Is Life Possible without Pain and Trauma?

In my last week’s article, I introduced the idea of Circling – a process that allows us to practice presence – through which we discover ourselves, heal our pain and transform. This idea of presence first came into my life when I came across Eckhart Tolle a few years ago.

His book Power of Now was challenging as well as refreshing. He gave me hope that there was a way to free myself from the constant pain that I was experiencing. But I was also annoyed; he made it seem sooooo easy and I was really struggling to find it.

In the book, Eckhart starts with the moment when he was so distraught that he wanted to die and it was in this moment of complete despair that he became free and found presence for the first time. I hoped that if I kept trying, maybe this “aha” moment would occur for me too.

A couple of years ago, I attended his talk on presence. He said something like:

Life is hard, so stop resisting it. Yes, sometimes it may feel that life is in a flow and everything is smooth but soon enough it ends and life becomes chaotic and painful and traumatic. Accept it, surrender to it and don’t get attached… The sooner you can do it, the freer you would be of the pain body that keeps you stuck.

He was right. I was struggling because in my mind I like the idea of the fairytale. I wanted all my problems to end; to disappear. I wanted my problems to go away… I wanted to “live happily ever after”…

No wonder I couldn’t be present. I was spending all my energy in resisting my pain…

Especially, when the pain gets too much like in a PTSD attack, extreme fear and anxiety; extreme sadness… Who would want to surrender to that? But then, in the Circling as well as therapy with Robert, I have surrendered to pain many times and I have watched it transform and completely disappear. To do that in a moment, when I am supported by a group of people, is so much easier than surrendering to pain when I am on my own.

Maybe we can only surrender to the pain when we feel safe to do so. In the caring support of the circle, I get to experience this safety and I surrender. In the loving embrace of my partner L, I surrender to my pain and in the caring support of a friend, I surrender to my pain and find healing.

Finding people in life who are trustworthy, caring and provide this level of support becomes crucial for one’s healing journey. It is through these people in our lives that we learn to trust again. With the support of these friends, companions and partners, we dare to go places that we wouldn’t otherwise.

Conversely, when we are surrounded by people who disrespect us; don’t make us feel safe and add to our pain and trauma, healing becomes extremely difficult.

What does it take to say “No” to these people? What does it mean to remove these people from our lives; those who are toxic to our well being?

Because when we don’t, we keep ourselves chained to the pain and trauma of our childhood and we keep repeating our patterns.

Saying “No” is a sign that we are starting to believe in our self-worth. That we are finally accepting that we don’t need to suffer… That we deserve love, healing and our freedom. Life truly begins to transform once we do

The pain doesn’t disappear but it becomes bearable because we feel loved and supported and we can trust again. Life starts to feel more balanced and we no longer suffer from an overriding sense of utter pain and trauma.

Are you willing to say NO to the toxic people in your life?

Are you ready to surround yourself with friends who support you without judgement?

Are you ready to heal your pain?