Pain, Pain, Go Away!

One of the most difficult things to grasp for many, or most, people, is that the source of pain is within.
The causes of the pain and anger we feel may have been external, but the source of the pain and anger is our own. We are the generators of our own pain and anger.

We are also the generators of our own annoyance, our own frustration, and our own defensiveness.
When we tell someone to "Lighten up!" because they're expressing their frustration emotions, it's because WE are having an emotional reaction.
When we tell someone to stop complaining, quit whining, get a thicker skin, when we tell them to stop talking about a particular topic or stop standing up for themselves or others, we are expressing OUR emotional reaction, we are trying to make them stop because of OUR emotions. It's not about them at all.

This is why something that enrages one person does not seem to anger another much at all, regardless of how "wrong" the thing is, or how trivial. Every single one of us is unique, unlike any other, regarding the external reasons that we generate feelings of pain and anger, or joy and sadness. Some of these things we seem to have in common, but it is not a cook-cutter stamp, no two people have the same exact emotional reactions to the same things, or the same intensity of emotional reaction either. (We humans do like to mimic one another's emotional responses to feel more like a cohesive group, but the underlying uniqueness remains, like fingerprints.)
The pain we feel comes from within our own bodies, our own brains, our own spirits. We are the one with the key to the room where the pain is coming from.
Sometimes our pain won't seem to go away because we are in a loop. We may feel anger, shame, or guilt about something someone else did, or something we did, or something that we feel responsible for, or something that happened, or something we feel like we could have and should have prevented but couldn't, or didn't.
We can get in a loop of trying to get away from the pain, trying to make someone else take our pain away, trying to use something to make it go away. But when we realize that the pain comes from within ourselves, we can then realize that we are the ones who have the power to heal it, not by avoiding it, not by sending someone else in to shield us from it, not by spraying it down with chemicals. But by unlocking the door and shining a light on the cause of the pain so we can see what it is.

Once we look at it, directly, we can see that it's not bigger than we are. It can't be, it's within us. Nothing bigger can fit inside of something else, everything inside of something has to be smaller than the container it's in.

We've been running away from a monster that's really more the like the size of a raccoon, or even smaller, like a frightened rabbit, or even smaller than that. Something we can overcome if we would simply open the door and look at it, stop trying to pretend it doesn't exist, stop locking it away in a closet, in the dark.

And then we can see that it's not going to be a losing battle, we will be able to forgive ourselves. And we will be able to forgive others. When we look directly at the source of the pain, instead of looking at it sideways with all kinds of malice and hostility, we can see that it's not nearly as big or bad as we thought, even if it really, really seems that way. It may be a cluster of smaller things that, behind the locked door, all scrabbling and screeching together, feel and sound like one big monster, but once we look, we see that it's just a whole bunch of little doggies who are making a huge racket, trying to escape, fighting with each other, tearing the room apart because they are frightened and upset.

We may want to bring a trusted friend with us when we unlock the door, or someone who is a neutral third party, like a healer or trusted counselor, so we have someone there with us to catch any extra small "monsters" that try to scurry out. Then we can look at them; some of them might just be frightened, or feel shame or guilt, or feel deeply frustrated, but they have been screeching and running around, jumping off the walls inside of that room so much that we have been afraid to unlock the door and look in.
The first step is realizing that the source is within. 

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