Deal With Stress

The Secret Diary of An Aspiring Meditation Master – Week Four “Releasing Past Pain to Heal Your Body.”

Young Woman Standing with Arms Stretched OutWelcome back to our journey, following Kevin Schoeninger’s weekly messages in Spiritual Growth Monthly.

Still exploring the role of our intuition, this week Kevin leads us to think about messages our intuition could be telling us through how our bodies feel. If you’ve ever sat in one position too long, and wound up with a cramp in your legs, or your neck, you understand how your body can send you a signal that it needs to move. So, Kevin asks us, What if your physical symptoms are signals asking you to look deeper within and discover inner guidance?”

I am someone who believes strongly in the body’s ability to heal itself. It may make us miserable for a while, but if you give it some time and rest, and leave it alone, it can do remarkable things. Sometimes our bodies give us signals for something it needs, like food or sleep, and sometimes it is telling us to get rid of something…now. If we have eaten something that makes us feel sick, for example, our symptoms may be pretty awful until we get rid of the cause. Usually, that is all it takes. We feel instantly better and our system can get back to normal.

When we accept the idea that our bodies may actually know what they are doing, we can recognize an uncomfortable symptom not as a message that our bodies are failing, but as a clue that they are doing exactly what they are designed to do. If our bodies are trying to alert us that something needs to change, sometimes pain is the only way they can get our attention.

In the same way, what if our bodies are trying to tell us to let go of some painful memory, or an old resentment. You know what these are. If you remember old arguments that still leave your stomach in a knot, if you are holding on to some slight from your teenage years, or some unfulfilled longing from your childhood then the stress of this memory could still be lodged somewhere like a cramp in your soul.

A few times in my life I have had the opportunity to go back to places that held strong emotions for me. Sometimes these places brought back happy feelings, and other times they were full of deep negativity that I needed to release. But in both cases, the reality of the place never matched up to what I remembered. Houses that I remembered as big and grand in childhood were perfectly ordinary when I revisited them as an adult. And towns where I had felt so out of place, were welcoming now, and seemed to have no recollection that I had ever failed to fit in.

Have you ever had that experience, recalling how things were so big when we were children, which now seem so small? Maybe it’s the same way with old hurts. Maybe they are never as big as we imagine them to be. But if we have never let our bodies know that, if we never release old anger or pain, it just hangs on to what we used to think was such a big deal.

Using guided meditation to heal our inner pain.

Kevin offers two guided meditations to help release these old, painful memories. The first is called a “body scan” It allows us to relax and really feel what our bodies are feeling. So often we ignore the signals our bodies send, and we may even sit or stand a certain way out of habit, because doing so is easier than facing whatever is causing the discomfort of pain.

So a mental scan of the entire body helps us reconnect, as well as breathe and relax areas where we are holding on to stress. Kevin also recommends writing down any thoughts that the experience brings to mind.

The second guided meditation is called “Rewriting the Past.” This is where the hard work gets done. Kevin recommends starting with small grievances until we are at least more comfortable with the process. In fact, if you have a major life crisis that you are still trying to overcome, Kevin recommends you visit a trusted therapist or counselor rather than try this solely on your own.

But starting small still has plenty of value. We probably have way more tiny resentments stored up than we can count anyway, and doing away with them could make a major change in how we feel. It’s sort of like cleaning out a fridge that is long overdue. There is usually not one big thing that you can throw out and be done. Instead there are more likely to be little dishes or containers with some indentified leftovers that got pushed to the back where they sat unseen, hidden, and forgotten.

I am certainly better at disposing of leftovers than I used to be. But there was a time when I threw out perfectly good Tupperware® rather than look inside. What if we do the same with memories that we consider too painful to look at closely? Maybe we can just chuck those out as well. Chances are what they have morphed into over the years really has little to do with their reality then or now.

We can forgive people without dredging up every little fault we lay at their door step. All we have to do is remember that we all are human, we all make mistakes, and we all hurt other people without ever meaning to. As Kevin explains, we need to see them now in a different light.

If you have a lot of old mental wounds that need to heal, then I recommend listening to Kevin’s guided meditation multiple times. Listening sort of makes us feel like we are not alone. We all go through this, and we can all feel less pain in our bodies if we release the pain of our past.


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