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Question about 'Ignoring' Pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Lily Rose, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    I understand that the physical pain is a diversion from deep, emotional pain.

    My question is this: By ignoring and 'stuffing' our emotional pain, it manifests physically. How is ignoring the physical pain going to promote healing? Isn't the very act of ignoring what got us into this situation in the first place?

    I am not a professional in this arena, by any means. But I am a practitioner. The last couple weeks, I have found that when I actually pay specific attention to the pain, and I address it, and accept it, and tell it that I understand why it is there ... further, I turn that conversation into my dark-secretive-hiding self and whisper into that darkness the repeating phrase you are safe, you are safe, I promise ... This is causing quicker dissipation of the immediate pain.

    I don't know that I want to ignore any part of my body. Offering love and gentle-compassion towards this creation that houses our soul ... this is working better for me. This body deserves gratitude for trying to protect and shield from pain. It deserves gratitude for doing all the work of sustaining our physical existence without us having to expend any 'thought' on it. Our hearts beat, our blood whizzes around the crazy race tracks of our vessels, our lymph warriors fight illnesses, our cells manufacture growth and disposes of wastes, and all this is to keep our brain and organs functioning.

    This body has endured so much. It has cried out, and continues to cry out. And now I am really listening .. not just listening, but hearing.

    Every living creature wants love and responds to love. Even plants seem to thrive under focused attention (yes, I am aware of the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange).

    I would love to hear other view points on this. I am like a sponge. I absorb information and crave knowledge.

    With grace and gratitude
    zclesa, Karen, Ellen and 3 others like this.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    My sweet Lily Rose, I bless you for raising this. Forgive my brevity for I am here only to collect mail from my mat before nesting. My folly was to do exactly as you describe and for that my wounds are greater. My body cried urgently for attention and I refused this for I was in the thrall of pure tms healing. I have been shunned for saying so but I cannot shelter lies against a harvest of truth. I believe the soul possesses it's own rhythm of healing and this is not served by harsh and essentially mind-driven hubris. I pray you have the gift to bring art to the full integration of healing. I trust you faithfully in this regard. And now I seek the deep boons of women's mysteries where the relationship of body and soul is a homecoming. Love remains the deepest power of prayer and you are in mine.
    MontanaMom likes this.
  3. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think ignoring should be read as accepting and not giving it the wrong attention (fear, anger, guilt etc.)... listen and learn whenever needed and for the rest try to "ignore" it.
    Love your post, food for thought.
    zclesa, Karen and Ellen like this.
  4. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lily Rose, I love how you put this...with such poetry. It is something I need to embrace more as I retrain myself to think differently about this body. From the "Oh! You're so fat!" internal commentary to anger over aches and pains.

    Plum, you are a poet. I appreciate you words too.

    And yes, Gigalos...food for thought.
  5. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    There is so much kindness and support here. Nearly overwhelming.

    Plum IS a poet, the kind that pierces the heart and warms the eyes with tears.

    If I have provoked 'thought', then I am gladdened. It is important to consider, and reconsider, and reconsider some more. Never get stuck in a thought pattern, because life is about change. Always change.

    MontanaMom ... ohno no to the anger at your body, and the name calling. My weight went up and down for all the usual, complex reasons. Fear, more fear, agony of wanting to not be ugly, and the fear again. Now I understand my body was responding to my emotional need.

    There are a b'jillion million trillion diet books out there. They all are incomplete. I also strongly dislike the word 'diet' in the restriction it implies.

    There is one thing no one ever tells you about finding your own personal perfect weight ... you must give yourself permission! The moaning and self-name-calling is self pity and self abuse. Desperation must fall away, and a calm sureness must settle in. And most vital is that permission. When you honestly, wholeheartedly give that permission, when you draw in that deep breath and firmly say you will be safe on this new journey ... it begins to infuse your entire self. You know what to do. You know if you listen. Moderation is everything. Never ever do I deprive myself of my absolute favorite indulgence of a double scoop of Espresso Madness ice cream cone. However, I only have it about once a month. I wait patiently for my indulgences. And every day, every single day, I have a portion of a 74% chocolate bar. Dark chocolate is very good for you. I eat very consciously, choosing with care what to put in this body that has worked so hard for me. Conscious eating is a form of meditation. I practice/teach yoga. During the warm season, I spin Poi (see post in the off-topic section).

