Original Link : https://medium.com/swlh/are-you-choosing-to-be-hurt-d17afae5e9f3
One can only come to full awareness of the subjects of this article through great pain and suffering. After years of telling stories of the horrible things that have happened to me, one day I just stopped. That was the day I chose healing over hurting. It doesn’t mean those things didn’t happen or that the cruelty of others was not real. It just means that I tried to see where it was coming from. After many transcendent spiritual experiences that cannot really be explained, I got to meet the ego and pain body in the flesh as it was released in me and then became more pronounced in people I knew or met on the street. While you may not have such sharp and memorable experiences (and for the sake of your sanity I surely hope not). But these things really do have to be experienced to be believed and understood. It does no good to recount those tales of terror.
Reminiscing about past hurts can further wound us. Long after arguments and disagreements have passed, do you still hold resentment? Do you blame someone for hurting you? Do you go over situations wishing you had said something different. Done something better? Done something worse? Do you hold a grudge?
Grudges act like a self-administered poison. You might feel justified in feeling anger towards someone or a group of people based on what they said or did in a moment of unconsciousness. And you, at that moment, might have realized you were unconscious as well. We all have the capacity to say things we don’t mean especially when we’re tired, desperate or feeling cornered. But do we apologize right away and deal with it in the moment? Or do we let it longer? Do we block people who disagree with us?
After saying negative things about yourself or someone else, we may not realize that we have been taken over by a psychic parasite. Those without a deep understanding of spiritual concepts will reject that out right as a ludicrous concept. Here we have an invisible “thing” experienced by billions of people that can be blamed for all the hatred and negativity in the world. Those used to blaming others for their problems and remaining in victimhood might get furious over the notion of having a pain body that’s really the reason for all of their drama. Or they might see it as something that finally makes sense to them.
When we have not been impeccable with our words for quite some time, there will be aftershocks and reverberations as we align ourselves with the greater truth of who we really are. When we decide to remove ourselves from a negative situation, the words we’ve said in anger or from a place of hurt still echo in that place. Words can take on a life of their own and we live in an age where your own words can be used against you when taken out of context. And if you can realize that when people are talking, people are just talking. And to place any greater emphasis on words as if they have the power to hurt, denies their true power. Words can heal. They can convey what’s in the heart. A kind word to a person experiencing something traumatic can do wonders.
If you decide to start being impeccable with your words and actions and truly being living your life from an authentic place, then you realize that you can’t be responsible for the way others feel. Even if they are holding you responsible for the way they feel. The only way you can emerge from that insanity is to just start being impeccable. And that means you stop talking down yourself or others. You stop calling yourself or other people names. And in this simple act you are choosing healing over hurting. You will never be able to say or do the right thing to people who are choosing to be hurt. And if you’re doing the work outlined in this article, you’ll have a great compassion for them.
How awful it would be to be wounded daily by the “#outrage” on Twitter. Or to get involved to the point of caring about YouTube drama that doesn’t have anything to do with you or really anyone…not even the people involved. To continually fall for the clickbaity news articles that scold, nag or preach to you about things beyond your control. That is the domain of the wounded and we’re moving towards the land of the healed. Because we chose to no longer let petty things wound us. We’ve discovered we have lives to live from a place of authenticity. We have chosen not to hurt. If this is where you are, then read on.
Words can only hurt you if you let them. That is a fundamental truth. So then why do words hurt us sometimes? Why do names and untrue accusations sting us so? “You’re a liar!” someone says to us when we say something truthful. “You’re a moron!” someone says to us when we’re speaking of something we believe. What are these names? They aren’t true for us or really anyone but they hurt because they aren’t reflective of reality at all. They are the cries and proclamations of the ego, the “insignificant me” that demands a say in almost any interaction. And we can choose to pay attention to, give it a voice, or simply ignore it. They are just words. Except when they are not.
