There are three main types of suffering: body pain, emotional pain, and mental torment. They go together so naturally that it is hard to tell them apart. Let’s use a person who suffers from migraine headaches as an example. As the pain of the migraine become incapacitating, the person must stop all activities and retreat.
This opens up the door of mental torment, as the mind repeats phrases such as, “What if this is another five-day ordeal? I have to finish this project for the deadline! I’ve already missed so much work, what if I’m fired?” Angry feelings at being out of control of your body or life get mixed in. Memories of similar past experiences flood you, adding to the distress.
There is a simple way to gain control over this type of suffering. Briefly talk to yourself about the actual situation by asking the question, “What is true right now?” For example, “My head is in pain, my mind is spinning in negative thoughts, and I’m afraid. The only thing real is the pain in my head. The thoughts and feelings are imagined.” Immediately let go of everything that isn’t true. When you drop out the mental and emotional elements, the physical pain may seem less severe.
The second question is, “What can I do about this right now?” Maybe stopping all activity to lie down with a pillow over your eyes will bring relief. Perhaps you can take a pain reliever. Take some kind of action to help yourself.
Once you have a grasp of the situation, pray. Turn to your guardian angel, or God, or Spirit for help. Very simply, tell your angel what you have discovered. Ask to be held in the comfort and love of your angel’s embrace. Then relax in trust of the desire to feel a response. Each time you catch yourself in mental torment, return to your prayer.
You may feel the sweetest gentleness slip quietly over you, only to be snatched out by anxiety. Again, look for what is true and call to your angel to be held in love. In immediate response, a tender sensation washes through you, bringing relaxation.
You may go back and forth like this for a while before you can surrender to the comfort your guardian angel is offering. While your body may still be in pain, your soul can be embraced by the comfort of your guardian angel’s loving presence.