Andrew was a troubled child. He was always getting into trouble. Why? At the age of 10, he began to witness his little sister get molested by their father. Andrew tried to tell other family members about the abuse his little sister was experiencing and about how his father and his uncles made Andrew watch pornography and drink alcohol. This trauma started a series of unfortunate events. He began acting out; getting into fights at school and at home, smoking marijuana, and eventually was expelled from school. His mom eventually sent him away to a children’s home for kids who have experienced trauma, but after a couple of years of being away, he came back extremely angry.
Between the molestation trial and Andrews family believing the accused side of the story versus his, he became severely depressed and engulfed with anger, indulging himself into more violence and eventually joined a gang to silence the pain. At age 16, his mom was at her wit’s end and gave up, packing up Andrew’s other brothers and sisters and left town while Andrew was at school.
After that, Andrew became homeless. Jumping from house to house, surviving by stealing and scamming for the next 4 years. Andrew did a lot of things that he wasn’t proud of, but he didn’t know what else to do.
Andrew developed a cycle that he was unaware of. Due to his trauma, a negative energy field called the pain-body was awakened in Andrew that would haunt him for the next 11 years of his life, taking over his body and mind.
When I first met Andrew, I immediately noticed that he was in pain. I didn’t find out until later why he was in so much pain. When I found out, I didn’t understand why he wasn’t able to get help with his issues and just move on. It was like he was addicted to being reminded of his past. He wanted to hold on to it. Andrew was also addicted to drama. I know a few other people who are like this, but it was clear that he needed chaos surrounding him at all times. He was fighting with his family, strangers, girlfriends, everyone.
I finally understood why Andrew was like this when I read “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. In the second chapter, Tolle describes The Pain Body.
What is the pain-body?
The pain-body is an unforeseen force that causes us to unconsciously seek pain over and over again. This is the perfect recipe for self-sabotage. It’s made up of accumulated pain in a negative energy field that occupies your body and mind.
There are 2 different kinds; dormant pain body and active pain body. Active pain body live in those who are deeply unhappy 90%-100% of the time.
What can trigger the pain-body?
“The pain body can be awakened by any unhappiness within yourself. It can take the form of irritation, impatience, a somber mood, a desire to hurt, anger, rage, depression, a need to have drama in your relationships, and so on.” -Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
For example, a child who won’t stop whining about not wanting to take a nap would be considered the dormant pain-body. Active pain bodies are vicious and destructive monsters that feed on your pain. Thoughts and feelings about your life become negative and self-destructive. Some pain bodies have the ability to drive a person to suicide.
In Andrew’s case, the pain-body inside of him is awakened whenever he would talk to his father about his childhood or if he is reminded of his sister, whom of which has since passed away from a life of violence and drugs.
How does the pain body survive?
The pain-body is developed in the unconscious and that’s where they want to stay. It’s only purpose is to bring pain and grow from it.
“The pain-body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise up, take you over, “become you”, and live through you. It will feed on any experience that resonates with its own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain in whatever form; anger, destructiveness, hatred, grief, emotional drama, violence, and even illness.” Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
Once the pain-body has taken over, you will want more pain. You either become the victim or the victimizer or both. You either want to cause pain or want to suffer from pain.
For example, at a very young age, the pain-body inside of me convinced me that cutting myself was the best way to escape the emotional trauma I experienced growing up. I thought, if I felt actual pain, then my heart wouldn’t hurt so much. It worked. Well not really. It was a very unhealthy way to deal with my issues, but at the time, every time I would put a blade up to my skin, I was unconsciously feeding the pain-body. Making it stronger with every tear and every stroke.
So, once it takes over you, you unconsciously want more pain. In Andrew’s case, the pain body has already developed from years of abuse and pain. He knows no other way to live. The pain body has not only taken over his entire life, but he is completely unaware of its existence. The pain-body has convinced him that pain and anger were the only emotions that he would feel and the only way to feel better is to cause even more pain and destruction.
How do I become aware of the pain-body?
Have you ever said something to someone that was hurtful? But you knew before you said it, that it would be a really harsh thing to say, yet you say it anyway? You’ve just awakened the pain-body inside of you. You’ve just given it the food that it needs it continues to survive in your psyche. The pain-body is excited now because most likely, there will be negative consequences to whatever you decided to say. Once those events occur, the pain-body goes back to sleep until the next time you decide to awaken it.
“So the pain-body, when it has taken you over, will create a situation in your life that reflects back it’s own energy frequency for it to feed on. Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.” -Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
How can I get rid of the pain-body?
Become aware of the pain that you cause onto yourself and to others around you. Once you are aware, now you can make a conscious decision to not say hurtful words or make hurtful decisions. Then, you’ll starve the pain body, eventually forcing it to no longer exist.
I don’t think anyone wants to admit they enjoy pain. I mean, I wouldn’t. But it’s like overcoming an addiction; the 1st step is admitting that you have a problem. Same with the pain body.
“Just as you cannot fight the darkness, you cannot fight the pain -body. Trying to do so would create inner conflict and thus further pain. Watching it is enough. Watching implies accepting it as a part of what is at that moment.” -Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
When you become the “watcher” or aware, the pain-body will try to trick you into believing that your pain is a permanent part of who you are. The pain-body is even known to cause physical pains if parts of your body, but it won’t last long. As long as you continue to stay aware and present. At this moment, the pain-body will longer be able to control your thinking.
For instance, Andrew is now aware of the pain-body living inside of him. He is now aware of the pain-body, so he chooses to make a conscious effort not to say or participate in hateful acts. By doing so, he is starving the pain-body. It continues to try to convince Andrew that his life of destruction is great, but Andrew refuses to get back into the negative mind-pattern that he lived with for so many years.
-Pay attention to the feelings that you are having
-Be aware that it is the pain-body
-Accept that it is there
-Don’t allow yourself to think about it (easier said than done)
-Do not allow your feelings to turn into thinking
-Do not judge or analyze
-Do not identify with the pain-body. In other words, do not become the pain-body
-Stay present with the power of your own conscious presence
In the present day, Andrew is a work in progress. He has grown so much in the time that I have known him. Addressing the pain-body inside of him is changing his life in so many positive ways. He is now married to a wonderful woman and has three beautiful children. He determined to become a better Andrew.
If you feel like you have awakened the pain-body inside of you, just know that you can overcome those feelings of despair, pain, and anger. This is NOT you! You are NOT your pain or your past.
If you know someone who is struggling with their pain-body, encourage them to read this post or The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I think one of our many basic instincts is to avoid people like this, toxic people. The truth of the matter is, we may have no idea what a “toxic” person is dealing with inside of their heart. It may take this post or Mr. Tolle’s book to open up the opportunity to change their lives.
“Scars mean you fought. Wrinkles mean you lived. Heartache means you loved.” Matshona Dhliwayo