Are you burying your head in the sand?

January 12, 2011

The other day I was sitting in my dentist’s chair waiting to hear his diagnosis on my tooth ache. I don’t know about you, but I truly dislike the whole experience about being at the dentist. Even the sounds that the dentist’s tools make are enough to get me edgy.  Anyway, he was trying to figure out the source of my ache by inducing cold sensations on my tooth. Each time his cold tool made the slightest contact with my tooth, I felt my body contract and my eyes shut firmly.  All I could feel was the excruciating pain. Now, saying that it was a spiritual experience would be a little off, but, actually it did get me thinking on a deeper level afterwards. Just like my tooth ache that caused me to shut my eyes and completely disabled me to think about anything else, other sorts of pain, those that we tend to feel in our hearts and minds, turn off our ability to see clearly, cause us to shut our eyes to the possibility of being healed and block our capacity to make conscious choices that would lead us into more satisfying lives.

Although no one likes feeling pain, it is as necessary as feeling joy in life. Without it, we wouldn’t feel the urge to bring about positive change in our lives. If my tooth did not ache, I wouldn’t have chosen to go to the dentist to get treated out of the blue, for example. You’d agree with me that the physical pain is probably easier to recognize and act upon than heart/mind sort of pain. No matter what we do to distract ourselves from the physical pain, it is there, and there is no way of not noticing it. With nonphysical pains this is different. We humans are extremely creative about finding ways to hide or distract ourselves from this sort of pain, and hence, have quite an ability to evade chances of truly healing our souls. We tend to find temporary solutions to our sufferings, but at the end, the underlying problem does not go away. We feel stressed? We cannot stand our workload, boss or colleague? We go for a walk, for a jog, for a swim, watch a movie, binge eat, drink, smoke etc. But when we’re done with doing whatever we were doing to get away from it all, although we feel more relieved, the problem lingers.

Khalil Gibran says in his poem, Pain, “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding”. Feeling pain is essential for understanding our core selves. So, instead of hiding ourselves from our feelings of pain, what we should do is seek to understand them.  We need to reach a level of mindful awareness to recognize what’s going on inside our heads and hearts. Instead of shutting our eyes and covering our ears, we should try to see, hear and grasp what it is that we are truly feeling, what our values are and what are our must-haves to be in happier, more satisfying careers, relationships, etc. If you feel that you cannot do this alone, you’re puzzled, you’re in conflict with yourself, blocked or have a sense of constant restlessness, turning to a coach for help would be beneficial for you at least in order to raise your level of awareness and start thinking about what it would be like to live a life over which you have absolute control.

Don’t bury your head in the sand like an ostrich to avoid facing your pain and confronting life. Acknowledge your pain and try to see it with your eyes wide open and listen to it with open ears. Surely it is trying to tell you something and sending you signals to take some action.



  1. Great post, Güley!

    I read a great quote earlier this week, by the poet T.S. Eliot. “If you’re not in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”

    Gracias de nuevo por tu inspiracion!

  2. Thanks for being a regular reader of mine Jack! And thanks for the great quote.

  3. Nice writing and good message, Güley. Be courageous and understand where our suffering is coming from. Don’t isolate, and find someone to help us in dealing with our pain.

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