today i chose to go through pain, to experience pleasure afterwards. i threw myself in the ice-cold sea after spending half an hour sweating in a 70°C sauna, to get the famous endorphine-effect that feels so good. i did it again, and then again again. three times of pain, sweating, freezing and more pain- but i felt so good. i feel strengthened inside, for DOING it, and actually high on life, from the natural effects.
i have a new theory, that started developing in the last few months- a theory that involves expanding our lives and our experience of life, through going into the fire, so to say. (or in this case, the fire, AND the ice)
i guess it started with yoga for me. it was painful as hell. some postures made me angry, i wanted to beat up the teacher and put a dirty dishcloth in his mouth to shut him up, and the pain was excuciating. but it went away- and it opened my body for new spaces, new places, and a sense of freedom i had not know before. through the pain of expanding tight muscles, i then released tension, which let itself go, and pleasure rushed through the release, and i felt so good.
recently i had the fortune to meet a very special man, who opened new spaces in me. new spaces of pleasure, of such heights, that i thought i had died and gone to heaven. then, as a follow-up of the pleasure, i had to go through some painful procedures. the pain was equal to the amount of pleasure i had experienced- and i was acutely aware of this throughout the pain-process, and this was when i started to think of pain and pleasure, and the active seeking out of these two human experiences, and how it can expand our life experience.
i imagine our existence as a soul, living in a body. this body is our vehicle for living life.
(like the driver of a car, to say it more clearly.)
i imagine the road of life as full of interesting off-roads, dirt-roads, exits and stops.
some of us make the active choice to stay on the high-road, the safe option. we see what we have in front of us. life is this; this road only, because we do not take the risk of getting sidetracked. life is a straight road, the journey is already mapped out, and we "think" we are in control. but of course, we are not, because other drivers will cause us problems. we will still experience pain and emergency through the interactions with others, while driving on this road of life.
and then others, make the choice to take an exit. maybe suddenly something exciting pops up on the right, and without thinking, we follow our feeling, our curiosity. this road may lead us to something amazing- an amazing sunset for example- or it leads us to a dead end where a murderer is waiting to shoot us in the head.
the people who have the willingness inside them to take the risk of the unknown road- to actually actively go search for the potential pleasure- expand their horizons, literally. they will experience life more fully, and see a lot more than the already mapped-out high road.
there is a BUT.
this comes with the shadow side of also experiencing pain, sorrow, depression. if we have the willingness inside us to go for the pleasure, then for sure, we have the ability inside of us to also experience the pain equally deep.
i often did many things that were considered "stupid" or "thoughtless" by others. many times have i been called "impulsive" and that i should "think before i act." i could not disagree more! why would i? then i would never have had all the life experiences that i have! i have seen so much and done so much thanks to following my heart and my feeling. yes, it did lead to immense amounts of pain in many cases, but what about the pleasure i also got from it? that, that...i would NEVER trade for anything in the world... that, that..is what makes me ME!
when i get to this part of the theory i start to see life as a rainbow, where we, in our human experience, sit at the very top of this arched, colourful mirage.
some choose to stay here, on the top, and not go too far to either end of the rainbow.
while others, people who want to expand their vision and experience of life, will definitely slide all the way down to one end of the rainbow, looking for the fullness, the completeness of their living experience. and once they have reached this end of the rainbow, well, then they definitely have the expansion inside them which will take them right around to the other side of the rainbow.... to experience the pain. because in a way, they asked for it, by asking for the FULL experience of life.
you cannot have just one side of the coin of life. if you want the full monty you have to handle the full monty.
life is not just pleasure, success, health and fun. life is also pain, difficulty, illness and boredom. it is ALL OF IT. we cannot have one without the other. and if we choose to go for one, then we WILL have the other, sooner or later.
if we can accept, all the time, that life is a constant swing, swinging from one to the other, then we can also handle the ups and downs. if we constantly see through the different experiences, and know inside of us that we can only have the one we are having right now thanks to the balance of the other, then we can accept difficulty easier, and not attach so strongly to success. this too shall pass, a Sufi man once said. it all passes. and then another wave comes. constantly.
but the amazing thing is that when you throw yourself in the icy water by free will, you get the pleasure for free. you can create the pleasure by throwing yourself into the pain.
same with yoga. going through this pain daily- sometimes not a physical pain, just the pain of boredom of doing it every day- gives so much pleasure back. presence and strength in my own body, expanding my life experience through strengthening and releasing my body. my vehicle.
i am actually going for the pain inside my mind lately, too, to expand my view. things that were recently completely unthinkable to me, i now imagine happening in my inner vision, and i watch my bodily reaction to it. in the beginning i wanted to throw up from the thought, but today i am able to "see" these "horrible" things happening and not really have an emotional reaction to these pictures. this i see as a form of expansion too, because it helps me to get rid of negative ideas and ideals based only on fear. and fear is exactly what would keep a human on the "safe" high road...life is journey, enjoy the ride.. the goal of the journey is our death, so why not experience the journey as widely and bravely as we can?
life is for living to the maximum. expanding our limits, having the courage to throw ourselves into the ice and fire of life, will give us a richer and more colourful life, without a doubt.
life is all of it. good and bad, pleasure and pain, night and day, sun and moon, man and woman.