Every pain, every unresolved relationship situation, every wound, is a disguised opportunity for enlightenment.
There’s a Buddha in you, in me, waiting to awaken. And extraordinary pain, believe me, is not a sign of your past sins and retribution happening to you, as some would want you to believe, but is a sign of extraordinary grace waiting to enter your Life. This entering of grace is what is called enlightenment. It is a state of being and not an event that happens at a specified time at a specified, glorified venue, like, under a tree. For Gautama, it happened under the Bodhi Tree. For you it can well happen on a potty or at 30000 ft. while you are flying! Buddhahood is a state you will realize, you will awaken to, when you look deeply at what is causing you pain – and understand your pain. Whatever is, look at it intensely. Your first, human and normal, tendency is to resist pain. Instead embrace it. Invite it to tell you why it has arrived in your Life. And it will always tell you why. Be honest. Because pain is not like worry. It is not an imposter. It is a teacher. Initially, you will find external reasoning very powerful to the cause of your pain. As in, he cheated me. So I am in pain. She led me up the garden path, hence I am in pain. My competitor chose unethical means and so my business couldn’t cope and I lost all my money. Instead of apportioning the blame to an external agent, a foreign hand, ask yourself what have you done to have invited this situation? When you know how you invited pain into your Life, your learning will be complete. Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th Century, Persian poet says, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” When this awakening happens, you will be able to live with your pain, yet without suffering from it!
In reality, pain is powerless. If you look deeply at whatever is causing you pain at the moment and stay in this moment, in the now of reality, your mind will not even report the pain. The mind always exists in a past grief or a future worry. In the face of reality, the mind is inactive. Which is why people champion the power of now! So, if you want to profit from your pain, it is possible, by choosing to be aware. Something or someone is perhaps your source of pain, but by not understanding your pain, you are inviting it to stay over longer. All you need to do is look at it intensely, ask what have you done to have invited it over, internalize the learning and watch the pain just leave you alone! This state is called Buddhahood. And Buddhahood, indeed, is a great pain reliever!