A couple of months ago I had surgery on my nose. We corrected a deviated septum because I had trouble breathing. I didn't know I had trouble breathing for 46 years though, because it was just "the way it is."
One day I realized that not everyone had to use their hands to hold their nose open just to take a breath like I did. Holding my nose open to breathe while I walk was normal.
I noticed what seemed "normal" and questioned whether familiar and normal are the same thing.
That is evolution. It's simple.
Surgery is a big trauma to the body. The body suddenly has no say in what's happening. It is forced to endure the injury, rearrangements and produce recovery and healing. The body doesn't have an opinion about it, though. It simply does what it does. It heals.
Knowing that my body will heal itself gave me a lot of space to play with what else might bubble to the surface while I'm lying on my back wishing with every hope that nothing comes close to my face for at least two weeks. Pain can be a tremendous catalyst for clarity and evolution.
Lying in bed, drinking sips of coconut water through a straw, I let my face just hurt as much as it hurt. I took Tylenol, but I stayed away from the narcotics I was prescribed. With the heavy drugs, I know there is pain but I can't feel it. That's stranger to me than just giving the body the space it needs to do what it does. Of course there will be pain after surgery. Why pretend otherwise? If I don't make the decision that pain is bad, then it is simply a very intense sensation.
With this much trauma to the body, I was moving slowly and spending most of my time in bed. All of that time being still let me play in many dimensions of consciousness. It was a perfect time to explore all of the flavors of pain I've experienced in this life and beyond.
I tuned in to the pain moving through my face. I let it be what it is. I relaxed the rest of the body and didn't hold on to what my nose used to be or what it will be. I'm just hanging out with it.
Images, stories and memories began to arise. Childhood, emotions and frustrations began walking across the screen of my awareness. There is a common thread through each of them, a familiar flavor of pain associated with each different incident. Watching in this way without deciding that the various pains are bad, I can see clearly why the pain was there. I can simultaneously feel pain and compassion. With no judgment, every aspect is understandable. The overwhelming pain in my face lets me easily recognize the emotional pains of the past as something that is no longer happening. With an open heart and the same compassion I'd have for good friend, I say thank you and good bye to each of the memories and their emotions. As I do, the pain in my face also eases. It's quite remarkable.
Over and over for days I watched and listened to whatever my sub-psyche brought forward on the waves of pain. Some were more difficult than others to bless and not hold onto. Some required a few tears.
I don't have distinct memory of all of the details, of what was dissolved, of the various flavors of pain on the whole journey. What I do remember is the sense of becoming perpetually lighter, perpetually clearer. As my face continued to heal, I felt like a totally different version of myself. Being me felt new and unfamiliar. It took a whole new level of compassion to not try to force my behaviors, thoughts and decisions back into patterns that existed before the pain. I had the opportunity to let change happen.
Change is always an evolution. Even if the circumstances of change seem to be going backwards, the awareness that they seem to be going backwards informs the next movement forwards. It really is impossible to not be evolving, to not be changing.
Many people feel like they are in pain in everyday life. Whether it's emotional pain, physical pain, spiritual pain, the pain itself can be a doorway to transcend whatever brought it on in the first place. Western medical practices suggest that pain is bad and you should get rid of it. That's fine, and sometimes it's the best way to go - after a few nights of restless sleep, I did take a little of the narcotic drugs to give the rest of the body a break from the intensity. There are so many tools available to us, to our bodies and minds. To use the tools appropriately though requires that we be aware of what we are feeling in the first place. You have to acknowledge the pain before you can treat it.
The body has no opinion about pain. It simply communicates, "this is how it feels." Healing, evolution and regeneration happen faster than time and space when there is no opinion of the pain getting in-between the body and its source of life - the heart. The source of life that keeps things moving without any conscious effort is always moving toward life. It seems obvious when you spell it out, but sometimes we need reminding. Pain is not the problem, denial of pain is.
My personal priority in life is to embody the highest frequencies of light, love and awareness that are accessible to me. Another way to say it is that I fully embrace my evolution so it may happen as fast as possible in my highest good. I know that my own highest good includes the highest good of all. Sometimes, the ride is pretty intense. For my whole life I didn't realize that I was having trouble breathing...until I did notice. For most of my life there were parts of me that were not willing yet to evolve and change. Once decision to help the body function with greater ease opened up so many avenues of evolution. All it took was the willingness to move through some pain. If that's all it takes, the ride can only get easier, as each time I move through pain, it's easier and gentler to move through what comes next. Evolution speeds up. It gets easier and more fun.
This perspective clears the way to live on purpose. So many are looking for their purpose. The hiccup with that is that so many judge their purpose to be not good enough unless it produces money or fame. It's a bit skewed in the grand scheme of things. Living for the sake of evolving though is living on purpose rather than for purpose. You begin riding a wave of your own evolution, and you're aware of it. The awareness is the real gold, because with awareness of your movement and awareness that you can navigate what comes, you are truly free to express yourself in your grandest ways. Life begins to happen in greater and greater movements of evolution.
The first three suggestions we learn as an infant are: pain is bad, comfort is good, and the point of life is to be undisturbed. Spending a whole life living up to those suggestions misses out on levels of awareness that only come to those who are willing to evolve. Pain isn't bad, it's just sensations. Comfort isn't good, it's just sensations. A life undisturbed becomes stagnant and grows algae...metaphorically speaking.
Evolution is worth it, with all of the feels and all of the changes. My nose is still tender when I bump it, and just writing this article brought back the sensations of surgical pain - funny how that works, eh? It's just a sweet memory of the journey and perhaps another opportunity to expand.