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Embracing All of Life Instead of Resisting Pain

“Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it.” ~Osho

As far as I can remember, I have always asked myself questions about the nature of my emotional pain. I analyzed and went on long thinking quests to find answers to all of this deliberation. I was convinced that I would find deliverance by coming up with the exact hypothesis, about why I was chosen to have to live with so much trauma and pain in my childhood.

I felt like a victim of life.

I did not wonder about the source of my joy; on the contrary I simply accepted these positive emotions.

I went through a phase of denying the negative emotions I experienced, and I thought that being positive, at all costs, would “chase” away my suffering. At the time, I used the skills best known to me, to defend myself against the pain I felt.

For many years I attempted to transform a negative emotion into a positive one. Albeit, the pain did not subside, it was still echoing loudly, and eventually manifested itself at full volume. Then not too long ago, someone gave me the permission to embrace my pain. I felt as though I had been given the authority to grieve the entire trauma that I had ever experienced.

I began this journey of looking at the source of my pain. Yet, I felt drowned by it, and I felt the constant burn of going through the fire. I indulged in this state and felt some form of relief about acknowledging all of this suffering.

Upon reflecting on the path I had permitted myself to take, to travel to the depths of my past, I uncovered that I had developed an unconscious belief that someone was guilty for inflicting this suffering on me. As a result, I continued the cycle of victimization, where I was seeking to lay blame on someone for my ill feelings, thus not achieving inner peace.

Following my last break-up, to the man I call one of my soul mates, I fell to pieces, and delved into the tides of emotions that came my way—sadness, loneliness, fear and depression. The pain was louder than anything I have ever experienced, thus far.

I blamed him for all of the suffering I was experiencing, I made him the source of my turmoil, and then I used hate towards him to manage my pain. I was in victim mode, and I turned him into the cause of my darkness.

Then it dawned on me, and I recognized that I was fighting against the tide again by not accepting my pain.

That is when I started to wonder about the following: “If I am able to accept the positive experiences of my life, that bring me joy and happiness, without even questioning their origin or trying to avoid them, what if I did the same for the other emotions I fear so much, such as sadness, pain, fear, anger, and loneliness?”

Emotions—be they uplifting and joyful, or sorrowful and scary—come to us to teach us. Once I began to surrender, embracing all of life and the lessons dispensed to us for our spiritual growth, I reduced my tendency to seek someone to blame. The cycle of victimization is slowly disappearing, and being replaced with my own growth and healing.

I learned that by embracing the darkness within my soul, all the while shining a light on it, I can better see the depth and darkness of my pain. It does show me where the source of my suffering resides: It was in me all along.

By embracing what comes on this journey, and having faith that I am not given anything I cannot handle, I am going with the flow that life offers. Trying to go upstream is a defense mechanism that I learned to cope. I am learning a new way of coping, and I let myself feel the course of life.

When we embrace our pain, suddenly it isn’t so painful.

About Faye Assee

Faye Assee is a social worker and a spiritual warrior. She works at helping others find within themselves their own healing power. Follow Faye on Twitter @ouropenheart.

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  • Peace

    Lovely post! Some of us know those people that are “positive” all the time. Quite frankly, they scare me. Being sad, mad, angry are all natural emotions. Feel them, let them go. Like you mentioned, don’t resist the pain. These emotions are teaching you something! Being positive is not a bad thing; but those icky feelings are going to manifest somewhere…they don’t simply go away.

  • ouropenheart

    Thank you for your comment… I to agree that ALL of our emotions are meant to be experienced. The difference is that pain does not have to become suffering. It’s in the art of letting go that we discover how to manage our emotional lives. In saying that, I also say that it is a moment by moment practice, and at times it IS EASIER said than done.

    Peace

  • Antparty

    Okay, I need some advice. Background: 12 years ago I was in a break up that launched me into 18 months of intense therapy. My counselor was a Buddhist and it opened my heart profoundly. I now see it as such an amazing experience.