    Whatever weight you are, you have needed to be that. The question to always ask is ... where do you need to be at this stage in your life? Listen to yourself. If you need to be exactly where you are ... then be there. If you want to change, give permission, and ... begin. Slowly. Always slowly. It isn't a race. This is your life.

    Look past the surface and into your eyes .... and heart. See the beauty.

    I may sound like all this is easy, but it isn't. I am still in the process of facing myself. I still often dodge looking directly at myself in the mirror. I can look at my body more easily, but meeting my own eyes ... this is far harder. I still see too much pain. But I am working on it. Baby steps. Kindly.

    Remember .. however you are this day, you are Perfect. When we wake up tomorrow, we may refine what perfection is (because we can reinvent ourselves every day!), and then tomorrow I will be saying 'however you are this day, you are Perfect'. See?

    With grace and gratitude,
    zclesa and plum like this.
  6. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh Lily Rose....I will reread...and reread your post. So much wisdom there. And yes, the self torment sort of stuff. Something most of us women are well trained in by the constant media bombardment. (Even though I listen/watch very little TV or radio, it's still everywhere!)

    Re: Weight. I have suspected my current battle isn't about food. I eat healthfully...exercise daily...yeah, a few too many treats here and there. I'm not horribly overweight but it still bothers me a lot. At one time, I even strictly journaled and watched every bite...and could hardly budge my weight. I have lost weight successfully before so I *know* how to do it. I know my self talk needs to continue to change. (Which it has...but it's all a journey, eh?)

    I've been actually journaling about this lately. Both of my parents were morbidly obese due to dad's drinking and mom's coping mechanism in our very dysfunctional home. (Not on the level of your's but pretty wacky nonetheless.) So staying at a healthy weight has always been important to me but I'm not fooled...I know self-worth is in the mix and I know in my head what a racket *that* is!

    I like your reminder about accepting things as they are right now. But darn....that is so hard!

    I appreciate your heart and your encouragement. And if you're ever in Montana, we'll enjoy a scoop of that Espresso Madness together...my treat. :)
    zclesa likes this.
  7. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    "Whatever weight you are, you have needed to be that. The question to always ask is ... where do you need to be at this stage in your life? Listen to yourself. If you need to be exactly where you are ... then be there. If you want to change, give permission, and ... begin. Slowly. Always slowly. It isn't a race. This is your life. "

    I just gotta say...I just reread this about three times. That's pretty profound stuff and it really resonates with me. I've told myself that at this stage, my focus is TMS healing. In my heart I feel like as I take care of that...the weight will take care of itself.

    Your post has given my confidence that maybe, just maybe...I'm on the right course.

    Thanks again.
    zclesa likes this.
  8. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    You already know. It isn't so much that I've given you confidence ... it is that I validated what you already felt to be true, but were second guessing yourself.

    Umpqua Ice Cream makes the very best Espresso Madness *smiles*
    MontanaMom likes this.
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lily Rose,
    Thank you for raising this question. And I appreciate both you and Plum for bringing such poetry and compassion to the forum while speaking truth.

