing good
came of this,
is not yet listening.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Life asks that you not give up nor indeed refuse to stay down – to open your heart to hear what pain has to teach you about life/yourself.
To be able to do the above, you often need to let go of your thoughts/perceptions about pain – for example that pain is bad, that you shouldn’t feel it, that you’re weak if you feel pain, or cry etc.
Here are some pearls of wisdom that have helped me during my moments of suffering:
The fear of pain is worse than the pain itself
When you fear pain, don’t want to feel it, you push it away and you end up feeling pretty numb, and underneath the numbness is still the pain, and it doesn’t go anywhere…
Feeling the pain means you go through it and you will come out on the other side. If you can relax with pain, giving up resistance to the pain, you will find peace/happiness. Sometimes it takes an overwhelming breakdown to get an undeniable breakthrough…
And this too, shall pass away
All material conditions, including feelings, emotional states, positive or negative, are temporary. Just know the law of impermanence is a positive thing here. Everything, sooner or later changes. So this too, sooner or later will pass – just know this, and trust this..
Dedicate time to your grief, so you don’t have to feel pain all the time
Set time aside, or more than one time per day, where you consciously allow pain to be there. Burn a candle to remember someone, cry, feel sad, whatever works for you to express your grief. When you do that a tip is to stay with the physical sensation of the pain as much as possible, and to stay out of the stories as to why that pain is so bad, intense or sad etc… That is the mind wallowing, and that will not help you!
Also, set time aside to do something positive for yourself, do yoga/ sport, meditate, go for a walk out in nature, etc. Remember to keep lifting your heart – by asking it will be filled… Don’t give up and keep letting life in, no matter how hard!
Remember that faith is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to go on when fear is present. Again, don’t give up!
It is important to acknowledge the grief, the pain, but it is also important to find something positive in every situation.
This will help you work through any painful situation. Look for the good, no matter how hard it is to find, just as in the poem – “The one who says, nothing good came out of this, is not yet listening”…
Add a little silence to your life
Take some time off from tv, reading, music, and just sit and be. Let life do its thing, let yourself feel what you feel, just watch life, yourself, everything… Know that what your mind is telling you, your thoughts / self talk isn’t true most of the time, so take a little distance from it, consciously. Get in touch with your heart, breathe into it, through it, meditate . Know that what you are looking for is already there, inside you, waiting for you to drop enough baggage to be experienced!!
Hoping this will help some of you, as these pearls of wisdom have helped me, over the years.
With all my love,
EkhartYoga members: I recommend these two classes to practise if you are experiencing grief. Later this month look out for meditations with Esther Teule on this topic.