Mandala of Unity

Unity of the known and the unknown

in a heart of innocence

Julie of Light Omega

Pain as a pathway is created by our willingness to experience its truth, by holding it in the light of God, and by asking to learn from the experience. When these goals are pursued, pain becomes a pathway of light.

It is part of being human to wish to not experience pain.  All embodied creatures instinctively draw away from that which is painful and toward that which creates  greater ease, peace, and harmony.  When pain is experienced, the human heart cries out for it to stop.  It cries out for relief, comfort, and the freedom of a non-painful state.  Yet despite our wishes, pain is an intimate part of the experience of being alive for most people.  It exists on the level of the body, the mind, the heart, and the soul.  It exists when we would least like it to be there.  It exists and is most frequently felt by us to be an obstacle to further growth, an interference with our plans and intentions, and an indicator that we are not yet whole, that we are in need of healing.

There are states in which pain need not be felt as painful, meditative states, transcendent states in which the ego is no longer the predominant focus of consciousness and consciousness can therefore detach itself from the body and from embodied perception in order to roam freely within the spiritual universe.  However, these states are rare, and rarer still the ability to access them.  Nevertheless, there is another way in which to relate to pain other than and alongside the wish that it no longer be present.  This is the way of the soul, the way of the Divine heart within the human heart that lets us know that pain can be part of a growing picture of emerging wholeness.  It can be a teacher, and most importantly, it can be a pathway into greater light.


How pain becomes a pathway is a mystery, for to  most it feels like anything but a pathway.  It feels for most of us like an interference, an unwanted intruder, a violator of our most cherished wishes.  Pain as a pathway is created by our willingness to experience its truth, by holding it in the light of God, and by asking to learn from the experience.  What we are here to learn from pain is always positive.  It is never a punishment.  It is always the soul's choice, made at a different level of consciousness and at a different time, to accept the significant pains of life as teaching tools, and to interact with them in order to grow.  When this acceptance has been rejected by us for one lifetime or for many, the pain we would rather not face then builds up both within our unconscious minds and within our bodies, and remains dormant there in a non-active state until such time as we are ready to experience it.  Within the unconscious, it may occasionally be felt in an inarticulate way as a source of unknown distress.  Within the body, it can give rise to symptoms of unknown origin, to chronic conditions, to diseases of various kinds, in a word - it manifests not as the original pain but as the result of the original pain plus its suppression.


When we can move from the level of embodied perception to the level of soul perception we may find in ourselves the willingness to experience our hidden pain and to fully embrace it for what it has to bring to our awareness.  We do this not in order to experience the pain, but in order to learn from it, to grow from it, and in order to be faithful to the 'principle of wholeness,' namely, to not reject any part of ourselves.  This principle governs all of growth on all levels.  What is rejected by our consciousness cannot be healed.  What is suppressed or denied cannot become integrated with the deeper truth of our being.  The part of us that is human may not know this, but the part that remains a soul knows this with a depth and certainty that can allow us to finally face those painful situations that we may have avoided for lifetimes.


Within such willingness resides and must reside compassion for ourselves.  There must be a willingness to forgive ourselves our desire to avoid pain, to seek distractions, to seek numbness, in a word, to do the opposite of what we are truly striving for as we seek to forget about pain altogether and to pretend that if we do so it will go away.  We forgive ourselves all of these delays, and return to our engagement with awareness which is our commitment to stay present to all of our experience, including our pain.


Accepting pain as a pathway to growth need not be done alone.  It need not be done with a sense of isolation from help.  Often, help is not felt, and yet those beings who guide each embodied soul and the Divine within each of us is always finding ways of uplifting the one who is suffering so that what feels unbearable can be borne.  This may not be available to the consciousness of the one so encumbered, yet it is always true, for the angels and guides who walk with humanity in all situations are always present, even unto great suffering and tragedy, even unto death.  When we think of the worst kind of suffering, the holocaust that we know of by that name or those massacres, past and present, that have involved massive human suffering, we cannot understand where these angels and guides might be since the suffering endured has been so great.  We cannot believe that those who love and uphold us could allow such horror to be present.  In such times and places, the beings of light that travel with humans are there as well, upholding in sorrow, those who are in great peril.


Yet most pain is not of this degree.  However unbearable it may feel, it can be borne.  With this trust and with a willingness to surrender into the painful experience, holding it with Divine intent, love, and purpose, we can develop a more accepting, loving relationship with our own pain, a compassionate understanding that it is not given to us to harm us but to assist us in a process of growth. 




Such trust and surrender is an essential part of the process of 'purification,' something that all embodied souls are going through at this time.  This process dictates by the force of light itself that what was hidden shall be unveiled, and what was kept in darkness, inaccessible to light, shall be brought back to the light.  Thus, in addition to the reasons for accepting and embracing our own pain that have to do with growth and wholeness, there is the additional reason of needing to cooperate with a process that is already underway within our own bodies, hearts, and minds as the Earth transforms into greater light.  For as the Earth transforms, so, too, do all physical bodies that are upon the Earth and part of her one body.  In this sense, the transition to facing ourselves and what has been deeply hidden is inescapable.  It is part of the time we are in and the purposes of this time.  It is what all embodied souls are doing and it is why each of us has come to be here during this time.


Our relationship with pain need not be joyful, but it can be loving and accepting.  It need not obliterate our desire that the pain come to an end, but it can be part of our prayer that, simultaneously, what is of Divine purpose be fulfilled within us.  Simultaneously, not either or.  Once we become able to not hide from ourselves, to treat ourselves compassionately and with forgiveness, and to hold our pain within the light and intention of the Divine which is always good, we give to ourselves the maximum possibility for releasing the pain and its original source, and for awakening to the message that it is bringing to us.  When we are in a fight with our pain, this cannot happen, for our energy is then directed against experiencing pain, rather than toward integrating and enfolding it.


We do not have control over when the pain we experience will come to an end as we engage with the process of purification.  We cannot say, "I will do this and it will be over."  Instead, we do what we can to modify or ameliorate the pain so that it becomes more bearable, while at the same time allowing God's work to do what is needed so that we can become one unified consciousness with no parts of ourselves missing.  This trust and willingness to abandon control, even while making ourselves as comfortable as we can so that we can tolerate the pain,  allows healing to take place in the way that it needs to - for some quickly, for many in a slow and steady arc of gradual learning.  Our egos may resist this way of relating to pain.  Our deeper hearts embrace it because it represents and is in harmony with the truth of our being.


All of life is a teacher, including the painful portions that are outside of us and the painful portions that are inside.  We learn from all of it.  It is in this light and in this trust that we lay down our arms in our fight with our own pain, and instead enter the realm of prayer and of unity with the Divine within us in order to realize from every aspect of our embodied experience, what we are meant to feel and what we are meant to learn.


Related Writings:

The Way of Being Led

Holding Hardship in the Light of God: The Challenge of Purification

Purification and the Experience of Helplessness




Article Section -  Purification

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