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Addicted to Pain: Healing the Traumas and Dramas That Were Born Out of Our Instinct to Survive

Growing up, being a young child, some of us have difficult situations to navigate. Being sensitive to the Universal energy, we learned how to keep ourself safe because we could feel the negative energy coming at us from different directions, dimensions, and lives. These traumas and dramas were born out of our instinct to survive. Survival is the most basic human instinct. (I just heard Edward Cullen saying this to Bella in my head, smh!)

In the mind, the ego is tied to this survival instinct. It is always going to choose what it knows. Keeping us making the decisions and choices that are the same or similar to what has been our experience. This conditioning started early. Whether that was abuse, neglect, or love, we were programmed to continue to gravitate to those conditions. So, as we grew and became autonomous from our parents, family structure, or community, our ego was keeping us making choices and decisions that kept us in familiar territory: physically, thoughts, emotions and energies.

As children, we were tied to the conditions that we were brought into: our parents, community, culture, ethnicity, and so forth. These conditions informed our ideas, desires, learning, habits and social structure. For some of us, we were put in or chose (soul contract) difficult live circumstances. Our upbringing was fractured, tortured or nurtured depending on our family’s values. If we were brought up in a positive environment, then we learned how to navigate in positivity. However, conversely, if we were brought up in a negative environment, then we had to learn how to survive to some extent on our own.

Growing up in less than a nurturing environment, and there are degrees, this author is not trying to generalize, negate or imply that our experience is any one thing; there are degrees that to everyone’s experience but for the purpose of helping as many as I can, I am going to try to be as broad as to encompass as many as I am able to here. Abuse and neglect have degrees and whatever degree we find ourselves assigning to our situation is just as valid as anyone else. You matter.

Negative treatment produced fear. Fear is a primal motivator that activates systems in our body that produces responses that elevate our awareness. These feelings are stress, anxiety, shortness of breath, panic, etc. are all producing a physical response. When we are experiencing these sensations on a routine basis, we become used to or it becomes our normal experience. And when these sensations are taken away, no matter how uncomfortable they make us feel, we get scared. It becomes a vicious cycle of being afraid of not being afraid, because those sensations are what we are used to. This has become our normal. Crazy, right?

Eckhart Tolle in his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose calls this our pain body. We become so used to feeling bad, having heightened awareness, and afraid that we become uncomfortable or not safe by giving up or healing those parts of ourselves that rely on these feelings for survival. And, ironically enough many of these systems in our body that produce these responses are also tied to helping us become aware of the Universal energy that gives us life.

The ego tied with the pain body also affects our thoughts. That is why we keep making the same destructive decisions for ourselves because it is what is comfortable. We think the thoughts that we have always thought. These are the thoughts that have become comfortable or like a mantra inside our minds. “I am not good enough.” “I am bad.” “It’s not for me.” “I don’t deserve.” Or any number of negative statements hold us back from having, being or doing what we are here to have and do. Becoming aware of our thoughts, what we are thinking about, and how we think about things, helps us to change the thoughts and thought patterns from the negative to the positive. And starting to think positively will feel uncomfortable, difficult, and wrong at first. Keep going.

Our emotional body or emotions are the easiest of the all the systems to negate. In survival mode, we tend to ‘stuff’ our emotions away. Ignoring how we feel becomes the norm. Because if we allow our feelings, then we have to address them. And in an abusive or neglectful situation, our emotions are not validated, communicated, or responded to by those who are supposed to love us the most. So we disassociate how we feel. We stop feeling. Until we can not. 1. Emotions do not know chronological time. The feeling will be just as intense when you bring it out as when it was created. 2. Emotions as energy can never be destroyed. They will wait.

We call this Shadow Work when we dive deep into our Emotional Body to heal those wounded aspects created by the negative emotions that are underneath waiting to be transformed and integrated back in as positive emotions. This can be some of the hardest work that we do as these intense emotions are going to make us hurt, feel bad, and in some cases cripple us until we are able to heal.

Everything is made of energy. Including us. We have an energy system, which shares many of the same systems as our survival instincts. Our Aura, Chakra System, Hara Line and Meridians are all parts of the energetic field that supports us as Human Beings. We hold energetic patterns created by our thoughts and emotions: positive and negative. Our energy field only knows the positive or negative aspect of what we are holding on to with no opinion about it. We have to become aware of it to be able to shift the energy within it to support a healthy, happy life.

We have learned to be comfortable with the fear based constructs of each system. It is this comfortability that makes us addicted to pain. It has become far easier to rely on hyper-awareness, negative self-sabotaging thoughts, and stuffing unpleasant, hurtful emotions away then to deal with and heal wounded aspects of ourselves. Especially because this survival mode, whether we are having happy fulfilled life or not, is what we have learned from the onset of this life experience. We can break the addiction.


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