Sitting here blissfully enjoying the early morning sun which seems so natural and yet just 9 hours ago i was in extreme discomfort. I was nudged awake in the middle of the night with back pain, hives and a swollen face. This perfect storm of circumstances had brought forth an old way of holding myself that i thought was gone. An old identity that helped me, a long time ago through a difficult time in my life when i was in a great deal of back pain, was back.
By now i’ve gotten use to the sleepless nights, wild energy, and weird physical manifestations. After awhile it just becomes something i need to accept (though it never feels normal) and embrace with a deep understanding that awakening or not it is just life. On the other hand i have learned so much from what seems like the same set of circumstances. Staying up all night facing my pain, discomfort or dark side has become my spiritual post graduate work.
Last night wasn’t any different, there i was back in class faced with a new discomfort. The particular circumstance has no importance in itself except to deliver me pass the edge of my comfort zone; known reality. Once past that point of no return, job done, now it’s time for class and what am i going to do? In the past i would have all these techniques and strategies to get me through the moment successfully or so i thought.
Last week i thought that all i needed to do was surrender and love myself through it and even though that is not entirely incorrect how does one love themselves through an “unknown” accompanied with discomfort, pain, and distress. i found out that it is not so simple as to just say “i love myself” through the filters of discomfort. These are just words that alone are futile when they are spoken from a deep level of sadness, desperation or victimhood.
So there i was, last night, wrestling in bed with back pain and the most unrelenting itchy scalp when i began my love-mantra which at first seemed soothing until i became so aware of a another presence accompanying my words with a taste of pity and “poor me” and then my toltec training kick in and a light went on in my head. “You…Again?”
It took me a few minutes to track the series of events leading up to this reflection and then the headlights when on as i smiled at my old friend the one who took over back in 2001 when my back gave in and brought my life to an abrupt halt and change in direction.
Years ago, when the back pain was a 9 on a 1-10 scale, i had discovered a position that was comfortable and allowed me to go into myself and accompanied with some TM techniques hide out from the pain. Like a frightened child in the corner of a closet there i would remain for hours, maybe days, afraid to venture out and experience the fierceness of the situation.
Last night as i laid on my side and felt my leg pulsate with pain i recalled the old pain and instinctually i assumed the “position,” the rest was a piece of cake for my old friend or foe to take over. It happened in a nanosecond, and i was gone like a child jumping into the protective arms of daddy.
Later that day i asked myself what is the difference now? How or why did i awake up in that moment and taste the bitterness of an illusion of myself. i discovered that in that moment i was holding my attention on my true self. In being quiet and still i was able to make a distinction between what i was experiencing in the moment from what i had experienced in the past. Clear of any commentary from ego identities, i was free to choose again. Isn’t that the beauty of life, to be able to choose our path forward clear of any interference from friends or foes.
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