I didn’t want it.
I didn’t welcome the pain that came along with heartbreak.
I would have done anything to stay together just so I wouldn’t feel the soul-crushing breaking of my heart. I had never experienced profound loss before and didn’t think I could take it.
So, I avoided feeling the heavy, overwhelming and life-consuming pain.
For some time, I pretended the breakup wasn’t happening. Later, I imagined that it was all a bad dream and I would wake up from it soon. I wanted to disappear from the world all together so I wouldn’t have to face this heaviness.
Little did I know that I waiting for me in my life’s greatest pain was my life’s greatest lessons.
In my heartbreak was the peace and freedom of my untethered soul. In Michael Singer’s book, the Untethered Soul, I learn that my inner thorns were really the guide and source to inner awakening.
You can remove the prick of the inner thorns and learn that it’s acceptable to feel inner disturbances. In fact, getting through the pain and landing on the other side is the key to freedom of your innermost being.
Here are 6 practical and actionable from the Unthethered Soul to melt the pain and embrace your inner freedom
1. Know that you have two choices.
Just like being pricked by a thorn, you have experiences which prick and disturb you. This thorn is a constant source of disturbance and your choices are to make sure nothing touches the thorn to avoid all pain or to take out the thorn.
If you do nothing about it, the thorn will run your life. You will have trouble sleeping because of it, you will have trouble staying focused on your job and trouble with everyday interactions. As people, we have so many sensitivities that can be triggered at any time. One way to go about life is to make sure that no one triggers these sensitivities.
“If you’re lonely, you must avoid going to places where couples tend to be. If you’re afraid of rejection, you must avoid getting too close to people,” Singer advises. Of course, this becomes life-consuming and takes work!
The alternative? You notice this inner disturbance and realize that YOU and the inner disturbance are not one in the same. You don’t want the weakest parts of you running your life.
Realize that your consciousness is separate and that you can be aware of these things.
2. You are not your pain
“Wake up and realized that you are in there, and you have a sensitive person in there with you. Simply watch the sensitive part of you feel disturbance. See it feel jealousy, need and fear,” Singer suggests.
As you experience pain, become aware of the pain without interfering with it. See it, feel it, pay attention to it and observe it. You are having the experience of a human being when you experience this pain.
“If you pay attention,” Singer counsels, “you will see that they are not you; they are just something that you’re feeling and experiencing. You are the indwelling being that is aware of all of this.”
Once you realize that you and your pain are separate, you will start feeling a different energy within you, called Shakti or spirit.
This deeper, wiser part of you is the inner wisdom or the greater divine, what you decide to perceive it as. It is your inner being who realizes that it’s not the same as the pain that’s passing through your body.
“Once you learn that it’s okay to feel inner disturbances, and that they can no longer disturb your seat of consciousness, you will be free.”
3. Your pain is temporary.
A way to see that you and your pain are not one, is to see pain as something transient that will pass through your body.
You can view pain as a temporary shift in energy.
You are pained every day in small and big ways. You are pained by your heartbreak and you are pained by seeing your ex with someone else. You are pained by loneliness and you’re pained by your favorite ice cream flavor being out of stock at Movenpick.
So many things can cause you pain on a daily basis. It becomes less of a problem when you realize that pain passes. It’s a temporary feeling that you’re experiencing.
You can actually learn to get comfortable with it. All the feelings that come up are just feelings. You can handle feelings that are a normal part of life.
Feelings are just things that are passing through your system like a cold, for example. You notice the cold, you experience the cold and you know that once your body processes the col, you’ll be relieved of the cold.
Have fun with the temporariness of your feelings.
“Laugh at it, have fun with it, but don’t be afraid of it. It cannot touch you unless you touch it,” Michael Singer writes in the Untethered Soul.
4. End the addiction to your mind.
Your mind is a great contributor to avoiding pain and being a misleading guide to safe places.
Your mind is always telling you something isn’t right, how to fix something or how to do something differently the next time so you avoid pain. It concocts a book to read, a course to take or a life change you need to make. It tells you it’s the external things that matters.
“That is why people have so much trouble with relationships,” Singer explains. “You begin with a problem inside yourself, and you tried to solve it by getting involved with somebody else. That relationship will have problems because your problems are what caused the relationship.”
If you didn’t have neurotic, continuous replaying of thoughts inside your mind, you could live and experience life without thinking about what’s wrong.
Singer makes a funny and outrageous claim that we have to end the addiction to our minds. You have to stop listening to all the problems it comes up with, which don’t really exist.
Stop asking your mind to fix what’s wrong. Don’t even ask it what the problem is!!
“The mind is simply a computer, a tool. It can be used to ponder great thoughts, solve scientific problems and serve humanity. But you in your lost state, told it to spend its time conjuring up outer solutions for your very personal inner problems.”
Get quiet and watch the mind do it’s mental gymnastics, trickery and quackery. Watch your thoughts. Don’t become aware of the thinking mind but observe the thinking mind.
“You are just in there, aware that you are aware.”
So when someone doesn’t say “hi” to you that you know or you don’t get invited to a party, don’t allow your mind to hijack your being and your life. Watch the melodrama of your mind instead of becoming an actor in this bizarre movie. Your mind doesn’t need an Oscar!
Don’t let your mind drive you crazy over nothing.
5. Welcome in pain by opening your heart
No, not welcome in pain like you would welcome a stroll down the Champs Elysses in Paris or a weekend of skiing in the northern Sierras.
Welcome in pain so that you’re not afraid to experience in. No one likes pain but doesn’t mean you have to spend your life running from pain.
Your heart regularly wants to pull away and avoid the pain once you’ve been hurt by something once.
“If life does something that causes a disturbance inside of you, instead of pulling away, let it pass through you like the wind.”
You might want to avoid feeling anger, fear, insecurity and embarrassment. You might want to run away from heartbreak or the sadness from losing a loved one. You might never want to feel rejected again so what do you do?
Run. Avoid. Build walls and keep the pain out. You tell yourself that you’ll never ever do x,y, or z and stay far away from so and so.
As your heart is trying to push all this away, do the opposite of closing your heart. Relax and release towards the unthethered soul.
“Stay open and receptive so you can be present right where the tension is. You must be willing to be present right at the place of the tightness and pain and then relax and go deeper.”
“Let go and give room for the pain to pass through you,” suggests Singer. “It’s just energy. Just see it as energy and let it go.”
6. On the other side of pain
If you can endure, experience and feel pain, without running away from it, you’ll become free.
Everything you want is on the other side of pain: ecstasy, peace, freedom, joy, beauty, love.
As the pain goes through you, you could feel hot and uncomfortable. You might feel breathless and experience unwanted feelings.
Yet, you go through this pain, by relaxing into the energy, knowing that there are good things coming out on the other side.
This is how the work of spirituality becomes a reality. This is what the works look like. This is what freedom of the untethered soul looks like.
“When you are comfortable with pain passing through you, you’ll be free…You will then be able to walk through this world more vibrant and alive than ever before.”
There is an ocean of love under the pain. Getting through the pain is how you reach this oasis that’s waiting for you of the untethered and free soul.
On the other side of the pain is the life of freedom and awakening waiting for you.
Pick up a copy of the Untethered Soul here.