I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle lately and he talks about the pain body. It’s basically a sort of being that is a part of you that feeds off of emotion. I find the concept plausible and fascinating and I like metaphors.
My pain body is obese.
It has plenty to eat. A whole smorgasbord, open twenty-four hours, seven days a week with two-for-one Sundays.
I decided to do an exercise in detachment for one day to see if I could short circuit the synapses that set off my pain body. You’d think that going for a few hours without feeding it would produce results but mine didn’t appreciate my efforts. I knew that I might backtrack and fall into my usual miserable, emotional self but I wasn’t prepared for what happened when a trigger set me off.
I didn’t realize I had pissed off my pain body so badly.
It was hungry, apparently, and it pounced on the opportunity so fast it left my head spinning. Any semblance of control I thought I had over my buried self was gone when something hit a nerve. The door to The Below practically blew open and emotions, now under pressure, burst forth like buck shot out of a double-barrel.
Anyone close by, which was my family got the worst of it.
Yesterday, I learned just how deep my closet is. It’s where my pain body lives and it’s bottomless. I hit an emotional low like I haven’t in months. I lost it. I cried, I couldn’t stop crying. I took everything way too personally and I was explosive.
I was so wound up for most of the day yesterday, I decided to do some sprints and I hacked apart a wooden pallet with an ax like a madwoman (we needed kindling anyway), in an attempt to dissipate the energy.
It’s the next day now and the exercise and time asleep overnight seem to have helped but I haven’t encountered a stresser yet today. To experience such a complete loss of control that comes from somewhere you’re barely aware exists – to realize how truly helpless you are at times – is sobering and disturbing.
All because I put the pain body on a diet. I’d better include more snacks next time.
What do I take away from this experience? Humility. Apparently, this thing is something to be reckoned with.