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Pain Pushes Until a Vision Pulls
Why inspiration should be your best friend
I first heard these words, “Pain pushes until a vision pulls” from New Thought minister and author Michael Bernard Beckwith, and immediately they rang so true for me. There is lots to unpack in this simple little phrase. I’ve spent many years thinking about both pain and inspiration, and the relationship between the two. Energetically they are basically opposites, and like many opposites in the yin-yang of life, they need each other. Each and every time I have dipped into pain cycles in my life, no matter how big or how small, how deep or how shallow, tapping into a new vision has always been what pulls me up and helps me rise strong, guiding me back into the high vibration that is in fact natural for all of us.
Without a vision that truly inspires us, the inevitable pain in life’s challenges tends to get an upper hand. Our thoughts trail into persistent mental stories about what’s wrong: with us, with other people, or with the world; and our pain pushes in deeper. Every human has experienced this vicious cycle of negative thinking patterns feeding our pain, whether that pain is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
Last week I wrote about the complexity of chronic physical pain, and how our emotions and thoughts get wrapped into that experience. Gaining awareness of the process that is causing a pain experience (of ANY kind) to become entrenched is generally the first important step in accessing the personal power to shift it. We need to own what we are doing to ourselves, however consciously or unconsciously, and meet ourselves right where we are. I’m not talking about shaming or blaming ourselves, just OWNING what we do to ourselves, and how painful it is, and taking 100% responsibility for our role in whatever we are experiencing, and however we are engaging with it.
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I’m not sure where I got this one, but I like this phrase too: “Nothing has a meaning but the meaning you give it.” Think about it! Wow. Does this mean that I can change what I’m looking at, and what I’m looking at will change? YES!! This is so powerful, SO powerful. And so simple. You know how I love simple. It may not always be easy, but it is simple: be intentional about becoming aware of where/how you are causing your pain, and choose to be courageous about tapping into a vision for something better, something that genuinely inspires you.
The vision can be so simple….for example, when I experience physical pain of the chronic sort flaring up, I have learned to inspire myself with the vision of simply meeting it and shifting my relationship with it: acknowledge it, listen to it, get curious about it, inquire within myself about what I might be feeling or thinking that is feeding this pain, and ask myself what I really need in this moment. This inspires me, because I find it inspiring to get to know the inner workings of myself better - it’s a beautiful expression of self-love - and, I find the idea of leaning deeper into self-mastery, and the joyful empowerment and inner peace that each new level of mastery always brings, to be very inspiring indeed.
The vision can be for an inner shift, or an outer shift (and of course they often go hand-in-hand). And all positive visions can inspire, whether for a micro or a macro shift toward the light, and toward a higher frequency of being. When the pain is especially deep, a micro-shift may be all that is possible at first - fortunately, that is ENOUGH to pull you toward the light, and once you are moving in that direction you are stepping into the ‘ever upward spiraling energy of the Universe,’ and you will be pulled further along, effortlessly. And once in a while, the deepest darkest pain pushes hard enough to cause us to access a very powerful vision for a macro-shift, such as is often accessed by people who have a near-death experience during an especially painful phase in life, and rise up rejuvenated, pulled by a powerful vision for a second chance with a new life.
When pain is pushing hard, and negative emotions feel overwhelming, it can feel impossible to make a shift toward the light. I know, for I have been there many times. I have learned that sometimes what is needed is for me to get outdoors, almost no matter what the weather, into Big Nature under the Big Sky. This brings a much-needed sense of spaciousness, which helps open up the narrow perspective that is causing my pain. Recently, I went to the ocean late at night after dark, and walked along the beach alone, feeling my strong emotions being MET by the wind and the crashing surf. Feeling thus met by something bigger than me, I was quickly able to calm myself and make room for a positive shift.
Sometimes, I find it helpful to declare and share my new vision with others and give it fuel for expansion, and other times a new vision wants to be held close in my heart and protected in its vulnerable fledgling state. Either way - whether exposed to the world to be celebrated, or cherished secretly in my heart - my vision pulls me forward. It still amazes me how quickly even the deepest pain is soothed by the more expansive Love-power of an inspired vision.
Inspiration is my best friend, because she gently pulls me back into my light, where I really belong, and reminds me of my inner strength, courage, and resourcefulness. Isn’t this what high-quality best friends do for each other?
“Turn your face toward the sun, and the shadows fall behind you.” - a Maori proverb