For generations, we have romanticized the “thorn in the side” as a right of passage in our path to evolvement.
Everyone has experienced one thorn or another, the one that makes us anxious or the one that drives us insane. And we’ve been conditioned to accept our thorns, to believe that without pain there is no gain.
The no-pain-no-gain myth has been has been glamorized by physical fitness experts as the key to obtaining physical wellness. No-pain-no-gain means working past the point of muscle ache, past the point the body rebels, because we choose to ignore it.
Are we masochists?
And if we require pain on the path to gaining something, why do we then also reach for that bottle of “pain reliever” to dull the ache?
Are we also hypocrites?
If you have a thorn in your paw, what, if anything, are you going to do about it? If you’re like most, you let the thorn carve out a home in the softest part of you. You make excuses for the limp you develop. You tell yourself it adds character. With time, a callous forms and you forget that the thorn exists at all.
Pain shows us that there is work to be done on us on all levels—body, mind, and spirit. We are both a physical body and an energetic being. The energy body informs the physical body. To ignore physical pain is to ignore the growth and healing we are here to achieve.
Pain is part of the journey. And the life journey is the healing journey.
Our deepest thorns are experienced through the pain of relationships. Whether we choose to see these as a setback or an opportunity will determine if we hobble or glide along our path. But why not let the first tender step be a step backward to see the bigger picture? Why not allow our thorns to sharpen our focus about our most important relationship—the one we cultivate with ourselves?
As Within, So Without
The relationship with “self” is best seen through the mirror of our closest relationships with others.
Edgar Cayce said, “Each individual constantly meets Self. There are no coincidences, or accidents that arise in the meeting of people or individuals.” So we only need to be aware of our reflections to see that the things that keep us stuck in holding patterns are playing out in front of us on a daily basis.
Too often we are convinced that self-sacrifice is the ultimate contribution to society and to the whole. We buy into the paradigm of giving at our own expense. When we disconnect from the pain, we move farther away from resonating with our True Self. When we hold tightly to these patterns of belief, we not only limit our own potential for growth and freedom, but everyone else’s, too.
Division and stagnation become the norm and history repeats itself.
A thorn in the paw impedes our progress and manifests when…
• Military recruits give up personal freedoms under the guise of protecting freedoms, and under the irony of fighting for peace.
• Voters give up personal convictions to politicians who make decisions for them.
• Students give up individual curiosity and stop questioning authority to conform to a fixed mindset.
• Caregivers give up dreams and aspirations to care for ailing parents, without assistance.
• Partners give up full happiness for emotional co-dependence.
• Women fail to speak their truth in favor of others’ opinions.
All limits are self-imposed because we fail to maintain healthy emotional and spiritual boundaries. When we give up our power, we lose our inner resolve. When we give up our value to a system that harvests our energy without real returns, we deplete our reserves. When we give up our wellbeing for another’s, we lose ourselves in the process.
All thorns are self-inflicted because, in every case of self-sacrifice, we choose to take on suffering as a badge of honor only to cripple ourselves in the process. These habitual patterns do not move any of us forward. At no time will we effect change in the other person, in society as a whole, or in the outcome unless we are willing to first change our own beliefs; from self-sacrifice to self-love.
We can’t serve from an empty cup. True service to others comes from filling up our own cup of love first and letting it flow out.
By choosing to hold tightly to any pattern, whether to a loved one out of a perceived obligation, or to a system of conformity to fit in, we become a crutch to hold others up. In unhealthy entanglements, we become dissonant and imbalanced. We enable others to continue their own self-limiting pattern while driving our own thorn deeper.
In her book When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chödrön writes,
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. If we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. It just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves.”
The patterns we experience continue to spin out on the karmic wheel of our mutual healing. We can stop the wheel at any time, by choice. Instead of blaming another, let someone’s actions show you what more to love in yourself. We are all connected through a universal soul, powered by love. With each of us loving ourselves more, we evolve the whole group. All for one and one for all.
The truth is that we are equipped with the energetic tools necessary to dissolve our thorns. We can apply them with love and the power of intention. Whether we cut energetic cords, remove energetic implants, or revoke soul contracts, we only need to use our free will to make it happen. In cases of emotional, mental, or physical abuse, you move out of the relationship. Contract resolved.
We are the producers, writers, directors, and actors of our stories. As co-creators, we create our story in every moment.
Yoga and meditation are parallel paths to aligning and attuning body, mind, and spirit. Work with knowledgeable instructors who can guide you into yoga or meditation exercises.
• Respect the body and acknowledge the pain.
• Listen to the language of the body. When and where does it flare?
• Ask, what can I learn?
It’s fine to ask for help from energy healers to bear witness. Just be ready to open the floodgates to allow for the release of pent-up emotions to cleanse and rebalance. In healing energetic wounds, it is natural to mourn the ending of patterns that often come from past lives. There can be feelings of grief and pain that rise up, unexpectedly, like a fresh wound. This is an opportunity to deepen our connection with self: ground and meditate, work with your breath, journal, and re-establish healthy boundaries. Remember to be kind to yourself.
“Once you have been unraveled, your heart eventually breaks open so deeply that the pieces forget how to reassemble. And from a heart that doesn’t know how to shut back down you then transcend the grief cycle which means you are free to love deeply in every moment.” ~ Matt Kahn, Soul Contract, Twin Flames & Soul Mates, Redefined.
When we are courageous enough to shake the snow globe of life, we not only reset the dynamic in our relationship with self, but also with others. Such a profound shift cracks a whip through space and time as the universe reorders itself.
As the snow settles, we move forward together in a new resonance and harmony.
The infinity symbol shows us who we are. All deaths are also rebirths. All endings create new beginnings, even in the same relationships. Past, present, and future are really one unfolding of our collective soul experience. We’re all in this together, playing different roles on a continuum in our mutual evolution. And it’s all happening now.
We have the capacity to break through all societal constructs and conditionings that serve to limit us from access to our True Self. These conditions are illusory, here for us to discern and deconstruct for our own healing. The no-pain-no-gain mindset continues the suffering unnecessarily.
When we stop fighting ourselves, we help others to stand on their own two feet. We do not betray them. We serve their growth. But we first need to look in the mirror.
The real betrayal is forgetting the self. When we choose to love ourselves first, we create a ripple effect that moves out to affect us all. We replenish our reserves. When we extract the thorns that free us for the healing that needs to happen, we are all free.
Author: Rosanne Lindsay
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Kendall Lane/Unsplash