Pain & Perspective

I've had a bit of a revelation about pain that I want to share with you all. This is what I jotted down at the time:

Practice awareness of NON-PAIN when pain hits. Don't ignore the pain, but don't ignore the non-pain either. Becoming aware of both is the only true way of dealing with pain.

Basically, when pain hits, perspective narrows and the pain eclipses awareness of the rest of the body. It feels like there's nothing BUT pain. It feels all encompassing. But it isn't. There's at least one part of the body that isn't in pain (or chances are high that you'd be unconscious). Find it and become aware of it. Be aware of both the pain and the rest of the body as well. This puts the pain in perspective and makes it easier to deal with.

For example, if my skin is hurting, maybe my stomach/intestines aren't. If my jaw is hurting, maybe my elbows aren't. Becoming aware of the rest of my body makes the pain easier to accept.

I want to make it clear that I'm not talking about ignoring the pain or using distraction. It's about being aware of all of my bodily sensations, including the pain, instead of letting the pain dominate my awareness.

This may sound simplistic, but it's really helped me deal with pain. And this idea of enlarging one's perspective can be applied to pretty much any kind of suffering, too. I'm trying to use this idea to help me stop picking my skin, for example.

© Tatiana Harrison. You are welcome to share this as long as you credit me and link back to this site.