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“Whatever you do, do not try and escape from your pain but be with it. Because the attempt to escape from the pain is what causes more of it.”

The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying
I was feeling and thinking about how much I adore my husband. I was thinking how, at various times in my life, his presence was more like that of an angel rather than a mere person. This was striking to me because we have been together for almost half of my life. When you spend that much time with a person, it’s only natural that you will have seen and experienced the worst in each other.  I feel so fortunate that despite the inevitable pain/suffering that comes with growing, we found love and devotion. Repeatedly.
I never knew getting into marriage that I would feel any differently than I originally did. I never knew that one of the greatest gifts of Love is that it grows. I never knew the potential that exists for two people who repeatedly choose to care, be vulnerable, trust and have a ton of fun together.

As I did not know the capacity of love, I also did not know the purpose of pain. Love and pain are no small experiences and yet a blog is, so keep in mind the nature of representing something vast in a condensed fashion.  Yoga states we come into a body with goals to fulfill. Let’s call those goals a Divine Plan. A part of why we create something (more accurately anything and everything) is to take us deeper into our selves. Pain not only allows us access to the more hidden aspects of ourselves, it also GIVES us the opportunity to fulfill our Divine Plan.

Remember in my last blog post I wrote about humans having a mental, spiritual, emotional and physical body. We may “know” something on a mental level and we may even “teach” it to others. But it is very, very common to not “know” it within all levels of our being. Again, it’s pain that brings us deeper into our selves to give voice to our emotional body, our heart and even our physical body. The process enables us to embody/own a more complete version of ourselves and hence a fuller expression of our totality. We a get an immeasurable return on our investment! YESSSS!

When we remain committed to our practices (be it healthy relationships or yoga) in the midst of vulnerability and pain, another pay off is; trust in the pain or rather, trust in the growth process. The “growth process” IS life so what we are doing is creating trust with the flow of life! Again, this is HUGE. Trust is not some thing you can buy; it is earned and developed as we work with pain and growth. This process supports you in actualizing your Divine Plan. Take a moment to imagine the differences that can take place, in just the nervous system, if we are living our Divine Plan or not.
An interesting fact about the brain is that physical and emotional pain are experienced in the same part of the brain. This means you can pull a hamstring or be shunned by a loved one, and it lights up the same place in the brain. How can people be with the inevitable pain that comes from being human? One way we can be with our pain is in a relationship where we feel safety and loving kindness. There are times when pain is simply too overwhelming to go at it alone. It has been said that only when compassion is present, is it possible for a person to allow themselves to see the truth. We need an understanding presence (in my case an “angel” or in a yoga context a caring teacher who has “been there, done that”) to create a space where we no longer have to avoid the pain. Whether it’s a romantic partnership or a student/teacher relationship we are energetically creating a sacrament between two people to be with pain and, perhaps in that allowance, we return ‘home’ to reorganize and nourish ourselves, if only briefly, in our connection with Divine Love.
To think, as a yoga teacher, that I can offer something other than the already healing postures, that I can also midwife a person with my own awareness of Love to reveal a little more Divinity is why I love going to work!