Ultimately, transforming Grace comes whenever you find the capacity to accept what feels unacceptable. If you have ever had a serious injury or prolonged illness, then you know that living with unrelenting physical pain is fierce and rarely feels like Grace. It is always spiritually appropriate to reduce unnecessary suffering where possible, whether by medications or holistic treatments. However, given the escalating crisis of opioid addiction in our pain-averse society, I wonder whether we might have forgotten something fundamental. At the most basic level, pain is information. It asks us to listen, not just with our minds but with our senses, to what is truly needed. If we refuse to listen, we have no basis for wise responsiveness.
Yet if you open toward physical pain, which can feel so unacceptable at first, and practice ego relaxation with it, you begin to hear the invitations within the pain. Perhaps it nudges you to sit differently, stretch more, back off that inflammatory food, rest when you are exhausted, or seek a different approach. Contacting and listening to pain empowers you to trust your body’s wisdom. This helps you navigate the best course of action in the face of conflicting medical advice.
There is no question that ego relaxation is hardest to practice when we hurt. Yet often we do not see how we are compounding physical suffering with our minds every time we insist, “This should not be.” Many people with serious physical limitations have reported a dramatic difference in their pain levels through the practice of Ego Relaxation. Many have even experienced healings. The more your consciousness relaxes and lets go of rejecting what is, the more the homeostatic forces of healing can arrive in body, heart, and mind.