    I agree with Gigalos' post above. I think it's not that we shouldn't attend to our physical pain or other symptoms, but that we should give it attention in a non-judgmental and accepting way. It is our beliefs about the pain that cause the problem rather than the actual physical sensations that we label as pain. Our judgment that having this pain is a terrible thing, that it's unfair, that it is ruining our lives, that it will persist forever, etc, etc, is the problem. The pain when experienced without judgment is just sensation--to be experienced and not feared. It is in that acceptance that one can take a deep breath and the energy that we have labelled as pain can now be released.
    Anne Walker and Lily Rose like this.
  10. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen .. you humble me. I do not visualize myself as poetical, yet it seems it must be so, as I get such responses in other writings. When I write, I write as I see through my heart and through my eyes. To me, what I write, is very literal. My sense of humour is rather outside of mainstream, due to this literalness.

    Words have power, and must be used with care. The words aren't just seen with the eyes, they reach far deeper, plunging through the eyes and into heart. Words can cause the breath to catch, can cause the mind to spin down different paths. Just as words can destroy, words can gift a sorrowed heart with hope.

    I also concur with Gigalos intent, and appreciate that you rephrased it in a way that allows me to more fully absorb it.

    Your icon inspires peaceful contemplation. It is beautiful. A reflection of you.

    with gratitude,
    plum likes this.
  11. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Thanks for all the wonderful posts. This is a great topic.

    When I read Dr. Sarno's book many years ago, I did not get the message to totally ignore the pain. What I read into that was to go about your duties and hobbies as usual.... to get the rest you need and to take good care of yourself, knowing that the pain was coming from deep within... from strong, emotional and angry wounds. I love to talk to my brain. I tell my brain that it's going to be OK. I do think 'talking to the area' with love is a wonderful idea and I have done this. Tell the neck it's going to be Ok...tell the hair loss that it's just temporary. It's a wonderful concept.

    I remember very strongly the day that the book suggested to 'ignore the pain' - I went back to work and continued to lead a half decent normal life again. I had been totally concentrating on how terrible my body was feeling... I was in a huge pity party for myself. I will always be grateful for Dr. Sarno and Steve's book. The information saved my life.

    Love to all of you today. :)
    zclesa and Lily Rose like this.
  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, all. I just watched a movie that is simply amazing and has a lot about TMS without ever naming it. I urge everyone to see AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. It sounds religious but is really just a movie with a lot of wisdom.

    It was made in Sweden and is in Swedish with English subtitles and can be rented from Netflix. It will tell you a lot about yourself and how to live happily.

    I've written about it for TMS in Pop Culture but it hasn't been posted yet. Here is my writeup about it:

    “As It Is in Heaven”

    Anyone knowing about TMS will find a treasure trove of symptom examples in this wonderful film from Sweden. It was released in 2004 and was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film. It is in Swedish with English subtitles, available on DVD and Netflix.

    Here are reviews from just a few people, not professional critics but average moviegoers:

    Ella: “I watched this movie while in hospital being treated for depression. The movie and song gave me so much strength.”

    Rita: “I absolutely love this film.”

    Tom: “Today I wanted to die; I watched this movie, could not stop crying, and now I want to live.”

    Ricardo: “Best movie I have ever seen.”

    Barbara: “Awesome movie and song in it; gave me the strength when I was on a similar path in 2006. Music is a window to our soul. Thank God for giving us this special gift.”

    Maria: “Everyone I know has been touched by this movie and the song in it; life is so precious, and there is always tomorrow!”

    It is the story of a famous symphony orchestra conductor, played by Michael Nyqvist, who has had a bad heart since a childhood trauma involving bullying. He suffers an attack on-stage just after a performance and decides to retire indefinitely to a village in the far north of Sweden where he was born and grew up. He is asked to listen to the local church choir and becomes its “cantor,” teaching them singing skills, and this restores his own joy in music.

    He becomes involved in the choir members’ personal problems which include an overweight man who is angry at being called “Fatso” all his life; a minister’s wife who gets no love from him because he thinks sex is sinful; a boy with mental problems who is treated like an outcast; and a young wife and mother of two children whose husband beats her. That man turns out to have been the boy who was the leader of a gang of bullies with very low self-esteem who tormented Nyqvist when he was a school boy because he loved music and played the violin like a child protégé.