    Present day: So about 10 days ago, the follow relationship that took 10 years to materialize ended after 16 months. I am torn between moving on and believing there’s just a wee bit of hope. We had our problems, but we were both very conscious of our words/actions. We connected while she was going through a divorce and I was dealing with the death of a brother. We’d say after crying for 3 months, we ran out of sadness and started moving into a loving relationship. Anyhow, she wants to date a bit more as she’s just not ready for a committed relationship.
    So that’s my parallel life – Moving past her and working with the attachment I had to “us” and just trying to minimize my mind activity while thinking she’ll come around.

    The question: how much of the hurt/processing is beneficial and how much of it is just my ego spinning out of control? It’s not really affecting my life except when I have a moment for it to sink in. I try to feel it and acknowledge it, but I also want to move on. Advice please?  Thanks!!!

  • Doreenmichelle

    Pain creates peace.

  • ‘J.A.’

    My Danish mother cared about no pain at all, so I don’t care for any idea, whatsoever that I can depend on her stubbornness to exis as any ‘relevant’ case of mine, if you ask myself about it, This Planet is A Terrible Pain that even good news gives me any idea that I can fail to resist, anyway, if she can’t leave me my f. alone, she can still take an f. hike, one that her husband can still approve of, so that I can of course become & believe in & so on, greetings, ‘J.A.’ guitartie@yahoo.ie, I play the guitar, if anyone wants to know.

  • Patty

    I’d like to take this opportunity to share one of my all time favorite Rumi musings ( I have it posted prominently over my desk) 

     On Acceptance..

    THE GUEST HOUSE

    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.
     A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness.
    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of furniture,
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
    The dark thought, the shame the malice,
    meet them at the door laughing,
    and invite them in.
    Be grateful for whoever comes,
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

    -Jelaluddin Rimi (Sufi poet, 1207-1279)

    This poem resonates more deeply within me each time I reflect upon it.  Our natural human inclination is to operate on the ego’s “auto pilot” aka victim mode, It’s the ego’s infallilble defense mechanism, especially when fear based feelings of rejection, loss, shame or guilt threaten it’s make- believe world.   This absolves us of any direct responsiblity and places it squarely outside of ouselves. Feelings aren’t “right or wrong” – “good/bad”.  It’s the perception and judgements that we place upon them that deem them so.  Let’s face it, our ego is the loud, bratty, temper-tantrum throwing aspect of our nature that will always demand our attention.  It thrives on being stroked and stoked and wails and whines at any slight – real or perceived.   What works for me is acceptance through understanding which in turn brings peace.  That’s not to say I enjoy or even like it when I’m experiencing any of life’s painful situations when they inevitably show up,  just that I’m open to receive the  hidden gift that is always contained in them.  Some of life’s greatest lessons come to us in this manner.  We’re twisted and contradictory by “Divine Design”.   Cultivate your 7th sense aka your Sense of Humor =D  Of all the senses, it’s the most invaluable sense that we can filter our perceptions through.

    Namaste` from the Buddha in me to the Buddha in y’all

  • Patty

    Ant,
    The time it takes depends soully on you and your needs and the lessons that this situation has been created to teach you.  Only time will tell.  You aren’t expressing any “blaming” in your post so that’s an auspicious sign.  There’s a general outline f/ the grief process, but grief by it’s very nature is a very personal, solitary and individual thing.  No two people grieve exactly alike.  There’s lot’s of great info out there if you search the net.  Here’s a link to get you started.  http://www.webmd.com/balance/tc/grief-and-grieving-what-happens  I’m sure you’ll find something that resonates with you personally.  Aside from that, now’s the time for you to do things that are self-affirming and self-loving.  And if you don’t already do so,  I highly recommend engaging in a meditation practice and journalling. 
    love’n’light
    Patty

  • Fayeassee

    Thank you Patty… I love this POEM. Your writing is exceptional and this message is a great reminder to embrace life as it comes, going with the flow, and accepting that what is placed on our path is given to us because we can handle it.