Namecalling arises when the ego feels less-than another. It reduces and simplifies another complex human being into a word. A name. A curse. With some awareness we can come to understand that if someone is calling us a name, it’s because their ego is threatened and they are relying on something else becoming active in order to have a real fight. You get called names when someone has lost the argument. And with that awareness, you can bring compassion to any circumstance where someone is trying to reduce you to a name or a mere collection of ultimately meaningless symbols and utterances.
Mostly when people are calling you names or accusing you of things, it’s usually what they themselves are doing. But that realization can be hard to come by when emotions are high and there’s plenty of mudslinging. Any time someone says something to you or about you, it really has nothing to do with you at all. Why can’t we ignore it, especially if it’s nothing personal? If we can go deeper into the mechanics of how words can hurt us, we might be able to help ease the hurt in your heart over being called a name, being accused of something or when someone simply doesn’t respond to a text. You, the authentic you, cannot be hurt by mere words. However, the pain body and ego (working in tandem) can be deeply offended and wounded by almost anything.
Nearly everyone alive in this culture has a pain body and yet a small fraction of people are actually working towards letting it dissolve. If you don’t know what the pain body is and how it is formed, you must read the teachings of Eckart Tolle, especially A New Earth. That book goes into great detail about ego, pain body and how to break free from it all. But the short description of it is this: Whenever you disallow yourself to feel an emotion at the time it was appropriate, it becomes stored in the pain body. You can’t get angry at your boss at work so you swallow it. You can’t get too upset at your spouse or your children, so you deny yourself from feeling it. Our culture has no rituals or ceremonies to deal with these things, so something must be done with all this extra energy that comes in the form of what we perceive as negative emotions.
Anything you don’t feel or deal with becomes trapped in-between dimensions. Those negative emotions then become a deep reservoir of pain, hatred and resentment that emerges when it is triggered by something. And usually that something isn’t deserving of those powerfully negative emotions. This can lead to an exaggerated emotional reaction to the most innocuous of things. A smell, a sensation, an action and even a Tweet.
In my role as a spiritual teacher, I will sometimes encourage people to call me names to see if they can find one that hurts me. Literally no one ever wants to play along and they don’t have to because there the lesson is received. They are just words in that exercise. If you know that any name you call me won’t hurt me in that exercise, it seems rather pointless. I could, however, choose to be hurt by a certain word. And that too, would be rather pointless.
The reason it seems futile in that moment is because neither pain body or ego is active. Furthermore, if there is no negativity in the air, the pain body will refuse to become active. And if there is laughter, the pain body will not arise at all. It cannot feed on anything joyous or fun. And sometimes the pain body will become active and make something intentionally not fun in order to feed on drama and negativity.
If you’ve not yet dealt with the pain body and ego, then you won’t be in control or be able to choose if words hurt you or not. But let me tell you that you do have a choice. And if no one ever told you before that you can choose between a positive thought and a negative thought, let me tell that to you now. But if the pain body and ego are ruling your thoughts and emotions, you won’t be able to do that.
Firstly, you must absolve and forgive yourself when pain body and ego becomes active within you. When they are controlling your thoughts and emotions, they will guide you to have (or perceive as having) hurtful experiences with otherwise indifferent situations and circumstances. And if you do not know the mechanics of how this all works, it is quite illogical within the confines of ego consciousness. See, the ego simply cannot understand spiritual concepts that take you knowing yourself beyond what can be seen, tasted and touched. As you become a more evolved and enlightened being, the ego cannot comprehend what is happening to you.
It’s why you get frustrated when doing this work and call bullshit on the whole thing. It is not you, it is the ego. It’s why you can understand that you are choosing to suffer when you’re in the realms of higher consciousness, but feel drained and foolish when ego becomes active. You will feel like two people when doing this work. Sometimes you might feel you are more than two people. And these things will fight for dominance but you don’t have to get rid of them or make some drastic change to exorcise them. But there are steps you can take to integrate them more effectively until they eventually dissolve or become less able to control your thoughts and emotions.
