The Meaning of Pain

    Last week, I had an intense, sharp pain in my upper abdomen. Now, of course, this could have been a sign of a “medical condition” that required attention. However, in this case, I could trace the cause to an emotional event. As I became more conscious of that emotional event and resolved the thoughts and feelings around it, the pain went away. Could it be that many pains in our bodies have mental-emotional causes?

    Now, the point of this post is not to tell you to avoid medical care when you need it. If you pay attention, your body will tell you when that is required. For example, many years ago I had appendicitis and there was no doubt at all—zero—that I was going to the hospital. I had received warning symptoms from my body, related to my mental-emotional state, for months, that I hadn’t paid attention to. If I had, maybe it wouldn’t have gotten to that point. After my medical treatment, I was able to go back and address those issues more consciously.

    The point is, whether you need medical care or not, it can be beneficial to explore the deeper conscious meaning behind the events in your life, especially the painful ones. There is a mental-emotional component to everything that happens. Sometimes this component is so strong that it is a primary causal factor. As you address those mental-emotional issues, you gain greater clarity about what you need to do to move forward in a healthy way.

    Let me describe my pain from last week, so you get an idea how this might go:

    I had this intense pain in my upper right abdomen. From previous inner observations, I have come to know this pain as associated with my liver and with anger. Anger is often a message that there is something I am trying to protect. So when I get this pain, I ask: “What am I trying to protect?”

    I recognized that, at that moment, I was trying to protect “What I wanted to do in my work.” I had just read an email that was asking me to do something that I really didn’t want to do. Almost immediately, I felt angry and, soon thereafter, I felt this pain in my upper right abdomen.

    As I recognized and accepted what I believed gave rise to this pain, the pain shifted. It moved to my left upper abdomen, which felt painful and queasy. I’ve come to know this type of pain as associated with anxiety about “The way I am and if others will accept and respect me and what I feel strongly about.”

    As I acknowledged, observed, and accepted this feeling, that pain also began to subside. I then did some deep breathing through that area and practiced a meditation technique to bring me back to my calm center. I then wrote an email response that reflected “what I really wanted to do.”

    My current experience with pain is that the earlier and earlier I pay attention to subtle signals in my body and address them, the more quickly and easily these symptoms resolve. I can often address them mentally-emotionally and physically long before the point that medical care is needed. And if I reach the point where medical care is needed, I can work on the mental-emotional layer along with the physical to facilitate healing.

    So, the message I wish to pass along today is this:

    Pay attention to the feelings in your body.
    Listen for the messages underneath pain.
    And then follow your inner guidance.

    Enjoy your practice,

    Kevin

    Kevin Schoeninger

    P.S. This week on Spiritual Growth Monthly we’re practicing a powerful meditation for sensing and clearing your inner body. Click here to learn more.

      One Response to “The Meaning of Pain”

      1. Jodi says:

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