The existence of what Eckhart Tolle defines as a pain body is revolutionary and has more potential to heal than all the medicine in the world. I recently did a story on Blog Fabulous about how researchers have excluded women from their studies. They then medicate women with medications designed for men and wonder why they aren’t very effective. It doesn’t take a scientist to understand the flaw in this approach. Unfortunately the medical community leaves millions of women powerless in the face of their pain.
As someone who has experienced chronic pain and found medical treatment severely lacking both as a treatment and a cure I find tremendous power in Tolle’s ideas about the pain body.
Take this example: As a teenager, very young with a self worth that was a -10 on a scale of 1 to 10, I had terrible, excruciating leg pain for a few years. Of course, I went to the doctor, lots of doctors. They and they prescribed pain killers.
I heard the theory that leg pain was associated with a feeling of being trapped, or of not having any freedom to get away from something. Which made a lot of sense as I, at the time of my pain, felt extremely trapped in a terribly abusive relationship. It was a very jealous and controlling boyfriend who constantly belittled, humiliated and often hit me with the intention of making me feel I was so worthless I had no where else to go. He would say vicious horrible things to me about my value to make me feel I had to stay with him.
When I gathered enough courage to leave him once and for all. My leg pain disappeared.
The pain body is a great explanation for this type of phenomenon. My pain was very real – and so was it’s warning “get away from him before he kills you!”
I’ve been particularly interested in some medical research connecting back pain with anger and resentment. One book out with this theory is Healing Back Pain: Mind-Body Principle by John Sarno. Again, I injured myself on a roller coaster and spent the next several years in chronic pain, taking muscle relaxers and pain pills that were ineffective, addictive and made my brain chronically cloudy.
When I finally realized that the medical community was going to be of no great help to me I started pursuing other approaches that included the mind/body/spirit connection and included lots of forgiveness and letting go (like letting go of anger and resentment about that toxic boyfriend). I also started doing yoga and strength training and buying ergonomic products to help my back.
Today, I am without back pain.
I don’t know who to credit this to, but, my favorite favorite analogy about forgiveness is this: Unforgiveness is like ingesting poison and expecting the other person to die.
From A New Earth, “As long as you blame others, you keep feeding the pain body”… “with forgiveness your victim identity dissolves, and true power emerges – the power of Presence. Instead of blaming darkness, you bring the light.”
I find, the more powerful I feel about my life and the direction it’s going, the less pain I experience and the less I feed my pain body.
Now, this probably doesn’t contain all the answers to pain, but exploring it, puts us in a more powerful position because we’re not relying on the medical community or ineffective medications to heal us.
Awareness of the pain body, Tolle says, is really the antidote to the pain body deeply effecting your life.
My favorite message from last night’s webcast is that the present moment is a space of holiness. In no other place can you take action and in no other place can you find God.
Tolle writes, “Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now; and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?”
Does the idea of a pain body explain anything in your life? Do you think negativity or physical pain is a symptom of something deeper?
If you missed the webcast of Chapter Four watch it here.