The Role of Hope in Suffering

                                                                                              Photo credit: Dipika Belapurkar

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a larger intelligence and a deep heart.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Abandoning hope. That’s the one thing, perhaps, that’s near impossible to achieve, given our need as humans to be in control of life. Also that’s because we live either in the past or the future and continue wanting both to change. When we fall sick we don’t want to suffer pain even for a minute. We want instant pain relief, and so most of us settle for painkillers and anti-inflammatory aid. And if it’s pleasure we seek, then too short-term gratification will do nicely. OTC medications work in the short duration and then we are back to hoping, for the pain has come back unvaryingly.

Hoping Big For Miracles

Usually a hope-encrusted client comes to alternate therapy after having exhausted all other remedial measures, but with lingering hope yet, to slay suffering. They want something to come out of craniosacral healing. Something else, something big, quick and long lasting, while all along holding on to a cherished lifestyle!

What I say to my clients is, “don’t come to alternate therapy trying to get something out of it.” Because then you are stuck between worry and anxiety, unable to get off the wheel of past anguish and anticipated future sorrow. “Come instead to experience whatever arises in the moment. Moment to moment, watch the unfolding of your life. There’s beauty even in perceiving the arising and dissolving of pain, as long as you remain a witness.” And i am not talking masochism here.

Hoping Against Suffering

Suffering, whether in the body or mind, causes our consciousness to get trapped in negative thoughts, feelings and sensations.

As we develop and escalate hope to end this suffering, in a way, we get attached to its outcome. And then we invite hope into complicity of becoming a fast friend to us (in chronic pain for the rest of our life). We develop a victim mentality and we have faithful hope by our side. But, that’s not what we want, do we?

Instead, we might want pain to simply flow through us on its way out. We could enlist any body system – circulatory, musculo-skeletal, fascial, excretory, etc – for this elimination role.

Hope Into Acceptance

Craniosacral therapy treatment introduces a new conceptual way of being with your own self. In the moment. Being alive, more than you have ever been, you develop new vision about how to feel and act depending on what’s arising in you. You make choices and learn to become responsible for these. There’s a whole lot of cognitive power there, nothing that anybody else outside of you can ever give you.

But in this suffering moment if you get caught up in ‘what was’ and, ‘what could be’ you lose out via disappointment. Because you are never pleased. In both these moments (the past and future) you aren’t in the present, moreover, you are powerless to change the past or foresee a future. The control we derive from craniosacral healing comes when we let go of both these variables and instead learn to be with the arising of each new moment. What arise are safety and trust. Hope then transcends into acceptance. And suffering into healing.


You may also like

Leave a Reply