Psychology

Understanding Psychological Change



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What is the function of physical pain? Have you ever noticed that those mental emotional issues that you thought were so important in your life seem to pale when confronted with the wrenching relentless sensation of constant nagging physical pain? And so the question becomes one of how to alleviate ourselves from feeling pain. In other circumstances, emotional, mental, we tend to work through the pain, stress, whatever you want to call it but when it's physical we want to erase it with artificial means. We resort to physicians, over the counter medications, prescriptions, anything that we can construe as a remedy in order to not confront the deeper underlying issues. What caused the physical to rear its ugly head? I, for one, think that the whole being is responsible for creating discomfort. If we approached the situation with a holistic attitude, maybe we could get into the root cause of our physical problems. We are in essence out of balance; our life is not working and perish the thought that we would look within instead of externally for the cause of the problem. Deep and total surrender is what's called for and we never seem to realize this until there are no other options. Ok, our back is up against the wall and the time is now. So we start bargaining with ourselves. I'll start eating healthy foods; I'll take vitamins; I'll get more sleep; I'll get my life in order; I'll stop sweating the small stuff which by the way you thought was big stuff not too long ago. The problem with this is that when the physical pain disappears you are right back to making the small stuff big stuff again. I tend to believe, for myself at least, that the purpose of pain is to humble you. You hear stories of how near death experiences bring about a complete shift of attitude for the people involved. The superficial way that they had looked at their life suddenly becomes null and void. They shift from the external to the internal. For me, never having experienced a near death experience, but definitely having experienced excruciating pain, I see it in the mundane way that I look at my life. Some of the things that I have seen as important, hair cut and colored, nails manicured, new clothes are only a superficial ordering of a vain existence that has nothing to do with who I really am on the inside and yet these acts are how I manifest an orderly appearance to the outside world. Now, because of physical pain, I cannot conform to my normal standard of behavior. I am stopped dead in my tracks and the important thing becomes survival. Suddenly, what is important is eating, sleeping and breathing. There is no space available for my usual routine. I am reminded of the story about a man who walked along a road with no shoes and lamented his fate until he met a man who had no feet. Isn't that what we do in our daily lives? We stress about the trivial and forget what's really sustaining. I, for my small part in the universe, have the intention of remembering this moment of truth when the physical pain is gone and my trivial life resurfaces. .

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