The Sufi’s say pain is the doorway to God. While all of us might not be in that same place of awareness, it’s not too hard to understand where the Sufis are coming from.
Let’s face it. Most of the time, pain brings us to our knees, regardless of whether the nature of the pain is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
When we experience physical pain, our bodies are usually trying to tell us something. Something is wrong or our body is going through a process of healing. And as we all know, healing can also be painful at times.
An example of mental pain might be the inability to make a decision; going round and round, yet unable to move forward. When we keep mental pain to ourselves, it really is a lot like being on a merry-go-round. My friend often says “Being in my head [i.e., that place of mental pain] is like being in a bad neighborhood. I put myself in real danger.”
Emotional pain is usually the hardest to deal with. This pain can come when someone has hurt us, knowingly or unknowingly, which makes it even harder for us to share the pain with others. We might be embarrassed about what has happened, or just plain afraid of being hurt again if we share our feelings.
We often don’t even realize that we are experiencing spiritual pain. I believe that this kind of pain is rooted in not learning what we are meant to learn from the physical, mental and/or emotional pain we have experienced.
When we fail to acknowledge or deal with our various types of pain, we find ourselves caught up in a vicious cycle. In the next few weeks, I’ll talk about ways to acknowledge and deal with the pain, and about the process of healing.
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