Miracles News

October-December, 2017

Healing Pain

by Rev. Rosemarie Tropf, O.M.C.

Rev. Rosemarie TropfThis article is about chronic pain and how I have been dealing with it for many years. I was told there was nothing wrong with me for such a long time but I finally received a diagnosis in the 90’s! Yes! I knew it! There is something wrong with me. I am not a hypochondriac. It’s called Fibromyalgia! Victory dance! Now, what do I do for it?

Nothing. There is no cure for fibromyalgia! How perfect is that for the ego mind? Seek and do not find a cure. But I tried anyhow! I tried every holistic cure in the world and I mean world. I even went to India to find a cure but I already knew there was no cure. I just knew it. Then I learned about Somatization. That’s when the body expresses physical pain instead of allowing emotions to surface. Yes! I knew there must be more to this diagnosis. The cure for that?

Years and years of therapy. I knew it. I really am a complicated case. After all, I suffered sexual abuse since age 4. How complicated is that? I suffered physical abuse from age 9 to 18. That’s pretty deep and very complicated to address too. So I tried therapy. Three different times. Three different wonderful, caring therapists who could see how specially complicated and delicate my case was. After five to six years of this, I grew tired of talking about the past. I preferred ACIM.

I decided I won’t talk about it anymore, I’ll just give it to Holy Spirit. The pain increased. I ended up this week having surgery on my neck removing two discs…not one but two. Isn’t that very special and complicated?

I’ve been in a neck brace for a week now with a lot of time to think. One day a thought popped into my head. What if this surgery doesn’t remove the pain of fibromyalgia? What if I stay in this pattern of pain separating me from so many activities my loved ones want me to join in? Will neck surgery cure my thought patterns? Will neck surgery turn me into an extrovert? Will neck surgery make me a top notch business woman who can now have a career? I knew the answer to all those questions. Seek and do not find.

Today’s Lesson 236 says, “I rule my mind, which I alone must rule. I have a kingdom I must rule. At times, it does not seem I am its king at all. It seems to triumph over me, and tell me what to think, and what to do and feel.”

This kingdom of mine seems to have a monkey running loose. A very strange monkey. It’s bigger than a gorilla but faster than a spider monkey. The monkey thinks it is the “king” of the kingdom because it can move at the speed of light. It is also very sly and it can hide in small spaces and even imitate Holy Spirit.

I have had periods of time when I live in peace and stillness for months at a time. Then whammo. Usually the whammo is physical pain. Because of the pain, once again the monkey begins running the kingdom. Thoughts of anger, pride, rage, specialness rule the kingdom again. But I’m a good Course student. I know better than to dramatize stupid emotions like that. I am way more together than to act like some drama queen and give in to that. I am not going there!

As a child there was chaos in our home that terrified me. Especially in the middle of the night, when it was dark, when they thought we were asleep. Thumping, screaming, running, drunken slurred threats. I was terrified of the darkness. So my mind developed a coping mechanism for this child’s interpretation of that terror which was to shut down. I used to tell people, you know you could torture me and I wouldn’t feel a thing. I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me. Nothing bothers me. That is what being shut down feels like.

I also became a do-gooder. I became a people pleaser. I became determined to save the world from chaos by finding God and teaching God to the world. I wanted everyone to do good…damn it. Why don’t people appreciate me? How could anyone not be like me? I am so nice. I am harmless. See, I am already so sick you need not be threatened by me! I am harmless and I only want to do good.

I fashioned myself after Doris Day. I even dress like her. I am the pretty girl next door who is always feeding the poor and helping out at hospice, who cares for everybody. Why doesn’t everybody like me? Why don’t they want to be like me? Very frustrating! Very disappointing. I felt a lot of cynicism creep into my mind by the time I was in my 40’s. That cynicism never left me, coloring my world dull. These were coping mechanisms that don’t work anymore, I am discovering this week. Shutting down and developing a personality that keeps the chaos at bay only adds to the problem by burying it.

As I learn to listen to Holy Spirit, I am learning to be grateful for that coping mechanism because it kept me feeling sane for a long time. But now I have to gently dismantle it. This is the peeling of the onion, as they say.

I’ve been reading a book about how the brain will express physical pain in the body instead of allowing painful emotions to surface. I remember as a kid being terrified of emotions like grief expressed as crying. If I cried, I cried giant heaving sobs that were uncontrollable.

My dad used to look at me in fear of the amount of tears I spewed over the smallest thing. I felt so sad that our home was so chaotic and upsetting. But my mum? No way was I ever allowed to cry. She was horrified by my crying. “You cut that out, Missy.” The thought of expressing rage was equally unthinkable. “Don’t you dare talk like that around here, Missy.”

I had a disproportionate terror of abandonment. I just knew that if I cried or expressed anger, I would be thrown out of the house for good (not true but who knew). Hiding emotions like this is called Somatization. That means, instead of feeling the emotions, the body feels pain. That’s a coping mechanism of the brain.

Most children from abusive families bury their emotions and so they will act out in one way or another. I learned how to disconnect from my feelings and the more I disconnected from those emotions the more physical pain I experienced. But, as Lesson 236 says, this is my kingdom and, with Holy Spirit’s help, I will learn to be mindful, to allow emotions to be exposed and to Love those emotions, no matter what they are, instead of resisting them.

Not allowing those emotions to surface is rather like trying to hold a beach ball under water. Eventually it will pop up to the surface, no matter how hard I wrestle it to hold it down. Only with Holy Spirit can I deal with the beach ball and the monkey mind that is trying to keep the beach ball under the water. No need for guilt. No need for blame. Only releasing to the Holy Spirit will heal these wounds enough until I get to the original wound of the separation.

I was terrified of abandonment. Do I feel abandoned by God? Ego mind sure does. Was I acting like a do-gooder so I wouldn’t be punished? Isn’t that an ego trick to convince God I am worthy of Her Love? “If I’m perfect enough, will God Love me?” ego says. Wouldn’t God just love Doris Day? I mean she is so sweet and so funny and so kind to everyone. “If I fix the world, won’t God let me into heaven?” ego says?

I am grateful I didn’t choose to act out as a drug addict or a promiscuous girl or a criminal. But, there is no judgment from God on “how” we act out. Acting out is fear. All fear needs is to have the Love of God shining onto it so there are no more dark corners to scare little girls who don’t know God is right there beside them, loving them, trying to tell them there is no such thing as abandonment. I am not alone. I was never alone.

Thank you God. I am so grateful for Holy Spirit, for ACIM and for my worthy companions on the path to God. We are all shining our Light into those dark corners together because God’s Love shines through us every time we choose again. Today, I choose again.

Rev. Rosemarie Tropf is a Pathways of Light minister living in Safety Harbor, Florida.  Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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