Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Fight

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
Buddha


I hate fear.  I hate the Pain Body.  I hate what it does to me.  I hate how it darkens everything.  I hate how it keeps me from enjoying all I have.  I hate how I can’t hear music or see colors.  I hate how selfish it makes me.  I hate how it pollutes everything I touch.  At this very moment I need to concentrate on this very moment.  There are so many ways to fight fear.  Being present in the now is one of them.  Praying is another way.  So is smiling.  So is tapping.  Breathing can help.  Concentrating on the inner body can work.
Here’s something else that helps me – it helps me to visualize the Pain Body as a physical but invisible presence that is in me and wants to take over my life.  Each of us has one.  For some it is very strong.  For others, it only comes out when triggered.  But whenever it’s there, it’s overwhelming.  Or it can be.
As Tolle said, for some the Pain Body drives their hosts to suicide.  It definitely makes life not worth living.  Why?  Because when the Pain Body overwhelms us, we aren’t living a real life.  We are just going through the motions with complete unawareness to the miracles all around us.  We are also very unaware of the needs of others.  We’re just trying to survive. 
We are meant to be peaceful, joyful, and loving, but there is evil in the world and that evil, manifested as the Pain Body, wants to keep us from our natural state of love, joy, and peace.  This can be a tremendous battle and discipline.  It feels like I am fighting for my life.  I am.  In The Art of War, Sun Tzu said, “Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack.
My defense is the strategies I mentioned above.  My attack is to do my work and to have goals for each day.
I don’t want to focus too much energy or attention on the Pain Body, because I don’t want to give it any more strength, but I will compare and contrast how I feel when I’m trapped by the Pain Body and how I feel when I’m free.
When I’m trapped, I feel a very negative emotion.  For me it’s usually fear.  For others it may be anger, guilt, sadness, hatred, disappointment, shame, or criticism.  These feelings may be directed towards others or towards the self.  The feeling is usually all-consuming and it’s hard to focus on anything else.  I can’t handle any demands, sometimes not even the smallest ones, so I’m easily irritated at work, with my kids, or when running errands. 
I’m also completely unaware of any external stimuli, except on the most superficial level.  For example, if I’m at the beach, I’m intellectually aware of this, but I’m not able to appreciate the waves, the sand, the air, or the beauty of where I am.  In fact, I almost can’t see any of it.  I might as well be in prison (which, in a sense, I am).  If music is playing, I usually am not aware of what’s playing.  (Once or twice, however, I’ve been fortunate to have a song come on that broke the spell.)
I’ve mentioned above the ways to be free of this hell.  What then does freedom feel like?  It feels like the opposite of everything negative.
First, there’s a tremendous sense of relief.  To use the cliché, it feels as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  More accurately it feels as if a weight has been lifted from my heart. 
I’m aware of external stimuli again, and not only aware, but grateful.  I’m grateful for my books, my music, all the opportunities I have, and my health.  Because my awareness has increased, so has my focus.  A key to freedom is to do my work.  After a while, I find myself transformed and renewed.
When I’m free, I also become aware that there are others in my life whom need love, prayer, and attention.  The Pain Body tells me someone is mad at me.  Freedom tells me the truth, that someone is suffering and needs my prayer.  This increases my love and compassion. 
I also realize the greatest truth – I have no problems at this moment.  Not one.
I am free.
Some days are battles and they are harder than others.  We are all, each of us, fighting an Enemy who wants to keeps us from our Purpose.  This Enemy hates us and wants to destroy us.  This is one of the reasons I write every day.  This is why I get started and why I Keep Going.  My Muse needs a warrior who does not give up even when the Pain Body attacks.   I am fighting for myself.  I am fighting for her.  I am fighting for love.