Living Beyond Chronic Pain Using Forgiveness
You can shift into living beyond chronic pain by relieving silent suffering, using forgiveness. Chronic pain is any pain – physical, emotional, or spiritual – that is felt 15 days out of 30 for three months or more. Silent suffering is a version of chronic pain. It can be viewed through the martyr archetype. It has the quality of holding pain within yourself and holding shame for how you feel rather than accepting how you feel.
The Silent Sufferer
The silent sufferer tries to deny the feelings he or she is experiencing. You may notice that you make meaning of the way you feel. Perhaps you think that because of how you feel right now means you are not measuring up to some standard you have set or perceive others setting for you. You might have a challenging time receiving help from others. Perhaps you have a fear that if you ask for help, you might move forward more quickly. You may imagine the future could be worse than what you are currently experiencing.
If you are a silent sufferer, you notice that you swallow your pain, bearing it silently. Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, “this is what I have to do, and I just have to get through it.” I understand how hard it is when you feel emotional pain in your heart or physical pain in your body all the time. When the pain is persistent, it feels like this is all the experience you remember. It is hard work to find that place of not resisting how you are feeling. Just allowing it all to be what it is.
This is a key to unlocking the door to living beyond chronic pain. I have found from my own experience that it is far more healing to vent the pressure I am feeling inside than to hold that pressure inside of me.
How to Live beyond Suffering
Maybe you notice that you are having a tough time seeing that something else is possible for you. If you have identified yourself with the story of your chronic pain, you can’t then imagine another way to live. The pain will stay there, locked in place, so long as you judge the pain as though it is not supposed to be there, that its mere existence is wrong. This is where the suffering lives; it is beyond pain. Pain is part of what we experience in life. When we put a judgment on how intense it is, as something bad that we want to get rid of, and suffering ensues. How you deal with the pain is what determines whether you suffer or not.
The Power of Your Story
Ask yourself, what is the story I am telling myself about what I am feeling? Is it true? Is it an empowering story or does it lock you into the cycle of chronic pain? Remember, anger and resistance lock in your pain. Think of your resistance to what you feel as if you are in a straitjacket, the more you struggle, the tighter it gets. How can you rewrite the story you are telling yourself to help you rise out of old behavior patterns into a new way of living beyond chronic pain?
You can learn to accept what you are feeling by forgiving yourself for all the self-judgment you have been holding. You are human. Release yourself from that bondage. If feel that you don’t like yourself, and you are feeling shame about feeling this way, you have some forgiving to do.
Love is about being able to hold all of it – the dark and the light – within you. The judgment and interpretation around the parts that you don’t want to experience spins you right into the cycle of chronic pain. Can you make peace with what is under, what is making you angry, shameful, wanting to deny what you are experiencing, and move forward? Make peace, forgive, embrace all of who you are and deepen your self-love. You are your life partner.
Make peace with yourself and live beyond the grip of chronic pain.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series next week!
My gift to you, a powerful toolkit to help manage your stress.