Do you wonder why you can be in a terrific frame of mind and then something happens or someone says something and you fall into a feeling of heaviness, hopelessness, and despair? Or why someone can “push your buttons?” It can happen after something a family member did or said, or when you’re getting ready to celebrate a holiday or birthday. For me, it’s that feeling of wanting to desperately hide in my bed with the shades drawn. It can last for minutes, hours, days, or longer. Some people spend a lot of time there, others only occasionally.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth, the Power of Now) characterizes this uncomfortable and despairing feeling as the pain body. Everyone has one. It’s the emotional aspect of the ego. It’s a very unhappy entity. It’s essentially unexpressed pain in the form of energy that your body has been holding onto from the past.
As Tolle explains, “Any negative emotion that is not fully faced and seen for what it is in the moment it arises does not completely dissolve. The energy field of old but still very much alive emotion that lives in almost every human being is the pain-body.” It could be the energy you have from childhood after being told by your parents to “stop crying.” Or the unexpressed grief you carry from the death of a loved one. Past-life regressionists say it’s negative energy imbedded in our cells that we carry from one life time to the next.
These negative emotions become an energy field. The energy gives off an unhappy vibration. It doesn’t want to end its unhappiness because an end to its unhappiness is the end to the pain-body. The pain body actually seeks negative experiences and needs more of them to keep itself energized. One of the ways it feeds is on negative thinking.
When I had my last strong experience with my pain body (after something my partner had said) I retreated to bed all afternoon and watched cable news, gossip shows, and ate cookies. This is what the pain body wants – more negativity. The best I could do that afternoon was to accept it and to know that things would change. As Tolle points out, the first step is realizing that there is something in me that seeks unhappiness,that seeks unpleasant experiences, that seeks more negativity because it feeds on those things.
There is a way out.
If you can become the watcher of the pain body and not identified with it it won’t be able to replenish itself through you. You won’t be generating more negative thoughts for it to gain stregth. The moment you observe it, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken. A higher dimension of consciousness has come in. Which Tolle calls presence.
There are modalities to help remove energy blocks like Kundalini yoga, past life regression therapy, and energy-based body work. And as basic as it may sound, thinking positive thoughts helps bring positive thoughts into your vibrational field. Negative thoughts feed the pain body and cause a different vibration which then attracts more negativity.
The most direct response when you are overcome by it, is to see it as not you. See it for what it is. In the present moment, there is no past pain. Take one moment at a time, accept what you are feeling, and find a way to connect to Spirit. Read something inspirational, contact a friend, pray, or do something fun that connects you to the present moment. The power of your presence will connect you with joy.