Recieved: 2000/05/28 17:33
Subject: Re: [K-list] NDE
On 2000/05/28 17:33, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:
In a message dated 05/28/2000 8:56:20 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
<< So I decided to dive into the pain, embrace it, and there's nothing
like extreme pain to clear out a nice quiet place in your brain... a
piece of silence in the middle of all that agony. Nirvana even...cos
you finally know you are more than your body. The pain clears away
everything until there's nothing but pure Consciousness. It really is
standing in the center of a hurricane. Maybe that's what death does. >>
Thank you, Susan, for sharing your experience of "transmuting" pain. Passing
kidney stones is notoriously painful, as are acute spine injuries. I tried
everything, including attempting to "go with the flow" of my pain without
success, and for 2 years I felt like I was being tortured day and night. I
prayed over and over: "Heal me or kill me." I still have the pain now but
nowhere near as severe.
It wasn't until 4 years into my adventure in unremitting pain that I made
some discoveries about myself that altered the way I understand things like
"surrender" and "resistance." I have a low pain threshold but I'm very
strong emotionally. If just about anyone else I know had been subjected to
the kind of pain I suffered -- with its concomitant long-term sleep
deprivation, hurting too much to eat, and the loss of even the most ordinary
independent acts, like being able to bathe without assistance -- they would
have been howling basket-cases. I endured it all quietly, sinking into a
prisoner-of-pain private hell. I worked with a pain specialist therapist
during some of that period. She was astonished that I expressed no anger at
my predicament and that I was "coping so well."
It was after several years of this, when the spine pain became more bearable,
that I had a K episode of intense kriyas which re-injured my back. That
finally sent me over the edge. I had gone from loving and trusting K to
experiencing her as an agent of ruthless torture, and that finally broke me.
I snapped and no longer passively prayed for death; I was on the brink of
deliberate suicide. Anger spewed forth as I ranted against K, against
incarnation, against all the misery I'd experienced in this world. My poor
husband was at a loss for how to help me, and was afraid that I was really
going to do myself in.
Then, partly out of remorse for how much I was scaring him and because I was
overwhelmed, I broke down weeping. I have always cried easily, but this was
different: a body-shaking, gut-wrenching, ravaging sobbing that felt like my
soul was ripping apart. In that torrential weeping, I released a sorrow I
hadn't known was within me -- a raw, terrible sadness at having to endure so
many levels of pain, so many years of suffering, such a merciless life.
I'd never let myself feel those things so nakedly before. But now oceans of
grief were unleashed, and suddenly I was reliving repressed traumas of my
childhood. I reexperienced numerous incidents in which horrible things had
been done to me, like when my mother had "accidentally on purpose" tried to
scald my face with boiling water. I realized she had done this
unconsciously, and it hadn't been personal. She didn't hate me, as I had
always believed. She simply didn't want children. Yet she lived in an era
where motherhood was essential for a woman to be socially acceptable. Since
she couldn't admit to herself how fiercely she resented this, instead she
physically and emotionally scapegoated me as an outlet for her anger.
All this came through my sobs with crystal clarity: my mother's pain at
having to sacrifice her dreams to be trapped in a life she never wanted; my
pain at having carried throughout my childhood the knowledge that I was
unloved and somehow a "mistake" and the terror that my mother would manage to
maim or kill me; and all the subsequent sorrow of living in this painful and
often cruel world. Gallons of tears.
After all that, I came to realize that my extraordinary strength had kept me
alive and sane through everything, yet by enabling me to hold it together so
well, it delayed a lot of inner healing for me. If I had been more
emotionally fragile, I'd have fallen apart a lot sooner. Well, I did attempt
suicide at age 18, but that was without the cleansing release of grief.
I've heard others speak of being so stubborn and resistant that it took a ton
of bricks falling on their heads before they could let go. That's true of me
too, but it's only seeing it from one side. During the Nazi occupation of
France in WWII, there was an underground movement of courageous and
incredibly strong people working to liberate their country. The movement was
called "the Resistance." There are times when exceptional courage and
strength are needed, and times when they become obstacles. There are times
when "losing it" can endanger oneself and others, and only makes things
worse, and times when collapsing in surrender is necessary for a healing
breakthrough to occur.
My strength still serves me well and it still hinders me. I'm aware of both
sides of it now. And I can appreciate that people who lack this strength are
both at a disadvantage and quite fortunate. Most of all, I now better
understand that "For everything there is a season, and a time for everything
Being able to transmute pain by moving into the heart of it, where all is
stillness, is a fantastic gift of awakening. If I'd been able to do that as
fast as Susan could, I would have spared myself years of suffering. I won't
say "needless suffering," because I also would have missed my breakthrough
experience of intense compassion, not only for myself, but for my mother,
whose pain drove her to hurt me. I would still regard her as a monster
rather than as someone who was deathly afraid of being socially ostracized.
When I was a child, there was nothing I could do to win my mother's love and
approval. That -- plus the example of my
mother's unfulfilled life -- taught me how much harm can come of making other
people's approval your god. It was a valuable lesson, one that has done a
lot to free me to be myself. I am grateful to my mother and grateful to my
pain for that, even though I hope I never have to go through anything like
those experiences again.
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