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Pain as an Opportunity



There’s much that we don’t know about pain and how it works.


One thing that’s fairly clear at this point is that pain is a manifestation of a lack of felt safety in our body (read: organism). It is our body giving us feedback about the state of our being.


When we experience pain, it presents us with an opportunity to use this feedback to discover what safety is to us.


What is safety to me?


We might start by asking, In what ways do I not feel safe right now?


There may not be an immediate answer. But asking the open question starts the process of discovery. As answers trickle in, we use the information to take steps toward a greater sense of safety.


We can additionally ask, What would enhance my feeling of safety right now? Again using the information to move toward a greater sense of felt safety.


It’s important to realize the breadth of what safety can mean to us. And to accordingly look broadly at our entire being within the entire context for ways in which we don’t feel safe and ways in which we can move toward a state of greater safety.


What does safety feel like in my body?


As we take these bold steps toward safety, we can notice what it feels like.


The more we get to know what safety feels like, the more we can access it within ourselves. This is important because pain is something that we feel. So the more we meet a feeling (pain) with a feeling (safety), the more that things can change.


Safety, for me, often feels like buzzing in my tailbone, warmth in my chest, and a feeling of weightlessness in my head.


Opening to the experience


Perhaps the biggest challenge of this process is that it first requires acknowledgment.


We must acknowledge that we are in pain, that there is a lack of felt safety. This requires an opening to the experience, rather than a shutting down or pushing away.


Although this can be tricky and often runs counter to our initial reactions, what we often find when we do open to the experience of pain is that it’s not as bad as our resistance to it. This realization immediately boosts our sense of safety, as we begin to trust in the resilience of our body and our own inner strength once again.


More, opening to the experience begins the process of exploration and the continued process of moving toward a greater sense of safety and trust in our bodies.



In safety & trust,

Andrew




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