Updated: Apr 5, 2021
I heard my teacher say, "why is a pacifier", and felt a little energy burst, kind of like opening a passage way that has been closed for many years. Yes pacifiers soothe, and they have helped me along the way; but I longed for real. Through various transitions, the “why” pacified me, but kept me bound to the “why”.
As a kid growing up in a volatile home with deeply unhappily-married parents, there was a lot of anger and tension. The “why” I interpreted was there was something wrong with me, e.g., not lovable, valuable, defective. As painful as this why was, it was an answer and it soothed me in a way.
Early adulthood I understood the “why” to be that I was an addict. So, I did what I needed to do about that, but the ache continued and the search persevered.
The next “why” was I am an adult child of an alcoholic and a victim of trauma. Soothing in a way, but so much work to do and no promise of freedom, only management. As if these past occurrences were somehow embedded in my DNA. The alternative was to be in pain, so I did the work prescribed. The counseling, the meditation, reframing thoughts. Busy, but not free.
Then simply just anxiety. I am afflicted with anxiety, the doctor said so. I will need to manage and manipulate the animal brain when the fight or flight mechanism gets triggered (probably more sensitive because of the above) and when that doesn’t work, take a pill. Still not free, but I have a why.
As the journey continued and my curiousity deepened, today when I am uncomfortable, my why is simple and liberating: I am experiencing thought in the moment as all human beings do. Resistance of any thought/feeling gives it more creative energy. Sometimes the energy might be uncomfortable, sometimes extraordinarily joyful.
This understanding more than pacifies, it empowers. My relationship to my gift of thought is more important than the content. I’m freer than I knew was possible.
Human beings think a whole lot, we try to make meaning, know why. So many times the answers we derive take us further from home. What I find astoundingly beautiful is that it never stops hurting until we find the truth. The truth doesn't hurt, the falsehoods do.