August 28, 2020

How do you Journey from Pain to Love?


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Pain has a narrative, doesn’t it?

Like the three spots of blood on my mother’s chin she would openly speak about.

What was it about my mother’s pain that repulsed me? The way she told it? Pain was meant to be more private, but she showed it to my sisters and I sporadically.

In any case, we couldn’t unsee the fights. We couldn’t unsee the spitting, red-hot rage. Did we see the nuance? Did we see the pendulum swing?

I’ve been curious about the journey of healing for a long time. I’ve written about how it may require us to let go of our narratives or stories when we are ready. I’ve written about feeling emotions without having to name them. I’ve written recently about surrendering from form to formlessness within the practise of writing. What does formlessness look like within writing? Is it a paradox to use words formlessly?

For me, formless writing is writing intuitively, to the extent that the words are not blocks that you have to chew on or actively process, but which move through you like a river or a stream. This is just how healing ought to be—but, often, seeking “healing” is like a chore or a mission we constantly grip onto. In fact, the word itself can be an obstacle to the well-being we seek.

Yes, wanting to heal may be paradoxical. Great if you like to problem-solve. Not so great if you don’t. This word “heal” is everywhere. It used to be a sacred word. Now, it is turning into a buzzword in our culture. It is even a moderately attractive word. “Healing” has become a locked door.

I believe that the key to this door is within another word, which we must familiarise ourselves with if we are to free ourselves from stickiness, from a self-perpetuating spiral. I have already mentioned this key in this article, it is a simple word. The word is “well-being.” One of the most important and intuitive words for our time.


Anchor this word into your psyche. Liberate yourself from a constant state of healing, a state rooted in the fear of going backward. For healing creates a polarity between positive and negative. Have you ever tried to escape negativity when it arises somatically in your body, in fear that it may take root and proliferate? Negativity has a lot less power than you think. If a state of well-being is our natural state, why are we so afraid of moments of emotional difficulty? Aren’t they just parts of us that need to come to the surface, so that they may enter into our hearts and be released in love?

Anchoring small moments of well-being and accepting the difficult feelings when they arise may be the most radical thing you can gift yourself. This epitomizes freedom from healing, using a more precise word to unlock a more stable stage in your life. For, locked within this word is a beautiful code. As a word, it describes a state before it describes a journey. Well-being anchors self into itself. 

We live in a frantic, hyper-connected world, and we want some respite from this—so they tell us. But, what if our desire for slowness and process-based ontology was actually shadowing the commodification of the word “healing?” What if it keeps those most in need of it in heavy, dense spirals of “not yet” and “not good enough?”

The words we use shift in meaning all the time. Language is plastic. It is not unlike attuning oneself to ways of identifying people. For instance, I myself as a white-embodied writer take a lot more care when using words to describe a Black-embodied experience. A greater sensitivity to language and naming in all of its forms will aid in our evolution as a species, and, I believe, help us to nurture one another in our respective and collective ascensions.

In this moment of presence as you read, can you harmonise your own experiential vocabulary? Inside language are codes far greater than you and I. Can we learn how to wield these words effectively? I think so. Ultimately, we are all collectively geared toward the well-being of All.

It is about time we remembered it.


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