This work should not be taken lightly and it is deeply personal, often solitary work. You can choose a mentor or even a friend to help you with it. That is, as long as they are willing to finally engage with these things and place the blame squarely where it rests. As you work through the stores of old emotional pain that comes up to be processed, you might start projecting negative things onto your family and loved ones. Childhood traumas can surface and be attached to present day situations. You can start to have negative feelings towards people in your life that care for you. The pain body is very threatened by unconditional love.
A way to know when you’re in ego consciousness is when you are worried about the future or the past. If you’re feeling anxious or uncomfortable. Or nervous. With some practice, you’ll be able to step out of ego consciousness as soon as you enter it. Just like spitting out something distasteful, the ego will recede and you’ll become conscious within moments. While it’s easier to just stay out of ego consciousness, the world is full of unconscious people with active pain bodies. You can deal with this just by staying present but it’s very important to just practice non-reaction. Over time it will become habit. And those times you find yourself in ego consciousness will be rare. And then you can really begin working on the pain body within you. Note we don’t say “my pain body” at this stage because you have to disidentify with it to a degree. This might cause some physical or emotional discomfort at first but if you push through it and just observe your pain, you might start to see the insanity of holding onto it.
What prevents people from doing work on their pain body is that the ego simply cannot stand knowing that “the story of my life” is a fiction. It’s been told and retold so many times that it cannot possibly be the whole truth. Most of the participants of the drama and the stories told about it have moved on. And the pain body uses this “story” to continue to inflict emotional pain on you. And every time you tell the sad stories, it activates the pain bodies in others.
You may believe you are sharing your pain so that others can understand or be sympathetic. You may be using it as an excuse to not heal now in the present. You might have to admit you aren’t the perfect little angel you want others to believe. It’s during this work we might feel that we’re being silenced, but the only thing that’s being silenced are the negative influences in your life. The “poor me” stories that don’t accurately portray the magnificent being you truly are. You can simply stop telling the story of who you were and start telling stories of who you are now.
And when you stop telling those sad stories and disallow others to tell them to you, the pain body reacts as if it is a starving animal. You will be called names. You will be perceived as unsympathetic and uncaring. But in reality, away from ego consciousness, you’ve become more compassionate than you ever thought possible. Every time you reaffirm the story of your “hurt” you feed your own pain body. And there is some discomfort when you stop telling those stories as you begin to live in the present more and more. However, those in your life with an active and engorged pain body won’t be happy at all.
The pain body in others does not want to be discovered as it needs negativity and drama to survive. Whenever someone or something triggers you and you can realize that the pain body is active within you, there is hope. If you cannot yet realize that this emotional pain that has been stored for decades must be released and dissolved somehow, you might engage with petty arguments, destructive gossip and pointless lawsuits. With daily work on the pain body (and also ego) you will gain control over your thoughts and emotions. This will give you the mental discipline necessary to go further and higher in your spiritual development.
If you start to remove yourself from drama, arguments or negativity, the pain body in others will perceive it as hurtful as you are no longer a source for the negativity that it thrives on. And it is here where you begin to see the insanity of it. And if the pain body in someone is particularly strong, even your silence and non-participation can make it desperate. You yourself might become the subject of destructive gossip or accused of being a liar or somehow fake.
If you are working on your pain body you may run across a person with a particularly large pain body. This might be a member of your family, a co-worker or even someone you just met. This person might have a strong connection to the collective pain body where it can activate in others. Pain body knows your weaknesses and what buttons to push and you can start to marvel at the uncanny ability of those overtaken by pain body to really pull no punches in their verbal sparring. Pain body knows what makes you angry or afraid and it will use anything to get itself to become active within you. People who don’t know each other might start saying the same exact hateful things to you. It’s quite astonishing to witness this thing in action.
Do not take any of the names and actions lobbed at you personally. It’s here where you see that no human being would act the way they are acting so something supernatural is going on. A person you once loved and cared for now hates your guts and might be trying to ruin your life. And what for? The answer is because the pain body in them does not want to go. Like any living thing, it doesn’t want to stay alive.
