Often times people assume that when they experience sadness, anger, fear, apathy, hate…or any other emotional state they would like to be free from, freedom is far off and they are completely trapped in a whirlwind of suffering without any means of escape.
But the truth is, freedom, peace, love and joy are always behind every instance of pain you experience. Every time you suffer, that suffering is always a layer on top of the freedom that you are, every time you become upset, that is simply the result of an energy, a reaction, blinding your inner clarity.
Now granted, not all emotional charges are the same. It is unlikely (though not impossible) that you can immediately free yourself from the pain caused by a deeply heartbreaking situation, the death of a loved one, a traumatic experience such as abuse, a partner’s infidelity… but even these wounds can be mended. No matter how deep the pain, everything, and I mean everything, can be let go of, every piece of pain and suffering you experience in your consciousness can be dissolved and integrated.
The most important thing you need to heal yourself is the magical light that cuts through the darkness of illusion – awareness.
The reason why you are suffering is because you are unconscious. Not unconscious in the medical sense of the world, knocked out cold, blacked out drunk or in a coma (whichever you prefer), but psychologically unconscious – being awake, yet trapped in your mind, in your thoughts and emotions, while not only mistaking them for yourself, but thinking they are the absolute reality.
Being truly conscious, truly aware of yourself, your emotions, your thoughts, as well as your reactions and resistance to them is the key to letting go of your pain. Acute, deep and full awareness is needed.
Using Awareness to Free Yourself of Suffering
(the practical aspect)
Become aware of yourself right now. Turn your awareness inwards and check to see how you are feeling at the moment. Look at your emotional state – is there any sadness, fear, anger, apathy? Look at your thoughts – what are the constant loops running in your head? “I’m not good enough”, “Life sucks”, “I want more”, “I’m tired”, “When will I finally be free/happy?” “When will I find true love?”, “Nobody loves me…”…
Feel the sensations in your body, become aware of them and see how comfortable or uncomfortable you feel in your own body.
Once you become aware of your thoughts, pictures in your mind, emotions and bodily sensations, allow them to be. Welcome them, embrace them, do not resist them.
*Becoming aware of the resistance is the same as actively welcoming/embracing your inner state, it is best to do both – actively choose to embrace your emotions and thus dissolve resistance, while at the same time becoming aware of any remaining resistance.
As you do so, allow yourself to breathe deeply in order to dissolve inner resistance even further. Breathing is magical and it will also help you in maintaining a clear and steady awareness (you can read my article on the importance of breathing and correct breathing form). In doing so the pain and suffering will slowly begin to dissolve.
If any part of it seems stuck or doesn’t want to disappear, become aware of every aspect of it – including the resistance with which you are blocking it, any desire to fix it or change it and any desire or wanting to hold on to it for whatever reason.
Your reactions to your inner pain are the only reason why they linger after you have become aware of them. Though it may take some time, awareness itself is enough to dispel any and all suffering, but you must become conscious of all aspects of your pain in order for it to disappear.
For example, – you notice you are angry, you feel the anger and take a few deep breaths and embrace it. You can slowly feel the anger melt away, dissolve, it weakens and becomes easier to bear. But it won’t let go, it won’t disappear completely. Why? The reason for that is your own inner holding on, your resistance to the anger and every other hook in your mind keeping the anger in place.
Become aware of all aspects of your anger now, look at your thoughts, why are you angry in the first place? Are you unwilling to let go of a resentment?
Look at your resistance, at that desire to push the anger away from your conscious awareness – that resistance is blocking your from letting it go, for you are blocking yourself from truly feeling and thus integrating/dissolving it (as they say what you resist, persists).
Look at your desire to hold on to the anger, to keep the resentment, the unforgiving attitude you have towards the other person (or yourself). Become aware how much pain the anger is causing you, and notice how there are many other emotions connected to the anger – fear of letting it go, sadness at what the other person had done to you (or what you’ve done to yourself), guilt, blame, pity,…
And last but not least, a very important part – look at your self – look at the identity you have created around this pain, look at how you feel the pain, the suffering, everything related to it is YOU, is a part of who you are.
Once you become aware of the identity you have created out of the pain you will soon if not immediately realize that you are not that identity, because you are the awareness observing the identity, that mind created aspect of yourself, that self-image you have of yourself in your mind’s eye.
This is how to dis-identify with a part of yourself, a part of your identity that is not serving you anymore, this is how you can let go of a self-image you no longer wish to have, since it is intertwined with pain and suffering (your deepest self is beyond any and all self-images, while the surface/worldly self, your personality contains mental images/perceptions of yourself – this is absolutely normal and should be embraced)
There is nobody that can teach you how to do this, there is no technique on becoming aware. There are many techniques on resolving emotions that I either have written about in this blog (The Sedona Method Triple Welcoming Process is a wonderful example) or will write about in the future, but awareness is ultimately the underlying key to all of them. And whenever you cannot resolve an emotion or let go of any inner pain and suffering with a technique or method (that utilizes awareness), you should simplify the approach and just be aware without any technique.
Aware of your thoughts, of your emotions, of every part and parcel of your inner world – by becoming aware of everything, you will resolve it, you will dissolve it. Make what is unconscious conscious – not only the pain, but also your reaction to the pain – your resistance, your judgment of your pain is what is keeping the hook in place, it is what is keeping you stuck in suffering. So never forget to be aware of yourself and how you feel about your own pain, your resistance to it, your subtle desire of wanting to keep it alive, the desire for drama the mind creates within you – become aware of all of it. Soon, with some patience, you will experience the whole thing unhook and you will remain free.
Ultimately, you may realize something even deeper – that awareness, consciousness itself is inextricably linked to who you are at your core. You are thus not the body, nor the mind or its many thoughts and emotional states, but that which is beyond it. As they would say in the East, you are Satchitananda – Being (Sat), Consciousness (Chit), Love and bliss (Ananda).