I recently asked a man who had experienced enormous pain through, as he felt, being misused by a woman friend. When I pointed out that this was the woman’s normal behaviour that he himself had described to me, so why was he hurt by it, he said that she should have been more caring for his feelings.  

I then asked him if perhaps he was asking her to act like an adult while he maintained the emotional level of response normal in childhood – namely blaming someone else for his hurt. In response he again justified himself by saying that it was normal to feel hurt from such an action.  I maintain that it is not ‘normal’ to feel such pain, having myself been a mess because of such pain and realised it was my sickness and so I grew beyond it. See Ages of Love

Such justifications, and the statement that it is normal to feel pain in love, at the death of someone close, at the twisting and turning of life events, or because of the unthinking remarks of someone, are the chains that bind us to that misery. Carl Jung wrote, “If we could fully meet our shadow, we would be immune to any moral or verbal insinuations. We would already have seen this for ourselves.”

In a certain sense, the pain arising from abandonment, and feelings attending it, can arise from other losses, such as termination of employment or loss of status. This can be seen as a confrontation with one’s own internal poverty. If this can be accepted, then the situation becomes an opportunity to gradually transform old pains and dependencies. The roots of these frequently become revealed if we accept the pain as a signpost to its source and understanding. Awareness of the part such pain has played in your life is a tremendous means of transformation.  See Avoid Being Victims; Martial Art of the Mind   

Parts of our experience become repressed because there is an automatic reaction in us to avoid pain or pull away from anything that frightens us. Therefore painful experience may never be fully felt or understood at the time. Reliving such experience allows us to review and integrate vital information about ourselves. At times of great physical or emotional stress or anguish we unconsciously make decisions that influence the way we behave thereafter. We may for instance, in feeling abandoned by a parent, reactively and unconsciously decide never to trust a man/woman again. Frequently all the analysis in the world cannot relieve a neurotic pattern or decision until the repressed emotion holding it in place is released to be consciously experienced and therefore understood. In fact being able to meet emotional pain and fear is the way to a wider and more productive life. See Life’s Little Secrets

Example: As the pain between my shoulders went I could feel my neck lengthening. A series of images came, with feeling, of the evolutionary drive that had gradually brought an upright posture in men and women. Somehow, unless we are expressing powerful human feelings, our body doesn’t lengthening upwards. In some way our exploration into humanness leads us to reach up against gravity until we break into cosmic identity. We leave the womb of the earth. We complete our birth cycle, like a caterpillar finishing its life, and the metamorphose into something else. We become free of gravity. Free of the body that gave us birth, and become a cosmic entity.

As Wilda B Tanner writes in her Magical World of Dreams, “All too often, we teach and are taught how to avoid anything which is ugly, painful, distasteful, or upsetting to us. One of the most important things we need to learn is that our problems actually serve as beacons of light or as magnifying glasses, emphasising or pointing out our most crippling fears, our most restrictive attitudes, prejudices, and misconceptions which are holding up our progress-things we really must face up to and overcome if we are to grow.” See Method to Manage Intense Emotion

Example: Then the throat pain became unbearable. I investigated it and I became aware of doom. If I didn’t fight it, doom would take over. I was weary of fighting it so I let doom take over and sank into the doom and it was then that I found myself at the foot of the great being and total acceptance of my life. Spontaneously, before I knew it I was offering everything as a sacrifice, including past mistakes and cock-ups, and that I had to do this. And then there were the images again of clefts: the earth, female genitals, undersea-ocean crusts opening and something, as yet formless, emerging. This, I suspect, is my creativity in the world.


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