Friday, March 28, 2014
After I had my second child, I got to know my pain body very well. Eckhart Tolle defines the pain body as "an accumulation of painful life experience that was not fully faced and accepted in the moment it arose. It leaves behind an energy form of emotional pain. It comes together with other energy forms from other instances, and so after some years you have a "painbody," an energy entity consisting of old emotion"
I have found this information life changing. Now when I start to feel negativity coming on, part of me is able to watch it and know that this is really just my pain body coming out for a snack. This explains how I can start out the day totally fine and something trivial will send me into a tail spin.
I have also found this information useful in my parenting. Last night while I was saying prayers with my boys, my six year-old was being silly from the top bunk. He threw his pillow pet at his brother below. He was warned not to do that again, but next thing I know, I got a nailed in the face with said pillow pet. The pillow pet was removed from the room and what ensued turned into a full fledged melt-down that lasted about 20 minutes. I eventually moved my older child into our room so he could go to sleep and told Ryan that he could try again to get his pillow pet back tomorrow.
He screamed A LOT- with lots of "I want my pillow pet!!!", he even told me "Mommy, you are awful!".
What was different for me this time was that I didn't get frustrated as I normally would when it is 9:00 and I want to be let off the parenting clock so I can go watch American Idol. This time, I went back in his room and asked how I could help him calm down since he was not getting his Pillow Pet back tonight. The first time I went in, I rubbed his head and he proceeded with the screaming. I told him to let me know when he was ready to calm down, but that would involve him accepting that he wasn't getting the pillow pet back. After a few more minutes, he called for me and I sat with him for a bit, but there was still a lot of pillow pet yelling, so I told him to call me again. I also asked him if his body felt bad right now, he said his body did not feel good. I told him he had the ability to "change the channel" in his brain and think different thoughts. He did not take me up on that suggestion at this time;)
I went out again, and then we heard him open his door, he stormed out and walked to our bedroom, he informed us he was getting his pillow pet- he was again told that he was not getting his pillow pet at this time. So more screaming, but when he went back to his room he closed the door without slamming it which is a HUGE measure of self-control for him. So I went back in scooped him up and tried to snuggle it out of him, he tried to squirm away saying- "I am tired and I want to go to sleep".
I laid down next to him and rubbed his feet and his head. He eventually calmed down and went to sleep.
I learned a lot from my baby last night. I was able to maintain the consequences for his action, but also be a loving present parent. I was able to recognize his pain body and disassociate it from him so I didn't allow anger to enter into my consciousness and skew my parenting. I saw what my normal reaction would have been and chose another route. I saw that we ALL have experiences with our pain body when we are adults, we just may not have an all out temper tantrum- which honestly might help the pain body exit sooner. We just decide to numb it by eating, drinking alcohol, running, watching tv, or playing Candy Crush. You could replace the sentiment "I want my pillow pet" with "I don't want to pay any more money to fix my car!!" or "I don't want my boyfriend to leave me!!", or "I don't want to be listening to my child scream when I have Downton Abby to watch"!! It is all the same, and the only way we can dissolve the pain body is by watching it, recognizing it, and accepting it. The resistance to the negative feelings we experience, the ignoring, and the numbing only make it come back that much stronger later.
I hope with all of my heart that I can continue to recognize my own pain body and can help my children recognize theirs. I hope that I can sit with them while they feel it so that they don't build up their pain body. They will have things in their lives that make them feel AWFUL, what would happen if they learn how to just feel the feelings and then release them instead of pushing them down only delaying having to deal with them.