Pain is an effort on the part of your full self to wake you up to the obstacles that keep it from emerging.
But upon waking, you must deal with the condition of your own house.
Moves to reorganize your context will create conflict with your whole world. Your house will shake at the foundations and all the people inside will feel it.
They may support you. They may resist you. They may envy you. They may follow you.
But change in you affects everyone around you.
Everyone has to make room for it.
Everyone has to respond.
The fall of the house of pain
You will feel different to the the people you know and love. And you will relate to them differently.
The details that characterize your life will change, and those new details will require adjustments in the details of the lives of those around you.
This creates pain in others, who, in their turn, must learn a constructive response to pain — just as you did — in order to benefit from the opportunity it provides.
And the details you choose to change will cause other details in your life to change, almost automatically.
For example, negative behavior relies on negative thinking to sustain itself. Start working on how you think. How you act will change.
This will bring more pain of course, more conflict with your existing context, and continued need for constructive response.
But after a lot of that, the result is a life reorganized.
Lots of people doing this would have a similar effect on the world.
Self love is essential
Embracing pain may not take it away. It may not cure the cancer or save the relationship. But your immediate experience of life will be altered.
Yet, without vigorous self love, without a strong efficacious desire for your own well being, you won’t dare permit pain to spread through your house.
You will not allow yourself to fully penetrate your suffering.
You won’t undertake the rigors of revising your context.
You will refuse to acknowledge the information pain conveys. You will ignore the nonconstructive ways — that pain reveals — in which you are weak, ignorant, vulnerable to distraction.
But if you can face pain, weather it, allow it to emerge, expand, contract again, you will grow.
You will learn.
You will begin to listen to your pain. To heed it. To see it as an indicator.
To read it like a marker on a map.
You will see people, the world and yourself as they really are.
Your illusions will shrivel up and die.
Leaving only the crystal morning of pure presence.
A new baseline
You were born to experience life. Building a relationship with your pain will provide a sturdy basis for doing that.
A reliable beginning point.
A new nexus for experience.
What you bring to each moment will change, so that how you experience each moment will be different.
Purposeful. Non-escapist. Real.
Its potential ready, at the surface.
Real may not always be pleasant or easy. But it’s always the best place to begin.
If you can stay in it when the pain comes, you will continue to manifest God.
Continue to radiate light.
Continue to fully be you.
Or begin to.
The sidelong glance at the universe
The Life Force does not quit. This Great Making of which we are a part is unstoppable.
And it is bent on only one thing: our prosperity.
It wants us to thrive as it thrives. Thrive with its thriving.
To be facets of its burgeoning and to ride that burgeoning into the unknown, unforeseeable reaches of possibility.
Every last one of us.
This Life Force, this Great Making has been working with our machinations for as long as we’ve been pulling them.
It flourishes in spite of our foolishness. Our fear. Our resistance.
Each one of us feels it, inside, always just beneath the surface, grating against our lethargy, our laziness, our negativity.
Insisting there is another way. Demanding we try it. Pointing out our potential and juxtaposing it with our unwillingness.
But we don’t trust it.
It’s as simple as that.
Instead we live in a constant state of readiness for catastrophe.
Trust in life
Still, the seeds of prosperity are contained in the heart of every moment of every day of our lives.
Waiting to be cultivated.
And to grow.
But that requires our participation. Which requires our trust. And of all the risks that life places before us, the hardest is risking trust in life itself.
If we could learn to move with the Great Making instead of against it, our moment-to-moment experience would change.
Our sense of ourselves would expand.
Our capacity for joy and our awareness of beauty would open.
We would see life for the mythic adventure that it is, fraught with peril and reward, risk and challenge, struggle and respite. With an ultimate goal of full life only got to through long endeavor.
It is the distorted perspective on pain that thwarts this long-range view, that confuses instant gratification for fulfillment, and distracts us into an unwillingness to live.
Cultivate basic trust in life and your willingness to engage in it will intensify.
You will grow thirsty for it in all its forms.
And more adept at shaping it according to your sense of possibility.