“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.”
— Bob Dylan —
Welcome to the world of pain and pleasure. Life is such a gift, and many don’t feel that way about it. Though our God-given right is to live a happy, fulfilled life, we will inevitably experience painful events. Do those events have the power to keep us captive? Can pain ruin any chance for happiness? Is there a way to coexist? Are painful experiences the necessary tools we need in order to learn the art of awareness?
Many of us find it challenging to stop reliving uncomfortable traumatic experiences and we let them run our lives. A common pattern we see in human behavior is the persistent act of seeking pleasure or avoiding pain. If we take a good look and are authentically honest with ourselves, this is true for most of us — and a routine we participate in daily, even hourly.
One of the most challenging yet rewarding parts of being an aware and conscious human is being truthful with ourselves and others. If we can break through and let go of the illusion which the lies we tell ourselves each day have created, peace will naturally flow.
Pay attention to your daily thoughts and actions — and ask yourself if they bring you closer to love. Are they empowering and relating? Do they create separation and judgment? Being honest and able to discern this is powerful presence, and that leads to peace and heartfelt living.
Working with the powerful and potent Sacred Wood Iboga can assist us with awareness around our programs, habits, and beliefs that are no longer serving. Iboga helps create a bigger space between our thoughts — which assists us with responding vs reacting — in a new way to life circumstances. Iboga repairs the synapses of the brain and creates neuroplasticity by broadening our perception of the world, so that we don’t stay stuck in the same cycle.
With that, we naturally gravitate toward making healthier choices and practicing acceptance of life the way it is — without needing it (or yourself) to be any different. Which inevitably leads to peace.
Let’s just be completely honest. We all have addictions, some more sociably acceptable or not (i.e. daily alcohol consumption, smoking, television, cell phones, social media, vaping, gaming, overeating — all the way to extreme addictions, such as habits of heroine, methamphetamines, physical/emotional abuse, and suffering).
Whatever they may be, they are all examples avoidance. Most of the time we are doing these things because we are afraid to be with ourselves and FEEL. It can be extremely difficult to sit with our pain and so very easy to look for and find inauthentic pleasure to feel — which leaves us feeling more empty and craving more. If you pay attention to when you are avoiding pain, you will notice the high or elation that you are pursuing from your addictive behaviors, keeping you hooked into your patterns.
However, in the long run, these addictive behaviours, big or small, end up biting us in the ass.
(Thank God for Grace)
“Pain nourishes courage, you can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”
— Mary Tyler Moore —
For myself, I have become increasingly aware of my thoughts and how nasty they can be, and the pain they cause. I would beat myself up and think of how awful a person I was to think this way. I would distract myself with addictive behaviors so I could keep it quiet and ‘shoved away,’ so that no one would know, and I wouldn’t have to feel. Doing this created a belief about myself that I was nasty and unworthy of love. We all know, “What we resist, persists,” and my methods were not working to save me.
When I started to embrace and fully accept every part of myself, including the ugly, horrible bits, (which feel painful), I didn’t feel captive to those negative thoughts. There was a space of acceptance and unconditional love, and I started to bless and love every thought that surfaced.
If we can see our pain as our teacher in the game of life, then the gift that follows is the ability to be aware of the beautiful pleasure that exists in peace. Great discernment is required to feel which thoughts are authentic or inauthentic.
The greatest gift you can give yourself is the time to ask how you are feeling today, and genuinely listen to the honest answer. To hold gentle space for yourself, like you would with a loved one, holding no judgement, no conditions, accepting that you don’t need to be any other way than what you are being in the moment. Love and support yourself no matter what.
This powerful step creates miracles – I promise.
When you are committed to doing the work and walking the path of love and truth, all of these actions become noticeable – which I call Grace. Grace also comes to us in different ways. Grace can be bestowed upon us in a forceful or gentle way. It’s life’s way of waking us up to the truth we avoid — so we can move forward on our journey of life — versus staying stagnant.
“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful
part of us.”
— David Richo —