Pain is an Illusion
The other day while in meditation, this thought came to me: Pain is an illusion created by the mind to justify its own limited thinking. Now, when I wrote this down I had to pause for a moment to grasp the meaning of the concept. If pain is just an illusion that we have created for ourselves, then perhaps we can eradicate the pain we experience simply through a change in perspective.
I know how this sounds, especially to those experiencing pain right now, for pain to those who are experiencing it cannot be any more real. And so, it may seem way too condescending to acknowledge that pain is a self-fulfilling prophecy. After all, who would wish pain upon themselves? But I don't believe this is a conscious decision. Instead, each of us has a certain set of beliefs that, if left unchecked, can become quite automatic and subconscious. And once that happens, those beliefs can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds, not to mention our lives, without us even realizing that we are still in the driver's seat; we've just placed ourselves on auto-pilot.
So how can we eliminate our pain by choice? In theory it might sound like an easy fix: Just change your thoughts and faulty beliefs and your pain will just go away. And perhaps on some level bringing our beliefs to the surface of our awareness can affect change that quickly. However, most of us don't really know where to begin. How can we know for sure that one belief corresponds to the very specific pain that we are experiencing right now?
I don't know if there is an exact science to all of this. However, a good place to start might be to notice where in our bodies
we are feeling pain and ask our higher-selves to help us connect the dots to a certain belief we hold about ourselves, others, or life in general. Now, I know to some this might sound like a silly exercise, but you won't know unless you give it a try.
So, take out a piece of paper and pen and write down the following question:
"Dear higher-self, what faulty belief am I holding on to that is causing me to experience this pain in my life?" Then write down whatever comes to mind without filtering, questioning, or judging. Let it flow regardless of how silly you feel doing this. What you will likely notice (perhaps not the first time but after some practice) is that you will start to gain insight into yourself and your personal thoughts and beliefs that might be holding you back. Now, this is just the first step, because eventually you will need to let go of those faulty beliefs. But at least you will take those thoughts out of your subconscious mind and put them into your conscious awareness where you can actually do something about them.
Some examples of the correlation between beliefs and pain can be, feeling shoulder pain because you take on too much responsibility, often that is not yours. Or foot pain because you are too afraid to move forward in a certain direction. You could be experiencing stiffness, which could indicate a stubbornness in how you view the world. Or maybe your neck is sore or inflexible, which can indicate an unwillingness to see other viewpoints. Sometimes we even sabotage our own efforts without realizing it simply because we are unsure about our future or uncertain about the outcome of our goals. There are so many reasons that can be behind our pain, and it is up to each of us to figure out what they are so that we can eliminate those blocks and, subsequently, eliminate our pain once and for all.
For reference, check out this amazing book (I don't get any kickbacks) that talks about the metaphysical, emotional, and mental causes of illness, pain, and specific conditions. I highly recommend it.