I got what felt like stomach poisoning in the middle of a shower shortly after I had drank some sugary grape juice. It really started to hurt, but I managed to finish rinsing my hair of conditioner while I crouched under the running water. The pounding water on my back kept my mind off the pain a little, but the pain wasn't going anywhere away from the forefront of my mind. Turning the shower head off, the stomach ache was enough to make me sick. Even though I thought to myself that it was just a small ailment, probably from the excessive sugar in my system mixed with udon for dinner, I felt myself wanting to hurl. Whatever possibility that might make me feel better, I tried. So, I lied down in some kind of a circle, or fetal position I had deemed it, curling to the shape of the shower in the hopes I would just feel better instantly like I usually did with small aches. I decided to lie on my left side as doing so can help with digestion. The pain did not instantly cease, and I wondered if my dad was getting a stomach ache, too.
During the maybe five minutes I was immobilized in the shower, I tried hard not to give in, telling myself "This was nothing," "It's just a stomach ache." All these positive thoughts from my daily affirmations book and meditation quotes came flooding into my head, reminding me to stick it out, accept the pain, accept reality, stay with it, celebrate your suffering. As I note this, I am actually quite surprised that some of that stuff actually managed to sink in, proud almost that I was able to control my thoughts to that extent even in my pain. Nonetheless, isn't that the same as wishing my pain away? Forget optimistic thinking -- all I wanted was anything else but the immediate reality. Anyone can tell me that everyone feels this way, but then how does that explain the article on celebrating one's suffering? It got me to ponder, "Truly, what does it mean?"
Meditation itself could be just that -- an excuse to run from pain, or rather, to stop it. "Why do you make yourself suffer?," Osho might ask. "Why do you try to celebrate suffering?," I ask back. Osho might never say that, but it still leaves me puzzled. What is the difference between going with the flow and celebrating one's pain?
I eventually stopped thinking. In the end, it was after breathing through the stomach for five minutes that got me through until I somewhat felt better. Well, I heard people coming in, so I started to stand up slowly from my crouched positioning and consequently left for my bedroom. It was so hot on the second floor; I had to make the AC come on before I collapsed. When I reached the bed, I felt queasy again and fell on it with a wet towel around me.
And then, I thought some more. I took a nap, lying on my left side, my wet hair soaking my pillow, sucking the heat out of me. I thought how ironic it was that the hot temperature would make me feel stuffy when in fact, I had become very cold and now wanted more warmth. How paradoxical is pain as is life. Or maybe it's just plain simple, or complexly simple...or simply complex. Or maybe we're just picky. We want pain. I want to celebrate my pain. Yet is wishing it away really the best I can do when the time comes?
I thought of paradoxes. I thought maybe the sugar had reached my open wounds from my recent tooth extractions and got into my bloodstream. I thought of all the potential pains I would receive in the future. I thought of God, about fate, the purpose of pain, the purpose of my pain. I thought of how gullible I am to comforts, tagging life's events to such a simple word as 'fate'. Because it just makes sense. Now, I can move on. It is what it is -- I must accept it and move forward. Because that is my single best choice. It is my favorite. Usually.
So many thoughts went through this head. It felt like, if I wasn't imagining it, this life's purpose was right in front of me, waiting for the capture.
Celebrating suffering. My suffering. So this is it.
Pain. Is this the question to all of my answers? Or is God testing me, fate? Am I testing myself, my fate, by choosing to suffer?
Pain. It really must make the world go 'round.
It really makes my world go 'round.
No, it must be that I make pain have the world go 'round.
Nothing must be or must not be this or that. Nothing has to be anything. And nothing has to be everything. And pain is not pain. And alas, celebrating is suffering, and suffering is celebrating. One is All -- All is One. In this oxymoron known as Celebrating Suffering.
End Circular Paradox End
Stomach poisoning. Ow.