“Only Pain Has Preserved You”

–a favorite quote of mine by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, otherwise known as “Isha”.

The concept that Vasudev discusses is not limited to hair itself by any means.

The intelligence we’ve been endowed with by God is useful to even the most basic of instincts and “feelings”, if you will.

As Vasudev points out, anything that does not cause acute pain to one’s self is something that one may choose to repeat. This is the basis of his argument. “If it causes me no physical harm, it must be alright”, people say. It is only when we become more precise in our own consciousness concerning our bodies. Only then do we begin to understand the pain that we are experiencing when we do such things.

Such things can include the use of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol and other stimulants.

Someone once told me that “a person who experiences far worse “hangovers” is considerably less at-risk of becoming an alcoholic”.

In my own life, I smoked cigarettes for nearly a decade. Aside from mild coughing in the mornings or time to time, I felt little pain or reasons to be concerned about my health concerning my tobacco use. Thus, I continued to smoke for a considerable amount of time. In the following years, I would smoke on rare occasion and only then did I become fully aware of the detrimental nature of smoking. I would become slightly light-headed, sweat profusely, be short of breath, my heart rate increased exponentially and I would develop ulcers on whatever side of my mouth I had smoked. I also felt physically exhausted after those experiences and would often get a headache. In my 8 years of smoking over a pack/day, I had never experienced that (however I did have chronic lower back pain, which I later found out was due to my smoking). It was ultimately the result of conditioning my body to put up with such nonsense–a true stumbling block to physical well-being and reaching one’s potential. I would compare being a smoker to having a terminal illness. It’s a constant source of adversity for the body that’s completely unwarranted, not to mention the fact that cigarettes cost nearly $7/pack.

In this way, only pain has preserved me.

The argument has begun to extend to other areas of my life as well. As I eliminate one source of unhealthiness, another tends to rear it’s ugly head. This is good. It’s means that I’m in tune with my body in a way that is most beneficial. I find that there have been times in my life when I’ve put so much garbage into it that identifying what made me sick or experience discomfort is a challenge in itself.


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