The ache within the ache
I read that line many years ago in a book. Dropping to the ache within the ache. And it is a line that has never left my memory. But understanding the full complexity of it came to me this morning.
I have always thought about the ache within the ache on a more emotional level. What is the emotional pain/ache really trying to tell you? But this morning, something more profound hit me. I want to go back and read that book again just to see what the true meaning behind that line meant!
I have been struggling with my meditation lately. In all honesty, I have struggled ever since I started meditating. My ‘teachers’ have instructed/guided my meditation, books have taught me how to do it, you see all over social media, all of these highly evolved people doing 2 hours of meditation daily. Let’s be honest, most of them don’t do that in reality. It just looks nice on social media. And for most people, we realistically don’t have that much time to meditate.
But lately, the struggle hasn’t been my internal monologue of thoughts, but physical. With an auto-immune flare up in full swing, my joints are in constant pain. Sitting hurts, kneeling hurts, some mornings my fingers are so stiff and sore that I can barely use my mala beads. And then comes the frustration. From not doing it well enough, not being able to disconnect from the pain. Feeling defeated after a meditation, instead of content or inspired.
And then a conversation with a friend changed that for me. For so many years I have been looking at meditation as a ‘practice’. What she said to me was simple – it’s about the intention. Instead of sitting, I could lay down. If you can’t do 30 minutes, sit with clear intention for 30 seconds. Just try a deep breath and set an intention for the day. We had a beautiful conversation about letting go of the ‘should do’ for meditation.
And so this morning, instead of doing my normal practice, I decided to just let my intuition guide me to what I needed. And so I went to my yoga mat, laid down and simply breathed. For a few minutes, I just felt my breath. Soft belly rise, soft belly fall. Repeat.
And then something truly magical happened. My body started naturally stretching. No yoga, nothing defined, it just moved. And the line: the ache within the ache came to my mind. So I asked my body to guide me, to show me the ache within the ache. Where my joints were tight and still, what was the expansion that was needed. My body went into its own form of Myofasical unwinding. Something I have done with clients, but I have never been able to do to myself.
It was so natural and freeing. My body moved in odd contorted stretches, but within that I felt emotion start to unlock. Thoughts came through my mind and just as quickly left. Old pain came to the surface and was released. The emotional ache within my physical ache was holding this place of stillness and tightness. The ache within the ache was so literal at that point. It was a form of moving meditation that allowed my body to expand within the stillness, to drop down further into the physical pain. To follow the thread of the ache and go to its core.
After my meditation, I found myself clear on the direction I needed to take for my healing. Auto-Immune conditions aren’t something that you fix overnight, they are a constant work in progress. And I needed to find that new path. The ache within the ache allowed me to see the pain, in order to heal it.
It’s a concept I want to further explore. How do we drop down to the ache within the ache to free ourselves from the pain we have been carrying? What does the ache within the ache look like to other people? Can you sit with that ache and allow it to expand within you, to move through you?
For many people, the ache within the ache is something they have carried for many years. How freeing would it be to discover what the ache is, so you can truly let it go? Part of my ache within the ache was about my perfectionism – the simple thought of not meditating ‘correctly’ is enough for me to realise that the idea of perfectionism is a fallacy, something that we need to let go of, so it doesn’t store within our tissues.
Are you willing to drop down to the ache within the ache and let go?