    Under Nyqvist’s leadership, the choir is invited to a competition in Salzburg, Austria. He reluctantly agrees to go with them, despite anxiety about facing fans he expects will be there. He’s right about that, and just before his choir performs, on-stage waiting for him, his heart gives out and he falls in a washroom. Before dying, he hears the chorus through a loudspeaker as it engages the audience into joining them in singing. He dies joyfully having fulfilled his dream of bringing joy to others through his music.

    The TMS he suffers through boyhood bullying makes this an excellent film for TMS sufferers, but there are other examples from the choir members and others in the village. The final scene shows Nykvist rushing toward his younger self playing a violin with his life’s goal to “create music that will open a person’s heart.”

    One of the highlights of the movie is when the battered young wife sings a song Nykvist writes especially for her, called “Gabriella’s Song.” Here is a YouTube video of Helen Sjoholm singing the song, which is like an ode to TMS sufferers. In the film, the song is sung in Swedish, with English subtitles.

    There is a YouTube audio-video of the song being sung, at

    Here are the words in English:

    “Gabriella’s Song”
    by Py Bäckman, Helen Sjöholm
    It is now that my life is mine

    I’ve got this short time on earth
    And my longing has brought me here
    All I lacked and all I gained
    And yet it’s the way that I chose

    My trust was far beyond words
    That has shown me a little bit
    Of the heaven I’ve never found
    I want to feel I’m alive

    All my living days
    I will live as I desire
    I want to feel I’m alive
    Knowing I was good enough
    I have never lost who I was

    I have only left it sleeping
    Maybe I never had a choice
    Just the will to stay alive
    All I want is to be happy

    Being who I am
    To be strong and to be free
    To see day arise from night
    I am here and my life is only mine

    And the heaven I thought was there
    I’ll discover it there somewhere
    I want to feel that I’ve lived my life!
  13. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    That song .... is absolutely beautiful. Ethereal. I went to iTunes in search, and found many variations, but not this one, with the deep vocal harmonies.

    Thank you for sharing this. It is exquiste.

    with grace and much gratitude,
  14. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have loved this film for some time, and try to watch it at least once a year.

    Thanks for your review, Walt.
  15. JEgol71

    JEgol71 New Member

    Lily Rose:

    You're right. Ignoring most signals, even attacks from the outside world, probably is not only harmful, but impossible.

    I couldn't ignore the pain, but associated it. With what? With all that I thought I had ignored, must ignore, don't know how to not ignore. As the years tack on we twist our bodies, language and insights into the creation of emotion-fleeing palavers that clerically sequester our ugly truths like a mother blue jay abandoning its human- tainted baby (which isn't even true, we know, but just in case: http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/babybird.asp), but with the frequency and adaptability required to register with social grace.

    I've had over a dozen pains at once before, and each could be cannibalized by the forewarning anxiety that predated the physical aspect of my worry into something grim on top of TMS. Now that I've conferred with my body and its transient clunks, cracks and horrors for long enough, I'm left with the pacifying notion that I'm not ignoring what my body feels, but ignoring the tactile fear response that so clearly follows each sensation and, really, so silently PRECEDES each. We're deftly interwoven, and it seems that by "thinking psychological" ; "being easy with ourselves" ; "reducing strain" or any other semi-deification of the mind-body connection, we're really only loosening those weaves, a slackening that we've been taught to wipe from our provenances through the outputs of a sick world we didn't ask for but have.
    Gigalos likes this.
  16. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh darling, let yourself be.
    I am plumper now then at any point in my life and yet I am juicier, sexier and padded in all the right places for good old-fashioned rumpy-pumpy. Besides which, and this borders on the esoteric, but men adore plump chicks because we feel and cherish our desires and don't give two hoots for how we are 'supposed' to look. Screw all concerns about weight. Smile my beauty, and let the fire of Eros burn out the dross.
    Lily Rose and Gigalos like this.
  17. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    plum likes this.

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