I read something interesting last night in “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo. He said “If we view our bodies as bridges that carry us from out inner life to the outer world, then pain often gives us insight as to where the bridge is experiencing the most stress.”
I thought this was an interesting concept, viewing the body as a bridge between our inner life, our thoughts, goals, intentions, hopes, crutches, viewpoints, and our manifestation of these things in the outer world.
So much could be said on this topic, but to stick to Mark’s thoughts, he also explains that while we are very aware of our physical pains, “we rarely hear what it has to say. It is true that we may need to withstand great pain, great heartache, great disappointment and loss in order to unfold into the rest of our lives. But our pain may also be showing us exactly where we need to change.”
So, physical pain in the body, our bridge, can indicate where there is a weakness between our inner lives and our outer lives. Perhaps a dream that isn’t being realized, a feeling that isn’t being addressed, a need that isn’t being spoken. I feel this weakness represents some area where we are being untruthful to ourselves.
It can be uncomfortable to identify what this UNTRUTH is. It’s easier to focus on the discomfort, and try to stretch it out, as we often do in our yoga classes. When a student brings up a pain they are experiencing, I like to ask if they know where it came from. Is it a low back pain from from a day of bending over the garden? An injury from a sport? Lots of times this is the case. But, just as often, it’s simply a pain that has been with them for weeks, months or even years, with no real origination in memory.
When these pains manifest, I think we need to cross back over our bridge, from the outer body to the inner body, and ask “Is there something I’m not addressing? Is there an UNTRUTH about a situation or feeling that I am telling myself?”
Most of the time, if there is an Untruth, it takes a great deal of courage to identify or admit it. It could be that we made a mistake that we are too ashamed or uncomfortable to admit. It could be that a situation that is comfortable or safe is not optimal for us and may be keeping us from growth. We may need to let go of something we had great hopes or dreams for, or address something that is uncomfortable or painful.
This is the key: the most important thing of all is to uncover this Untruth. And, if fear of having to act on what you discover is keeping you from that step, let go of any obligation to act. You actually DON’T need to issue an apology. You DON’T need to make a big change in your life, or have that painful conversation. But, you DO need to identify the truth.
Once you know what your truth is, there is a new kind of freedom. There is the freedom of choice. You can choose to take action, or you can choose to wait. You can do nothing at all. But, this is a choice that you only have when you know the truth.
The truth, as difficult as it may be to face, brings a freedom. And, it’s possible that once we identify this truth, the body can let go of the pain. You’ve listened. Now, it’s your choice how to react.