Of course if you are working on it and the pain body in another is strong, they will despise you for bringing that energy around. As you are no longer absorbing the energy of the pain body, it gets reflected back to them and they perceive you as hurting them. You are not. You are the very person who could help them through the process, but don’t call out the pain body in them at that time. If you do they will run you and your name into the ground. Your reputation will most likely suffer if others are not willing to become conscious.
When someone becomes completely overtaken by pain body, it’s survival becomes so important that the person will start to engage in self-destructive behavior. They will willingly destroy their own life and livelihood in order to destroy anthers. I would like to say that these situations are rare, but if you are doing this work, please be advised that this could happen to you. You might be so excited to be working on your pain body, you start telling others about it. And unless you have the presence and awareness to see that when people are completely taken over, they aren’t even aware of their humanity at all. If you are aware of the pain body in others, then pain body will cease to affect you less as time goes on. And one day, you will break free and it will dissolve completely. Remember, it will happen. You might discover that talking to or being around people with active pain bodies won’t serve you on your path. It is completely okay to remove yourself from any situation that causes you discomfort. And once you become aware of the pain body, it’s extremely uncomfortable.
Until you have maintained a certain degree of presence, people with active pain bodies will think you are the hateful one, the mean one and even the dangerous one. If this happens to you, how do you respond? There are stories of Zen teachers accused of horrible things they did not do. They did not react with anything other than curiosity. They just became present with what was happening even as their lives and reputations were destroyed. And that is what you must do to fully dissolve it within yourself. You have to be okay with people calling you names and saying hurtful things because, if you are doing the work, you finally understand that it is not really them saying those things. If you can remain present, not react, the pain body will eventually find another trigger or find some other way to feed.
While it can be disheartening to face the prospect of losing your friends and family during this process, you might be wondering why do this work at all. That is quite logical. But is it logical to keep letting words and actions of others hurt you? Especially if your reaction to them is not even legitimate or warranted. Wouldn’t you like to know if you are being hurtful or mean to people who don’t deserve it? As it is much easier to live in peace and harmony, the stress of having an active pain body can have health consequences. If you can come to realize that every argument, conflict and drama is just a perfect storm of pain body and ego, you’ll soon gain the sort of mental discipline that can give you lasting comfort.
It bears mentioning here that if you feel someone has legitimately hurt you, you can go to that person. They might not even know they hurt you and they might apologize. Unfortunately, the way people act towards us is sometimes not the way they act towards others. In doing this work we might find out that we were in the wrong. The two of you might have a laugh over such a gross misunderstanding. For more serious matters, or for ones where you don’t feel safe confronting someone, it’s up to you to receive healing in whatever way is appropriate to you.
A good therapist can help you work through your past trauma and put it into perspective and perhaps ease your suffering and overcome your fear of talking about it. You might discover that you are no longer that person anymore and that dwelling in the past or wanting retaliation will only delay or prolong your own healing process. And then you come into the awareness that it’s you that is wounding yourself over and over. A hurt that was suffered long ago and dealt with has a way of eroding us from the inside.
You can realize that any losses you have suffered will eventually be gains as long as you focus on healing and avoid the temptation to share your pain with everyone. That only feeds pain bodies and really serves no purpose other than that. And if you must share your stories, you can make them triumphant ones without naming names. You can share how you healed rather than the specifics of how people hurt you. And whenever you ruminate on your past experiences, you can marvel over how you emerged triumphant over difficult circumstances. You can choose not to be hurt by words or actions.
And one day you will wake up in the morning and not be defined by the day before. You’ll be able to take responsibility for the issues in your own life and not feel that somehow helping yourself is helping others. You will be able to solve problems easily because they won’t be bogged down by years of storytelling. And when someone says something to you that’s hurtful, you can choose to smile, laugh or ignore it. You really can choose to be hurt. And once you taste that sort of freedom and peace, you’ll want to stay there more often.