Aug 222008

Whenever you feel pain, be it physical, mental or emotional, the tendency is to resist it, push it away in the hope it will disappear. Unfortunately pushing it away has the opposite effect of locking it in. Instead you need to allow your pain to soften.

When the weather is hot you put your butter in the fridge to make it hard, so it will keep longer.

Pushing your pain away is like putting it in the fridge, your pain hardens and solidifies. The more you push it away, the longer it lasts. Or, as the saying goes:

What you resist, persists.

When you take the butter back out of the fridge into a warm room, it softens so you can spread it. Similarly, if you keep your pain with you, instead of pushing it away, it stays soft, so it can move and resolve.

Here are three ways I regularly use to soften various types of pain. Sometimes one works on its own, other times I use a combination. Try them out and see what works for you.

Three ways to soften your pain

1. Welcome the pain

You may be thinking ‘Why on earth should I welcome something that feels unpleasant?’ Very understandable, since our learned response is to push the pain away.

My experience over several years, is that when I welcome / allow / accept / embrace the pain, it really does soften. Choose whichever word appeals to you.

When I accidentally wrenched my arm back last week, causing strong pain, I remembered to welcome and accept it. The pain immediately softened, and resolved over the next ten minutes.

When I feel overwhelmed by the tasks I have to do in a day, by accepting the overwhelm feeling, it softens and diminishes. It’s as if by stopping fighting the uncomfortable feeling, it loses its power.

2. Let go of the resistance

If you find it hard to believe that welcoming the pain will work, you might like to try the more active method of letting go of the resistance. The Sedona Method is an effective way to release resistance.

Simply tune into the resistance you are feeling, and allow yourself to respond intuitively to the following questions:

  1. Could I allow this feeling of resisting <my sore arm> to be present, as best I can?
  2. Could I let it go?
  3. Would I let it go?
  4. When?

Don’t worry if you get a ‘No’ response, you’ve probably released anyway, just keep going with the questions.

Keep cycling through the above four questions until the feeling of resisting the pain has diminished, or gone.

If you’re new to The Sedona Method, see my Quick Start for Sedona.

3. Come into the present

A third approach is to bring your awareness into the present moment.

First take your attention to your breath – a good way to come to the present.

Then ask yourself:

  1. If I don’t go into my memories, or look into the future, can I find the pain?

With an open mind and a little practice you’ll find your pain disappears for an instant as you come into the present. The more you practice the longer you will stay in the present moment, and the longer your pain will disappear for.

The Delicious Nugget: Resisting pain or any kind of discomfort locks it in. For your pain to dissolve, you need to let it soften, just as you let butter soften before it will spread. Welcoming the pain, releasing your resistance to the pain, and coming into the present moment are three effective ways to soften your pain.

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