The Alchemy Of Pain

It is when I struggle that I strengthen. It is when challenged to my core that I learn the depth of who I am.

Steve Maraboli

Years ago my heart was badly broken. The pain of it was so acute I could feel it radiating out from my chest and down my arms and legs. Hot fire coursing through me.

I wanted to escape it. Avoid it. Bypass it somehow but none of the usual distractions were enough to douse the fire. Everywhere I went, there it was, burning through me.

I had to find another way to get relief. So I wrote, pages and pages in my journal. Years worth of pages were filled in days. Letting the pain seep out through the tip of my pen.

I burned sage, smelling the woodsy, earthy, musty scent filling my nostrils and dancing around my body. I pictured the tendrils of smoke wrapping themselves around my pain and carrying it away from me. Wicking it off to fall to the floor.

I took long slow breathes while I slowly stretched. Bringing my awareness to the sensations in my body and away from the images replaying on loop in my mind. Feeling my muscles open and expand and feeling the flow of blood through my veins and my heart pounding in my chest and the tightness in my solar plexus ever so slowly releasing.

I sat in meditation, breathing into the fiery pain in my veins, feeling the combination of heat and release with every breathe. I remember sitting there feeling the intensity of the sensations and the words ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ came to mind. I was on the midst of a beautiful tragedy.

Somehow through all of this healing something had flipped and I could observe the pain I was in. Instead of drowning in the tidal wave of emotion I was riding that wave like a seasoned surfer.

I observed that I was in deep deep pain, and I knew that it was beautiful because it meant that I was ALIVE. This intensity had DEPTH and was DYNAMIC. I had allowed myself to love and feel so deeply and this was the other side of that coin.

I shifted my attention away from the story of betrayal running rampant through my mind and focused instead on the sensations I was experiencing in my body. It actually felt similar to the love I had felt. This was pain, but it was also love. How wonderful that I was capable of loving with such intensity and fire!

I sat and let the waves of love wash over me and I knew that I would be ok. This love was mine and I could feel it anytime I wanted. I just had to get still, and tune into the heat of the fire that’s always in my heart.

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