By Adriana Attento

Adriana Attento

No one likes pain. For many people, emotional and/or physical pain can burden and depress a life that offers many moments to be grateful for, so much material abundance to appreciate, and so many relationships in which to find and express love.
 
Yet, there is a reason why Paul Brand, a long-time researcher of leprosy, proclaimed pain to be the gift that nobody wants. Though disguised with suffering, pain bears many blessings. When unwrapped using inquiry and self-exploration, pain can lead to inner peace, understanding, insight, and self-acceptance. When each layer of pain is peeled away, there is a core energy that lies within, a sort of nucleus holding an entire cluster of painful emotions, memories, thoughts, and images together. That energetic center is where one can find the gift within the suffering.
 
That core within, where pain and pleasure are one, where spirit and suffering meet, can lead to the authentic expression of a soul-aligned purpose. For example, one’s battle with addiction may later become the inner drive to advocate for sobriety. A traumatic event can later lead to writing screenplays, books, and poems. In my case, I never would have thought that I would be teaching Tantra. No, I am not instructing people to position themselves in certain sexual poses with their partner, but I am a teacher of the creative force and how it can be used to expand consciousness. Often when people hear or read Tantra, they think of sexuality. Yet, the word Tantra comes from the two Sanskrit words tanoti, which means expansion, and trayati, which means liberation. Tantra attempts to expand awareness to include all opposing aspects of oneself, such as male and female, dark and light, pain and pleasure.
 
After a life-altering sexual experience at the age of eight, writing became the way in which to explore my inner world and uncover ways to work with pain and discomfort. In order to feel safe after that experience, I became intellectual instead of imaginative, contained instead of creative. It was as though as something within stopped moving, stopped flowing, stopped swaying. The ocean inside froze up, leaving me disconnected to the forever flowing universe and therefore depressed and dispirited. Journaling was a method to investigate suffering and to ride on pain’s emotional waves, seeing through its transparency and discovering it as nothing more than a form of energy. Writing not only got the flow going again, it also led to a center within where energy is born, where all things are possible, and where pain and pleasure are one.
 
Exploring your painful moments can be an opening towards purpose. Diving into your challenges can be a doorway into passion. Although most are resistant to pain and challenge, Joseph Campbell reminds us, “The cave you fear to enter, holds the treasure you seek.” Besides, the pain and suffering in your life is part of your purpose. It is precisely the path you must walk in order to become who you are meant to be. So, what drives you? What propels? What stirs inside? Because finding your purpose is a gift that benefits everyone!

Adriana Attento
Adriana Attento facilitates your relationship with life so that you can connect with your authenticity, your unique voice, and purpose in the world. Adriana is known as The Natural Coach, helping you find what is naturally arising in YOU so that your next steps are clear! She has a Master’s degree in Depth Psychology, is the author of 3 books, and lives in Hawaii and California.