    Namaste

  • Fayeassee Ouropenheart

    Thank you for reading

  • Fayeassee

    Pain also leads one to peace…thank you

  • Fayeassee

    Ant,
    Please accept my deepest sympathies for your losses.   
     
    Patty’s response is so rich and full, and I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you Patty

    I sense that you are at a turning point, between hope that she will come back, and wanting to move on. It’s such an uncomfortable place and uncertain as well. This is exactly where we learn to grow, between the moment of love and letting go…. Resist the temptation of thinking through this process. The answer(s) reside in your heart.
    Love and Light

  • I enjoyed your post. We must enjoy or life & should not suppress our inner feelings & emotions. Thanks for sharing this inspirational article.

  • Fayassee

    Thank you kindly. I agree with you.
    Namaste

  • Antparty

    Thank you, Patty. I’ll definitely check out the link!  Bryan

  • Antparty

    Thank you, Fayeassee. 
    That refraining from thought is the biggest challenge. It’s so weird how the ego can just kick in for a moment and you leave your body for Worryland. But then I identify it and breathe. 

    Bryan

  • Tinarose29

    I too used to blame people for my childhood pain, recent pain and all other pain,  and I only now after years and years of blaming and trying to build relationships that don’t really need to be built am I accepting that ‘it is what it is’ and life goes on. The choice I’ve had to make is whether I want to go on with life as a victim or as a warrior and I choose warrior any and everyday, cos it makes me happy. The pain and the past have no hold on me anymore. Namaste x

  • Fayassee

    Congratulation’s Tinarose29

    We do always have the choice to choose to grow or to continue living with pain. The more we practice this process the easier it becomes to be lessed attached to our suffering.
    Namaste 🙂

  • CirclesAware

    I liked your post  a lot, it had me relax into the view others may read on me.  I am positive a majority of the time, my profession does instill positivity As a Natural Outcome of my work ….
    but I will do my best to now watch that I am not perceived as looking at the world thru a pollyanna eye, ! ! ! for that is vital to being in natural communication,,,   THANK  YOU

  • CirclesAware

    PATTY ~  This was stated so magnificently.  I work with the sensory part of us, I’m always speaking of the 5 and 6th sense….  And I use Humor all the time, for I know the section of the brain that responds to humor,  Smiling >>> like it’s Entirety, and the Body responds accordingly to the impulse.
         I want to repost, Reuse, tho I will find a way to credit you in your wording:
           small inquiry… what is the =D,  after word Humor ?
                   THANK  YOU,  SO  MUCH

    Cultivate your 7th sense aka your Sense of Humor =D 
    Of all the senses, it’s the most invaluable sense that we can filter our perceptions through.

  • Hope

    I love your post. Its just now a while that i realised that feeling all feelings is important and today i came across your post. I am also the kind who believed that positivity is all we need to concentrate on and life is meant to ignore the ‘not so good’ feelings.

    I am just learning to accept all emotions and let them pass. I totally agree with your statement that when we embrace it all suddenly its not that painful. What’s imporant is we have this Hope in heart that we will rise above all emotional turmoil once we let the  feelings get felt.

    Thanks for this beautiful post! 🙂

    Cheers!

  • Fayeassee

    I am happy you recognize how WHAT other’s think of us is not as SIGNIFICANT as what YOU think of yourself. Thank you for your appreciation
    Peace

  • Fayeassee

    Thank yo kindly for this message. I am extremely honored to know that I am not alone in the procecess of embracing ALL that life has to offer. Namaste

  • thats what my teacher says to me! embrace pain. suffering is by choice. 

  • we should accept what life brings to us. being complaining is not the way to live a happy life.

  • Danielleseguin

    Lovely article Faye and so just. When and how we spend our spiritual time is of the essence

  • urooj shahid

    Well written. Very true! 

  • Zach

    Thank you, Faye. All I have to say. Thank you.

  • tonia

    Am scared to accept pain or change
    am scared of being scared
    I lay my foundation on lies and guilt
    I spend my time trying to seek of a way out of my misery and its all clear to me now
    I want my life so perfect that I forgot how imperfect I am