Facing the Pain

Awareness

The path of conscious awareness is no bed of roses… It is difficult for everybody; that is something we have to face. We may not always be willing to receive the kindness that is there; we cannot always experience what happens in our practice as compassion. When we are in the middle of learning a hard lesson about our own selfishness or arrogance, it does not feel like compassion. Having an attachment ripped from deep in our being does not feel kind. Yet when it is gone, when the wound is healing, we can see that the process was one of pure compassion.   Cheri Huber

“There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn. Whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.” Richard Bach

Becoming

“It was a very ordinary day, the day I realised that my becoming is my life and my home and that I don’t have to do anything but trust the process, trust my story and enjoy the journey. It doesn’t really matter who I’ve become by the finish line, the important things are the changes from this morning to when I fall asleep again, and how they happened, and who they happened with. An hour watching the stars, a coffee in the morning with someone beautiful, intelligent conversations at 5am while sharing the last cigarette. Taking trains to nowhere, walking hand in hand through foreign cities with someone you love. Oceans and poetry.

It was all very ordinary until my identity appeared, until my body and mind became one being. The day I saw the flowers and learned how to turn my daily struggles into the most extraordinary moments. Moments worth writing about. For so long I let my life slip through my fingers, like water.  I’m holding on to it now, and I’m not letting go.”     Charlotte Eriksson

“Individuals use denial and repression to protect the ego from disintegration. Living with both the constant unpredictability of the alcoholic parent and the detachment and/or anxiety of the codependent parent is difficult enough for an adult who has a fully developed defense system. For a child, surviving the regular assault of trauma requires massive amounts of energy. This puts the normal developmental process on hold; there is no energy left to invest in development. While other children are learning to play, to trust, to self-soothe, and to make decisions, children in addicted families are learning to survive. The end result is a child who often feels thirty years old at five and five years old at thirty.”   Jane Middelton-Moz

“Carla’s description was typical of survivors of chronic childhood abuse. Almost always, they deny or minimize the abusive memories. They have to: it’s too painful to believe that their parents would do such a thing. So they fragment the memories into hundreds of shards, leaving only acceptable traces in their conscious minds. Rationalizations like “my childhood was rough,” “he only did it to me once or twice,” and “it wasn’t so bad” are common, masking the fact that the abuse was devastating and chronic. But while the knowledge, body sensations, and feelings are shattered, they are not forgotten. They intrude in unexpected ways: through panic attacks and insomnia, through dreams and artwork, through seemingly inexplicable compulsions, and through the shadowy dread of the abusive parent. They live just outside of consciousness like noisy neighbors who bang on the pipes and occasionally show up at the door.”      David L. Calof

“It is now recognised that dissociation is a way of forgetting, for a time. The mind siphons off the bad memories into a separate part, and reclaiming those hidden-away memories use a complex process. So, when the memories resurface it does not feel as though they belong to you, it feels alien, more as if someone had told them to you, or you had seen the images in a film.”  Carolyn Bramhall

Facing the Pain

“It is not depression or anxiety that truly hurts us. It is our active resistance against these states of mind and body. If you wake up with low energy, hopeless thoughts, and a lack of motivation – that is a signal from you to you. That is a sure sign that something in your mind or in your life is making you sick, and you must attend to that signal. But what do most people do? They hate their depressed feelings. They think “Why me?” They push them down. They take a pill. And so, the feelings return again and again, knocking at your door with a message while you turn up all the noise in your cave, refusing to hear the knocks. Madness. Open the door. Invite in depression. Invite anxiety. Invite self-hatred. Invite shame. Hear their message. Give them a hug. Accept their tirades as exaggerated mistruths typical of any upset person. Love your darkness and you shall know your light.”    Vironika Tugaleva