The Message of Pain
DailyOM , dailyom.com
BY MADISYN TAYLOR
A warrior perseveres in the face of adversity, stands up for their beliefs, and speaks in the service of those who cannot.
When we feel pain, our first impulse is often to eradicate it with medication. This is an understandable response, but sometimes in our hurry to get rid of pain, we forget that it is the body's way of letting us know that it needs our attention. A headache can inform us that we're hungry or stressed just as a sore throat might be telling us that we need to rest our voice. If we override these messages instead of respond to them, we risk worsening our condition. In addition, we create a feeling of disconnectedness between our minds and our bodies.
Physical pain is not the only kind of pain that lets us know our attention is needed. Emotional pain provides us with valuable information about the state of our psyche, letting us know that we have been affected by something and that we would do well to focus our awareness inward. Just as we tend to a cut on our arm by cleaning and bandaging it, we treat a broken heart by surrounding ourselves with love and support. In both cases, if we listen to our pain we will know what to do to heal ourselves. It's natural to want to resist pain, but once we understand that it is here to give us valuable information, we can relax a bit more, and take a moment to listen before we reach for medication. Sometimes this is enough to noticeably reduce the pain, because its message has been heard. Perhaps we seek to medicate pain because we fear that if we don't, it will never go away. It can be empowering to realize that, at least some of the time, it is just a matter of listening and responding.
The next time you feel pain, either physical or emotional, you might want to try listening to your own intuition about how to relieve your pain. Maybe taking a few deep breaths will put an end to that headache. Perhaps writing in your journal about hurt feelings will ease your heart. Ultimately, the message of pain is all about healing.
Daily Om, dailyom.com
BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Relationships can become out of balance and one-sided, if we don't occasionally check in with each other.
One of the most beautiful qualities of an intimate relationship is the give and take of energy that occurs between two people. In the best-case scenario, both people share the talking and listening, and the giving and receiving of support, equally. Occasionally, within any relationship, the balance shifts and one person needs to listen more, or give more. Generally, over a long period of time, even this exception will take on a balanced rhythm; we all go through times when we take more and times when we give more.
However, there are also relationships in which the balance has always felt one-sided. You may have a friend whom you like, but you have begun to notice that the conversation is always about their life and their problems and never about yours. You may also have a friend who seems to require an inordinate amount of support from you but who is unable or unwilling to give much in return. Over time, these relationships can be draining and unsatisfying. One option is simply to end the relationship, or let it fade out naturally. Another option is to communicate to your friend that you would like to create a more equal balance in which your concerns also get some airtime. They may be taken aback at first, but if they are able to hear you, your friendship will become that much more sincere. They may even thank you for revealing a pattern that is probably sabotaging more than one relationship in their life.
A third option is to simply accept the relationship as it is. There are many one-sided relationships that actually work. One example of this is a mentor relationship in which you are learning from someone. Another example is a relationship in which you are helping someone who is sick, disabled, or otherwise needy. In these instances, you can simply be grateful that you are able to help and be helped, trusting that the balance of give and take will even out in the big picture of your life.
Returning to Creative Dreams
BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Take the time to reclaim your creativity, and watch your life blossom as a result.
As children, many of us entertained fantasies or even goals of being an actor, singer, dancer, artist, or musician. In some cases, we received enough encouragement to develop our abilities in those creative arenas, but somewhere along the way we stopped. This stopping may have been due to circumstances beyond our control or to our own unconscious acts of self-sabotage. Being creative can be scary in a world that seems to value logic over imagination and practicality over dreaming. We can forgive ourselves for shutting down or turning our attention away from our inner artist, but perhaps we can also take steps to reclaim our dreams.
In certain times and places, developing a creative ability was considered an important part of being a well-rounded human being. It was not necessary to be a professional or a masterly genius, because the act of creativity was valued in and of itself. It gifts are manifold--from the sheer pleasure of allowing our imaginations free reign to sharing and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Children share drawings and songs freely, without self-consciousness, and there is no reason why we cannot do the same thing. You may already be remembering some lost form of expression, such as making jewelry or writing songs. Your soul may be responding with an energetic lift as it feels its way back to a time when it was allowed to express itself freely. Your brain, on the other hand, may be throwing up obstacles, like the idea that you are too old or do not have the time.
The truth is, you are not too old, and if you have time to pick up a pen, you have time to make a doodle or write a haiku. Recognize that the obstacles you find before you have arisen from a place of fear and that they will wane in power every time you do something creative. Each creative act takes you deeper into a realm of beauty and magic, a realm that you have every right to return to and reclaim.