My sense of self has a constant underlying sense of anxiety. Much of the time there is no apparent reason for this fear, but the fear manifests itself as a tightness in the solar plexus that persists as long as I am not conscious. When I become conscious and open to this tightness, it dissolves into heat and bliss (most of the time. Sometimes it just stays, lol).
I don’t think this is something unique, but rather just the power of being open. The body in some sense always has a sense of bliss pervading it, even if pain is present. We have a tendency to thingify pain, though, and not to experience it as something open and energetic. We tighten it down into something narrow and constricting. We also do not see it as good or useful for our lives.
I feel lucky to have a practice and practitioner identity: a kind of persona that I put on in order to deconstruct other, more unhelpful personas. In particular, this practitioner identity allows me to make statements like, “May this pain be of benefit to others,” or “This pain is reminding me to be conscious” and so on. It is wonderful to be able to say such a thing, and it is deep effects on the physical and energetic bodies. The pain itself is the practice.
At first, a statement like this sounds like wishful thinking, something that only a fool would do. But when we consider that thoughts have no personal identity in and of themselves, why choose to have negative thoughts? A thought of inclusion has 100 times the power (I’m just making up a number, infinite times the power!) to release negative tendencies than a thought of exclusion. In fact, thoughts of exclusion are the source of the pain itself.
It is not so hard to say, “This is fantastic,” in response to pain, emotional or physical. Is it not pain that slowly builds character in our lives? But this shouldn’t be an intellectual thing. Feel how the thought changes the tenor of the pain. The pain’s feeling tone actually changes. As your confidence in accepting pain grows, the effects of acceptance will be greater. It is possible for pain to be transformed into bliss. This is because there is not set energy that makes up “pain.” It is the same energy. It is a question of how the body reacts to that energy. Does it tighten and draw away? Then the result will be pain. Does it open, surrender, and relax? Then the result is release, and maybe bliss. Maybe even love.