How To Keep Yourself Trapped In Pain

If you spend enough time hanging around the new age, metaphysical, and spiritual communities you’re going to discover something really…odd.  People here love their pain.  Emotional pain, spiritual pain, physical pain – you name it, they love it.  Time and time again I find myself talking to wonderful and amazing women who have so much ahead going for them, who claim they are ready for something bigger in their life, but who can’t seem to stop talking about the person that cheated on them, the relative that abused them, or the friend that stabbed them in the back. Somehow I’m never that surprised about this when I realize that many of these women are deeply spiritual or are active spiritual seekers.  There’s something about spirituality and pain that seems to go together all too well.

There’s an overwhelming “I’m OK, you’re OK, even though we’re not OK” vibe that flows like the lifeblood of the new age spiritual community.  At it’s core, that’s awesome!  We should embrace our imperfections and own them.  As Tyrion Lannister says “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”  {I’m completely obsessed with Game of Thrones these days.}

But in the pursuit of being OK with just being who you are there is this constant call for us to reflect on our pain from the past.  Find out what makes you you by finding the pain from your past, digging in deep to find the roots, and get comfortable with that past and that pain. We keep being told to face our fears, stalk down our demons, and get to know our dark shadowy side that holds our pain and then invite it all for dinner for a chat.

If you can stomach doing this over and over again, each time you will have another level of supposed healing possible.  Call up the most humiliating memory of your childhood, feel the pain all over, and then forgive yourself and anyone else involved and HUZZAH!  Healed!  Go back over your most abusive relationship, whether it was physical or emotional abuse, remember the pain of being in it, then forgive everyone involved, including yourself for whatever you did or didn’t do in the moment, and VOILA!  Healed!  And somehow this is supposed to keep you from encountering these patterns again in the future while helping you discover more about who you are.

The problem is that’s rarely what happens.  For most people this constant call to revisit pain and the past only brings up more reasons to be unhappy about both the past and present.  You reflect once more on the “could have’s and should have’s” – and not in the “well next time I know what I’ll do different” kind of way.  It ends up typically taking on a sense of disempowerment, especially when you look at the present in comparison because you start becoming keenly aware of what hasn’t changed rather than what has.

It’s time to stop paying so much attention to the pain of the past for one really big reason:

Just by considering this within the frame of the Law of Attraction you can see how this is.  When you put all your focus on feeling pain from the past, you give new life to the pain in the present and you welcome it back in.  That’s another reason why I’m never surprised to find someone encountering a run of bad luck and relationships out of nowhere when they’re in the process of using some self-help process to address emotional pain from their past that they’d otherwise made peace with.

Your pain from the past served you…in the past.  It’s time to stop bringing up relationships and events from years past just to revisit them to look for more healing, more wisdom, and more personal growth.  But if you must keep digging into the past, dig into something different.

  • What did I learn about myself immediately after this event happened?
  • How did this help me reshape myself as I moved forward?
  • How am I being hard on myself in the present when it comes to this thing in the past?
  • What limiting belief am I carrying today because of this thing from the past?
  • What joy can I find in this thing from the past to carry with me in the present?

That last one is a tough one but it’s the most important.  Stop letting your pain keep you stuck in the past and instead find the joy to carry you through the present.

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