In western medicine, one often hears the phrase ‘referred pain’, which is pain experienced elsewhere than its source. For example, you can break your left arm and feel pain your right arm. Western doctors explain this phenomenon as the convergence of nerves along the spinal column, which results in confused messages. In spiritual terms, referred pain is often delayed pain – pain you would rather experience somewhere else, as someone else. It is pain you postpone. But when you fail to isolate the source of pain, at best you treat the symptoms; you never cure the underlying condition or disease. In your life, and in your body, you must make it your conscious priority to identify where the pain you feel has its roots. You can’t just prune the leaves on your trauma tree; you have to dig it out of the ground and remove every.last.root.
Pain and trauma are part of the human condition; this truth is at the core of Buddhism, in fact. If you are human you will suffer. How you react to your suffering, how attached you become to it or the source of it, dictates how you experience suffering. Most likely you have tried before to kick your pain down the cosmic road and been unsuccessful. Pain can only be deferred if it is not karmic; in other words, if something is catching up with you there really is no place to run or hide. If your pain is the result of your karma, you need to experience it in order to make spiritual progress. Pain is wisdom, data, information. It tells you a story you need to hear. The more you soften into your pain and allow it to whisper its wisdom to you, without trying to postpone it or silence it, the more likely you will be to heal or transmute it.
All of us have referred pain. The question isn’t do you have it, the question is what kind of work does your referred pain require to be healed? Referred pain tends to emerge in one of two ways:
1) Shadowing all over people, also known as projection
Shadowing on people is the same as projecting onto people – it is the process of imprisoning someone else in your story. Only people who have not fully excavated their shadow are capable of shadowing on others; when you come into healed space around your shadow you no longer have stories that are hidden from yourself. You become aware of all the stories, and so it would not occur to you to try and project them onto others. Once you are aware of your stories, they cease to be stories – they become integrated realities. As a whole person, you no longer desire to punish others for your misfortune or blame others for actions they may or may not have taken. You are no longer avoiding your own work, so you do not wish to give your work to others; you recognize that your path to evolution requires this work, and you sometimes consciously seek it before it comes to you. You experience forgiveness, peace, and surrender in ways that also allow you to offer those qualities to others. Love becomes both your focus and your filter; you see the world through the eyes of love and compassion.
We see this so often in social media, where people project their experiences or pain onto others, sometimes consciously and other times subconsciously. Many people are unaware of their triggers, which are accurate teachers about shadow work that needs to be done. Since social media is one big trigger, or in fact many millions of triggers happening 24/7, those who have not done their shadow work to explore their referred pain make inaccurate assumptions about the root(s) and source(s) of their pain; they fail to see the relationship between a trigger and the root trauma. Only by coming into this awareness can they break the projection cycle. And coming into awareness is an entirely spiritual process. There is no ‘figuring this out’. By peeling back the layers of your soul onion you discover where all your landmines are. One by one, disarming them through shamanic healing practices that transform pain at its source: The only true path to healing for a lifetime.
2) Overreacting to people or situations
Overreacting is a clear sign of emerging shadow energies. When you overreact, you go beyond what a reasonable reaction should be and express deeper rage, sadness, confusion, or concern about a circumstance or event. This happens when an event triggers a painful or traumatic memory that is related in form or energy. Now the current event becomes both the event and whatever the past event triggered in you and the person on the receiving end has no idea they just got a 2-for-1 deal. When you do your shadow work and excavate all your tricky sticky spots, you will no longer have them to serve as anchors for future experiences. You can’t trigger a memory that isn’t painful for you anymore. You can surrender painful and traumatic experiences by simply allowing yourself to find and feel them, send love and light to them, and through that light, healing begins. Overreacting happens often in social media too where people have a disproportionate reaction to a post or thread. For those who have not done shadow work, this can spiral out of control very quickly. The result can be pain within online communities and additional trauma. When you are aware of your triggers and your stories, you remove the stinger from them and hamper their ability to control you or your destiny.
RIght now, multiple planets are retrograde, which invites us to turn within and do this inner discovery work. Retrograde activity also leads to confusion of signs and symbols, inhibiting communication, so extra care must be taken to be sure you are interpreting what you see with clarity and accuracy. Throw in a few eclipses, the Lion’s Gate opening on 8/8 and, well, you have a dramatic cosmic shitshow lined up just for you. Also, a massive invitation to step forward and say yes, I am ready to do my soul and shadow work, because I don’t want to be that person who can’t see her own shadow, and thus becomes so afraid of it that it begins to rule her life. No, that is not your birthright. Your birthright is clarity and purpose, peace that comes from knowing who you are and loving yourself in spite of whatever flaws you perceive or wish you could fix. You won’t see yourself the same way once the work is done.
If you’re ready, click here to register for my new online program called Of Light and Shadow where we do everything I discussed here, and more. Through art and crafting, meditation, astrology, psychology, and crystal healing we excavate the dark places of mystery within you so that you have access to the full spectrum of your personal power. You could not have chosen a better time. You are ready to finally know yourself better than you ever have before. The world desperately needs you in this state of full glowing conscious awareness.
Amen, A’ho, and So it is
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