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Saturday, March 31, 2018
Pain comes in many forms. There is the pain of a headache and there are many kinds of headaches that produce various degrees and quality of pain. There is organ pain when something is wrong inside and muscle pain when they are pushed beyond the norm either by exercise or emergency. Pain can be mild and a mere annoyance, or brutal and debilitating.
Emotional pain, and many say they'd much rather have physical pain than the kind of pain that spins the mind and weakens the body due to emotional upheaval is part and parcel with the WCG experience. I assume it is the emotional pain of having it that leads many here to BannedHWA as a means of processing the pain of good intentions gone south.
All emotional pain is the body's reaction to the mind. There literally are molecules of emotion released into the blood by the brain, that find their ways to our cells and lock on to produce the effects we know all too well when emotional pain strikes. It may be that kicked in the stomach feeling, dizziness, crying or shock, but it all has its roots in the chemistry produced by the mind when the mind has to deal with the way things are.
It's why funerals are as they are and bad news sucks. It's why chronically bad thinking produces chronically bad health. We are both what we eat and what we think. Emotions can be checked by proper attention to the breathing which most never do properly. When we breath from high in the chest, as when under emotional stress, we literally send the message to the brain we are stressed and anxious. In response, the brain sends the appropriate chemicals for fight or flight. To change that, we simply need to breathe deeper and lower in the body which literally sends the message to the brain that "all is well." The brain then says "fine then, here comes the feel good stuff."
Most people hold their breath more than they realize. It produces bad chemistry. Meditation skills emphasize attention to breathing for this very reason.
The human brain is not just in the head. It also extends into the blood where and how the molecules of emotion are delivered to the appropriate physical receptors. We stay angry and can't calm down because the chemistry of anger is locked onto the appropriate cells and it takes time for the keys to fall out of the locks and normalcy returns. "Just calm down" can take time physically. It can take time in every context.
My journey in WCG both as member for a very short time and minister for way too long a time was wrought with emotion and ,in hindsight, mostly negative as the Armstrongs and Tkaches played out their dramas inflicting the pain of it all on those who did not come to the Church, or any church, for such a stupid and reckless religious experience. It almost killed me.
Creating new problems trying to solve old ones is also a skill humans seem good at. Anger, fear, doubt, anxiety, depression, regrets and much head shaking and forehead slapping seemed pretty common. My reactions to the emotions were not always stellar or helpful to me personally or my family either. The art of numbing the painful emotions ignited by the all the problems such an organization can come up with, rather than face and address them, never solves and always magnifies negative emotions and problems that weren't even problems to begin with.
No you don't just have big bones...
In my experience we don't address problems head on because we don't feel we have the right to do so or the price of doing so is way too high. It is not uncommon to listen to a client describe the pain in their hips, knees and ankles but never mention the fact that they are obese which means they will always hurt. I've been asked by clients that weigh 350+ pounds to "fix my hips" and again the voice in my head says "How? I can't even find them." I cannot, however, in my level of profession tell them they are too heavy. They'd freak out and I'd get fired for hurting their feelings. The topic of "I know I am too heavy and need to lose weight" never gets admitted to. It never comes up.
I did get fired once when a client, after mentioning they might consider quitting smoking as their skin and breath was reeking of nicotine coming out during massage, got upset for mentioning it. I asked the Christian owner if he'd forgive me but he said no. lol
Perhaps there is another perspective about literal pain and that which is emotionally painful that would be helpful to keep in mind. Pain , literal or emotional, is also weakness leaving the body. Think of that. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY.
In my therapeutic massage practice, "I'm hurting" is always the theme of the day with clients. EVERYONE tells me "I tend to carry my stress in my neck and shoulders" as if they are the only ones who experience it there. By nature I want to say "Really?, I carry mine in my big toe," but that does not help client/therapist relations. :)
Much pain I see in clients is caused by the underlying emotions in their life which is why we have a chat before each session on what stresses are in their life. That tells me a lot about where it's going settle in the body.
Sometimes we talk about the words a client uses to describe themselves, "I'm getting old," "I'm a mess," etc, as those words can also translate into pain in the physical body. I tell them that we only get old if we are lucky and that seems to help. Self labeling can be a source for dis-ease. I have clients that I know what they are going to say before they say it because they repeat the same litany of pain and symptoms every visit. My dad always talked about his age as just laps around the sun and perhaps that attitude contributed to both my parents living to just under 100.
One client walked in looking like he was carrying all the weight of the world on his shoulders. When I pulled back the blanket to start working on the back there it was. A almost life size tattoo of Jesus on the cross complete with crossbeams and red blood flowing from a disfigured Jesus face. It stretched from his neck to his hip. He was literally bearing his cross daily and it showed.
One client blew out a big sigh when relaxed and said "My boss is such a blowhard. He even said he knows he's a big bag of wind at times." Interesting I said. Let me ask you what organ "blowhard" and "bag of wind" corresponds to those words. "Lungs?" Yep, I then asked if her boss had any lung problems? She shuddered, looking up and asked, "Why did you ask me that? He just told me has lung cancer." Just a theory I said and we had a chat about the negative words we use that the mind buys into as literally true delivering the appropriate chemistry, in this case, did-ease in the lungs. Or it's just a coincidence I also said.
All that to say, watch your words and labels and certainly the tattoos you choose. They can set you awash in the molecules of emotion.
It's painful when people we love or we ourselves become less than perfectly healthy. It's painful when loved ones die, either too soon or very late. It's painful when life changes, jobs are lost, careers change, relationships deteriorate or change. But all pain is still weakness leaving the body.
The pain of loss wakes us up to our emotional weaknesses and we either grow through or become bitter as some do. Most grow through and are stronger for the pain that comes into their lives. Without the pain, there could be no growth and no getting stronger. I suppose this is why we cling, at times, to "what does not kill me, makes me stronger." Very true. "What doesn't kill me pisses me off " is also true along the road to healing.
Life is a bit like walking. Walking is, in fact, a controlled crash that comes out looking like the smooth and flowing experience it is. For every muscle that needs to engage in support and forward motion, others have to let go so movement can even take place. It's quite amazing. If your hamstrings don't relax at the same time the quads/Psoas etc, engage in lifting your thigh, you aren't going anywhere. Letting go is part of the process of moving forward.
I've learned that I could not be here today if I had not been there then. Somehow that helps. If you had told me a few years ago that I'd have a great practice in the Pacific Northwest , I would have said you were nuts and why would that happen? Well it did and I do. Without all that transpired then I would not be here now.
Whether pain is literal and hurts the body, or emotional and hurts the mind and spirit, perhaps if we remind ourselves that "Pain is weakness leaving the body," we can see the bigger picture of what it might be here to teach us. It is universally true that in our weaknesses and pain, we are made stronger, if we allow it and don't allow self pity, anger and "why me" (why not?) to distract us from an opportunity to learn the lessons here at Earth School.
BannedHWA is one way the pain of religion gone bad can leave the mind for our healing and scars to fade.