Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A New Earth - Chapter 5 - The Pain Body

The greater part of most people's thinking is involuntary, automatic and repetitive. It is no more than a kind of mental static and fulfills no real purpose. Strictly speaking, you don't think: Thinking happens to you. - Page 129

My mind is like a television of reruns of my life with lots of commercials. Even when I am thinking about options for the future, its only a rewritten rerun of a show that doesn't exist. What I find most fascinating about this concept is that I have choices. I can choose to turn the television off for a moment and just breath or I can choose to stop assuming these thoughts are real. When I watch "Bones" or "House" on television, I don't assume anything is real. An even better idea is to perhaps change the channel to something much more useful to my life.


If I were watching the news, my story would go something like:

She was born in Hermiston, Oregon. At the age of 3 her mother died. She was raised by her grandparents until the age of 7. Etc. etc. etc.

If I chose to watch the news, the story is pretty brief and mostly painless. So what is my pain body? It is my inability to let go of the story I told myself about myself. This story is my soap opera, my nightmare, my television series. By adding drama and emotion to this story, I have made it much more interesting and much more memorable. As a very creative person by nature, let me tell you, these stories are awesome, but they are useless. Why? Because I don't need the stories of the past or the potential future. I need what is happening now. What is happening right now is that I waste a lot of thought on the past and the future.

I am going to be alone. I am stupid, ugly, fat, a failure and I have nothing important to say. I am not worthy, creative , intelligent or classy enough. I am unforgivable, unlovable, unbelievable and untrustworthy. If you want me to prove it, you simply have to get the remote to turn on my television in my mind. That is the other part of the pain body. The part that hands all of these negative thoughts and emotions to the power of a one button ignition to another human being. Then when they push that button, we blame them. We attack them. We grab their remote and turn their minds television on. We know exactly what channel plays what. Let the reruns begin!

Probably the most amazing discovery of all is how very creative I have been in the past. It takes great creativity and a huge amount of energy to maintain a pain body. Pain bodies are hungry and take constant feeding to stay alive. When I exhausted my supplies of a painful childhood, I created painful additions in my young adult life. When it was no longer practical to feed it alone, I added husbands and children and tragedies that would haunt me until my life had ended. That is, until my identity with my pain body ends.

We only know what we believe to be true. If we cannot change the truth, then the only other option is to change what we believe.

I invite you to watch this video.

You can see a few more that I have put into a playlist HERE.
Byron Katie has a website with downloadable worksheets HERE.
Oprah and Eckharts class can be found in various forms HERE

When you peel off the layers of deception and mistaken identity; when you reach inside to what is under all the pain there is a powerful, yet fragile beauty that exists. This beauty can exist in everyone you see, if you are willing to accept it in yourself. As I look in the mirror that I set up to do another self portrait, the woman looking back at me is just a little prettier today than she was yesterday. She looks happier somehow. Wiser. Stronger. Innocent.

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1 comment:

theresa said...

I had never heard of this woman so thanks for pointing her out. The turnaround exercise looks very interesting.
Glad you are following the book--NEW EARTH--nice to have another person aboard in blogland. Thanks for finding me!