If You Are Hurting

If you are feeling bad, if you are in pain reading this, first just stop and give yourself a pat on the back for admitting it, for recognizing your pain. That’s a really good start.

As spiritual people, sometimes we want to spirit our pain away. We want to stick to the firm conviction we have, after all these years of spiritual work, that we are above this pain, that this pain is not real, that there is no one here to be having this pain.

So if, right now, you are able to admit that you are in pain, if you are able to face your pain directly and not run away, then you should be very proud of yourself. This is the beginning of the “other part” of your spiritual healing – the part where your experience as a human being is completely accepted and embraced within Presence.

This Presence is so often talked about in transcendental terms. And rightly so. This Presence, or Consciousness, or Beingness – this ONE from which all universes arise and into which all universes resolve, without even the passage of time – is so ineffable as to completely defy description in words. In fact, it defies even knowing: it cannot be known by the human mind, which is simply an appearance within it.

So put your human mind where it belongs on this scale of importance – your human mind is a passing appearance in the one non-dual reality, Consciousness. Let Consciousness be the knower of itself – your mind is not the tool for that. Let that goal go. Your mind can’t know it. Your mind is way down low on that totem pole.

And yet, even though you can’t know Consciousness with the mind, you CAN know that everything in the appearance is perfectly taken care of, as this perfect, undivided Presence. And this includes you, your body, your mind, your feelings, your thoughts, your worries, your pain. It includes your whole life. Your life, which arises and resolves within one, whole, perfect Presence, is already perfect in every way. Allow yourself for a moment right now to see your life from the perspective of Presence and it will be very clear. Nothing is wrong. Nothing can ever be wrong.

Now – kerplunk! You’re back in your life again, feeling like the person. Yes, this is how it goes.

But notice – this Presence didn’t change, did it? This Presence has never moved an inch in all of eternity – it remains whole, full, without end, no matter what has gone on in your life, or in the world.

So the aspect of this Presence that is not very often stressed is its non-transcendental side – how completely connected to the world it is. The world is made of it – the world is nothing but Presence. Presence is never anywhere else but right here, right now, firmly planted in you, as you. Presence is not elsewhere, is not something that you have to go to, or that has to come to you. Presence – this complete, timeless, shapeless peace and perfection – is already right here, present! Anywhere you look in your body and mind and heart, you will not find Presence to be missing. And just in saying, “Ah! I remember!”, the worries, the fears, the problems are seen for a moment in this light, and they can just be, as they are.

Perhaps your pain is only trying to lead you to this place of remembrance. Perhaps that is the purpose of pain. If you can feel your pain now, this is a good sign. Avoiding pain – pushing it away – is useful, too. It is a necessary thing human beings do when the pain is too great to bear. Humans have built-in coping mechanisms that serve to keep them on an even keel. So it’s okay also if you do not want to face your pain at this time.

But if it does begin to speak to you, just say hello back. That’s all you need to do. “Hello, sadness. Hello, worry. Hello, anger. I see you there.” That’s all you need to do. By doing this, you have shifted your position from the sad one to the one who sees sadness. Just that one little change, for just this one present moment, makes a big difference.

You are Presence and you are also a human being. Your identification will shift back and forth, always. In our culture, unless you live a monastic lifestyle, this world will constantly be pulling you back in. It’s fine. This world is fine. It’s beautiful, in all its craziness. And your life, in all its lovely messiness, is beautiful, too. In fact, it is just perfect.

Let your heart break if that’s what it wants to do. Allow yourself to move from “I don’t feel this, I won’t feel this,” to “I deeply and painfully feel this!” and learn that Presence can handle it. You don’t have to handle it – thank goodness! Bring your pain to the feet of Presence within you and see – you do not have to fear pain, because Presence will still be what it always is – unmoved, solid, perfect – even in the face of the greatest human pain.

Let your pain show you how really, truly connected you are to Perfection, and that you are always safe, always loved.