Ending Emotional Pain: Turning Suffering into Strength

How to Stop Pain How to stop PTSD How to Deal with tRAUMA

I do not think I would’ve been able to get and stay sober had I not learned the ability to counteract, reframe and transcend emotional pain.

In hindsight, had I not suffered with addictions, panic attacks and traumatic memories I doubt I would be half the man I am today.

There have been – and still can be – times of brutal fear and intense psychological malaise, yet such intensity of feeling demands we find an answer because in such pain we are damned to drink and with that die, both literally and metaphorically, if we do not.

However, it is by finding these answers that we transcend our limitations and become better, stronger, wiser men in the process.

This piece intends to explore that process in a simple and effective way, so you can harness the power of the darkness that brutalizes you and transmute that pain it into light.

Coming into the Now

As well as exploring how you can free yourself from emotional pain, this insight forms the final part of the series on Eckhart Tolle and his seminal work, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.

If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2, I advise you read them quickly in order to catch up with what we have explored so far. Having a contextual background will help you in understanding the key concepts a lot faster:

Read: Eckhart Tolle’s Vital Read for Men in Recovery

Read: 3 Steps to Freedom from Obsessive Thinking

Of course, for Eckhart Tolle, freedom from trauma and suffering is in the present moment. No one quite encapsulates the intense meaning of the present in such simple and penetrating ways like Tolle.

I love the following quote when (re)opening my mind to the present moment:

“Imagine the Earth devoid of human life, inhabited only by plants and animals. Would it still have a past or future? Could we still think of time in any meaningful way?

“The question ‘what time is it?’ would be quite meaningless. The oak tree or the eagle would be bemused by such a question. ‘What time?’ they would ask. ‘Well, of course, it’s now. The time is now. What else is there?”

“The question ‘what time is it?’ would be quite meaningless. The oak tree or the eagle would be bemused by such a question. ‘What time?’ they would ask. ‘Well, of course, it’s now. The time is now. What else is there?”

The above quote intimates that our problem stems from losing our contact with being as it is. We follow our minds into splicing up the present moment into experiential fields of being, and in doing so we create the space for residual pain to build up via our negative experiences.

We then allow the negative experiences to define our identity and dominate our thoughts, not the still, peaceful present.

The Emotional Pain Body

After living in this way year after year, we build up a stock of negative emotions and negative energy so powerful it envelopes our whole being.

This negativity deeply affects our physical being (making us tired with the psychic stress) and our spiritual being by distancing us from our internal light of being, yet Tolle professes that this store of pain also creates a pain ‘body’ constructed purely from negative emotion.

This emotional pain body becomes so powerful it can govern an individual, trapping him in its snare, controlling his actions and perpetuating its presence via the hostile, pained and volatile mood of the man it exists in.

The characteristics of the pain body are as follows:

• It can be major or minor
• It is sparked by trauma or fear
• Sometimes it is childish, other times demonic
• It feeds off pain and self-pity

We can locate the pain body in ourselves by looking for our internal unhappiness. It is here the pain body may well be seeking identification.

We have all met, and maybe at one time all been, the guy that defines himself on his pain.

Any man who seeks to create an identity for himself on his internal pain narrative rather than on his mission in life runs the risk of relegating himself to a virtual man-child, as by defining himself as the victim a man offers himself no chance to grow free from the mindset of being prey to life.

If we wish to grow free from the pain of addiction, or the emotional pain that will send us back to addictive craving, we simply must confront our demons and face the pain body.

Locating and transcending the pain body

To prepare you to face your pain body you must first be non-judgemental of its presence and volatility.

Approaching it with anger will create more anger; all you need do is watch it and accept the presence of pain.

Fear, anger, self-pity, depression, anxiety, jealousy – these are the traits of the pain body, the things that are not truly you – watch them in you, notice them, accept them non-judgementally.

Through this process, Tolle takes us to a place from which we can view the pain body as it is; the internal pain mass that craves identity through us.

The pain body craves the state of victimhood so we are perennially in a state of weakness and vulnerability to panic, fear, and anger; only you can break this chain with your presence.

The pain body craves the state of victimhood so we are perennially in a state of weakness and vulnerability to panic, fear, and anger; only you can break this chain with your presence.

You must come into the present and let go of the internal narrative you tell yourself about who you are.

You must let still silence enter you in the complete present moment.

Here we banish the pain body from entering our consciousness and our soul connects with the free source of being it sprang from originally.

As Tolle states: “Thinking needs consciousness to exist, but consciousness does not need thinking.”

Freedom: the Death of the Ego

When we move into the present there can be great disruption, according to Tolle.

The ego is that which creates an identity and fears physical death, yet in the present moment, there is no death, only now.

This is not something that can be understood by the mind, we must feel the present and be with it to know this.

As we move free of the pain body and into the present, to remain free of being pulled back, Tolle advises we seek companionship in those who emit health, radiance, and positivity.

By staying close to these types of people and their energy, we insure ourselves against slipping back into the darkness of victim-identity.

The essence of moving free from the emotional pain body is in our willingness to not be defined by the past, future or the physical world that the ego clings to.

Tolle states that addiction itself springs from the emotional pain body, as we seek identification in the physical world to free ourselves from internal torment, it is via presence we set ourselves free.

By taking the courageous step into the vast, eternal now, we are willing to move into the unknown, letting the ego perish behind us as we free ourselves from pain identification and give ourselves to the now.

The action leads to one of Tolle’s most powerful aphorisms: “The secret to life is to die before you die and realize there is no death at all.”

Read: To Die is to be Born: With the Death of Addiction comes the Birth of Sobriety

Author: Richard Joy

My mission is to get you out of the depths of despair, addiction and pain as we as men strive to conquer fear, grow spiritually and build ourselves physically, emanating strength, grit and determination. Having been lost in the punishing spiral into hell myself, witnessing men around me die in addiction, obsession and pain, I have found the way out by walking the path of spiritual discipline, inner masculine truth and learning from men of wisdom in the spirit of humility.

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