identify your pain

I am currently reading a book by Thich Nhat Hanh titled “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching – Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation”. The title is a mouthful and I do not really know much about Buddhism. I am at the beginning of the book and one part of the book really struck me. The author writes that in order to heal, it is important to identify your pain. It is important for you to “diagnose” what is causing your pain similar to how a doctor would if you had physical pain in your body.

I think I am the type of person that wants to take a “healing pill” and get it over with. I don’t want to spend time identifying the pain nor talking about it. It would be much easier if I could just get over it and forget it. But, that is not how life works. It is important to recognize what is causing us pain to be able to heal from the pain. We cannot heal a physical imbalance without a proper diagnosis so, why do we expect to heal a spiritual or emotional imbalance without first learning about it? I am guessing it has to do with our egos. We don’t want to admit that we let this thing cause us pain so, we would rather ignore it and hope it magically heals itself and goes away.

So, consistent with my new ode to complete ownership and honesty – here is what is causing my pain: it is attachment to someone and it is the feeling of rejection. I feel rejected by someone and it hurts. There is no poetic way to phrase that sentence – it stings and that’s the truth. I am attached to someone and that attachment leads to to feeling rejected. The cycle is very ironic – I think the Buddha would enjoy this a little bit at least.

I encourage you to identify your pain. Only by identifying it, you can learn from it and begin to heal it. It isn’t going to be easy to admit it and maybe you’ll go through the pain all over again but, think of your doctor diagnosing you for a cold or a headache. Only after the diagnosis can he prescribe you with medication that will heal you. Only after recognizing your pain can you really take the true path of healing.

Alma,

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