How To Cope With The Pain of Life

How can I cope with the pain of life

The world is going to break your heart.

To pieces. Or maybe it will feel more like having your heart slowly wrung out, like a wet rag, until the last possible drop is squeezed out.

Whether it’s the shattering impact of sudden trauma or a long, grinding away, like being slowly but surely overtaken by a glacier — heartbreak happens.

And not just once.

Maybe we could deal with that…your heart would shatter into a million pieces or self-immolate, and then you’d be done with it. “Well, that was appalling, but at least it’s done with.” But no. Like some cursed Promethean organ, it regenerates and soon enough you find yourself back in the ring for another ten rounds.

Spirituality seems to offer a few different perspectives. One is to become so effing spiritual that you kind of don’t care anymore. Do you become impervious? Indifferent? So Meta that the Micro no longer reaches you? Above suffering. Beyond suffering. God, that sounds so cool! 

Another viewpoint might be that suffering and heartbreak are lower dimensional paradigms and what you need to do is Ascend. Maybe this ascension takes the form of finally not having to incarnate at all. This would be the get-the-fuq-out model. Or perhaps you can stay, but somehow vibrate into another reality, 5th dimension (or higher…I think Fifth Dimension is probably so turn of the century at this point). 

Why does life hurt so much? 

Relationships fail. Bodies fail, and not just when you get old. Things happen to you, and those things hurt. Things happen to people you love, or to animals, or to children you don’t even know…and witnessing that can hurt even more than things happening to you directly. Your parents become demented and no longer recognize you. People you love die, sometimes after suffering a lot. Sometimes these hurts are just things that happen in life and sometimes they are downright grotesque and gratuitous. 

My heart breaks. And I hurt. I went through a period of time so far into the Meta that suffering felt very distant. I knew it was there, but it was more of a concept than something I experienced. I’m not sure this is really desirable. I mean, if you find yourself there for a while, it’s okay. Nothing wrong with it. But being buffered in that way isn’t what you imagine it to be.

But, there’s stuff that hurts in life and then there’s your fabulist talent of amplifying that hurt until it’s Next Level. Like you take some regular old Life Hurt and next level it until it reaches legendary status. As in, it becomes your own personal legend. 

Or, you suffer a hurt and instead of just feeling it cleanly and metabolizing it, you let the Narrator grab onto it and interpret it for you, analyze it, judge it, break it apart and hide little pieces of it here and there so you can spend the rest of your life finding them and digging them out like splinters. 

There’s stuff that hurts in life. Really hurts. Technically, you could avoid even this hurt. If you could decamp far enough into the Meta and stay there. Statistically, this isn’t a very likely solution for you, so I’m not sure I’d set my sights on it. 

In the Peerless Series, we talk about recognizing the difference between emotion and moods, discerning whether they even belong to you in the first place, and metabolizing true emotions and regulating mood involvement. I think these are important steps and help you get familiar with your emotional terrain. 

In Mastery, we talk about how we show up for ourselves. That sounds like the dull intersection of pop psychology and motivational life coaching. But those of you who are at that point in the Mastery Series where we cover this know otherwise. It’s not undertaking the process of uncovering our true selves, it’s becoming that process itself. We’re not separate from the process, we become the process. 

I’ve said this before in different ways in different places. The outcome is not separable from the process. And we have the habit of thinking in subject/object: “I want the outcome, so I’ll undertake the process.” There’s something called I and then there’s something called the outcome and something called the process. But there isn’t. The parts aren’t there. It’s one movement. And if you keep trying to manipulate the parts when the parts don’t exist, then it is a struggle indeed. You’ll have to read lots of books to help you figure out why it’s not working and maybe you’ll join some support groups or go live in an ashram. Who knows, but it will be some kind of ongoing struggle. 

It’s one movement. The mind doesn’t like that because its domain is Parts. It can’t interact with anything that’s singular. So the mind is not the door by which you will enter into this one movement, even though that’s the door you’ll constantly try to enter by.

There are lots of other doors. Some of them are quite traumatic, though. You can have a near death experience. You can be faced with an impossible situation. You could take a vow of silence for a year and retreat to some mountain cave and suddenly, there’s a door. What does your door look like? I don’t think you can know it until the moment you walk through it.

If you walk through that door and into that movement, will you stop hurting? Will your heart be bullet proof? No. But you can definitely move away from being the cause of  your own suffering. And the pain that happens, the heartbreaks that happen, you can show up for them with a depth of love, stillness and wholeness that you are.

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