Citizen Yogis. Love Activists.

Exploring the practical application of consciousness and ancient wisdom in our modern world.

  • Body, Featured

    How the Seed of Hurt Showed Up as Joint Pain

    The Root Of Pain

    For the past few years, I have dealt with joint pain. My hands, my elbows, my feet, my knees – they all feel 80 years old. I blamed it on age, my aggressive yoga practice and my diet. Both natural and functional medicine doctors chalked it up to diet. So, I gave up yoga (for now) and changed my diet, removing sugar, soy, wheat, corn, dairy, eggs and red meat. While my diet changes helped relieve a host of symptoms such as fatigue, hot flashes, digestion – most of the joint pain persists.

    In a previous blog, I touched on how physical symptoms are often connected to unresolved emotional issues. At the time, I was contemplating the relevance of loneliness to my joint pain, but I knew there is more to the story. What I might not have mentioned, is that intermittently I feel a physical ache in my heart, and it usually surfaces when I am contemplating something that is out of alignment with complete positivity (love). Another piece of the puzzle to noodle on. Man, so much detective work to get to the bottom of things!

    One tip I was given by a very intuitive friend, was that my joint pain was associated with a deep-seated fear. So, at a recent meditation workshop with Derek O’Neill, one of the intentions I set was to gain greater clarity of the root cause of the joint pain, so I can get the message, work through the emotional element and release it. As my teacher says, “emotion puts an issue into place, and emotion takes it out of place”.

    Funny enough, and in typical universe style, the first piece came in a way I did not expect. A colleague that I admire and generally work very well, made a sharp, cutting remark when I didn’t incorporate all of his feedback on something quite trivial. The remark hit me in the heart, I felt the full impact of this energetic dart – ah that familiar heartache. The comment was condescending, dismissive, inappropriate – it felt unwarranted and it hurt. The hurt descended into a burning in my solar plexus as I got angry. In fairness, he must have felt some remorse, as he deleted this comment. But the damage was done.

    If You React, It’s Your Issue

    I had an NLP session my soul-sister Jennifer Anderson a few months back, in an effort to get to the essence of this heartache I was experienced. What she helped me uncover was a subconscious, deep-seated belief that this place (world) is painful. It seems I didn’t want to come into this life. I am sure many people can relate to this feeling. In this world, people seem to consciously take actions to hurt one another, to manipulate, lie and deceive. Where does this belief come from? Past lives, likely. This life? Certainly.

    For those working on self-awareness, both mystic teachings and modern psychology tell us that our environment can tell us a lot about ourselves. So, as any spiritual student does, we look at our own shit and analyze the teachings that apply….

    Everything is a Mirror

    Ever hear that saying, we hate in others, the thing we most hate about ourselves? That is projection. The things we hate about ourselves hold an energy signature/vibration inside our auric field, which attracts experiences on the “outside” to get us to look “inside” – hence the mirror. That means what goes around comes around, my inner shit is bound to show up in my environment via a dis-ease, e-motion, relationship, circumstance or event.

    Events Have Not Come to Hurt You, Only To Enlighten You

    While many people don’t understand the fact that we create our own reality – the truth is everything is energy. Thoughts, words, and actions can have a negative, positive or neutral charge. That charge manifests as our emotional state and our physical state. If we look at everything as energy, waiting to be neutralized, we can see negative situations, pain, and illness as a messenger that has not come to hurt you, but to enlighten you. There is great hope in this message, it infers that healing is possible.

    The Belief That Join(t)ing Life Is Painful

    This situation with my colleague gave me the gift of contemplation – exactly what I asked the universe for, emotion in means emotion out. This morning in meditation, I was told this is related to my joint pain.

    When hurt, it is human nature to ask why someone purposefully tried to hurt you – we take it personally. But it is not. How often have I done the same? The pain of being judged, misunderstood or not accepted in some way lies at the root of this experience. When we experience pain, we externalize it onto others, we play out the same hurt that was perpetrated against us, onto others. When I see these patterns in my own behavior or become the target of this energy, I have the opportunity to forgive or retaliate.

    Retaliation continues the cycle of pain, it dampens my soul’s essence. We cannot move forward in life if we hold on to what hurt us. We’ve all heard people say “just get over it” or “let it go” yet the energy stays in our system – and even when it is not top of mind, it is hiding in the subconscious waiting for an opportunity to strike out.

    Being at the receiving end of a negative energy dart created a sting in my heart and then descends to burn in my solar plexus – but I refuse to brew a cauldron of hate. It’s poison, it’s the fuel of right-fighting, control and repression of others. It’s also the hurt child, who is crying out that their joy, their innocence and their nature has been denied.

    Right-Fighting Is The Ego’s Desire To Win

    It can be tempting to use this discernment as fuel to right-fight, to gain the psychological upper hand, pointing out to your perpetrator how little awareness and control they have over their own emotional wellbeing that they have reduced themselves to unsavory behavior. Can you feel that? It’s ego, it’s a felting though I still wrestle with. But this is a trap. This is the ego wanting to be more than another, to control the outcome, to reduce someone so there is a winner and a loser. I will not be a slave to my ego.

    When we see past the acts of pain, with eyes of compassion, the energy stays in the heart and can gently turn to forgiveness. Forgiveness for our trespasses, when we have acting out of pain and forgiveness for those who have trespassed against us – returning to the glory of all that we are.  

    So the bottom line, from my current perspective is that my aversion to join(t)ing this life because it’s painful due to the fact that people deliberately hurt one another is causing an imbalance. If I can get to a place of self-forgiveness for all the times I have retaliated in revenge, have taken things personally or have felt worthless, perhaps I can move more quickly move to forgiveness and react with only kindness. This is my prayer so I may become a better person and see only good.