We have spent a lifetime fleeing our pain. We have turned away from the rivers of sadness. We have pushed away the furnace of anger. We have denied the shame. We have rejected the depression. We started running and we never stopped. We thought we could outrun it, the pain. If we just kept running we would run to a place where it didn’t follow. We would run ourselves into freedom.
We ran to sugar rushes and alcohol buzzes and drug highs and relationships and books and TV and the internet and self-improvement and exercise and work and achieving and money and marriage and travel and even, yes, spirituality. We ran far and we ran fast, but no matter how far or how fast we ran, the pain was always just a hair’s breadth away, waiting whenever we stopped for a brief moment.
This is the gift of pain. It will not be outrun. And finally, when we have tried everything and come up short and we are utterly broken and exhausted from the years of running, something within us goes into a deep surrender because the mind is utterly lost now and has no idea where else to look. And in this deep surrender, in this moment of admittance that we have no clue how to help ourselves any more, we stop searching ‘out there’ and we sink into the only place we can ever heal our pain – this moment.
You are tired of running. We are all tired of running. Stop. Instead, gather your pain like you would a posy of wildflowers, with a delicate touch and eyes full of wonder. With tenderness, pull it close to your heart and bathe it with your undivided attention. Do not turn away from yourself. Meet yourself here. Meet this energy that is circling within you. Engage your curiosity. Hello, sadness. Hello, anger. Hello, depression.
Keep this image of wildflowers with you, if it helps. Don’t you love them? Don’t you want to run your fingers over their velvety petals and inhale their rich perfume? Aren’t you enthralled by their colours and shapes and just in complete wonderment that such things could even exist at all? How did we get so lucky to live in a world with wildflowers? Be with your pain in this way. It is a thing of such beauty and its hand is outstretched in the most important invitation of your life. The invitation to stop, stop, stop and meet this moment exactly as it is.
It is not dangerous. It will not overwhelm you. It will not ruin your life. In fact, it is an invitation to life. To live. To be alive. To fall into the dazzling experience of Now.
Love and courage,