Suffering is difficult, taxing, painful, and sometimes debilitating. Suffering to me is any energy that makes you feel limited, held back, stuck, confined, a general feeling of misery. Suffering may be the result of a painful external event and often overstays its visit in our hearts and minds. Certain limiting and self-defeating thoughts may be seeded during this painful event and then watered with matching painful feelings, eventually growing into beliefs that distort the current moment with a veil of suffering. Often we feel these painful emotions such as fear, anxiety, deep sadness, anger, resentment, guilt, shame, and other painful emotions before we are aware of the thought or belief the feelings tend to fuel. These feelings can be challenging to experience and to manage. In fact, we often try our best to rid of the feelings by either avoiding, suppressing, or projecting them on to others, behaving in ways we regret. They can feel daunting and relentless especially when we find we are stuck in a lower energetic feedback loop of thought/belief, feeling, and body discomfort which then extends to our external worlds. This energy keeps us cycling in confusion and suffering.
However, with a change of perspective rather than condemning and hating these types of feelings it is possible to respect, even welcome, their presence. They are actually cuing an imbalance of your internal and external states of being. These feelings are providing an opportunity for the healing of unresolved past experiences and memories and are offering a lesson for further growth and expansion towards your highest potential.
How do you release the attachment to suffering? An effective way is to cut the cord or attachment of suffering that’s binding you to another person, place, situation, or even to your own mind. Cutting cords is not an act out of spite or revenge, but rather out of love and compassion. It clears the energy and restores balance to your energetic presence, thus realignment with your sacred self.
If you are cutting a cord between you and an external energy and feel hesitant to do so, it is helpful to remember others’ attachment to suffering are for them to heal and to resolve. If the cord stays attached to you, then you are actually blocking an opportunity for them to do their own healing and expanding. Staying attached may promote codependency of relying on people or situations for feeling “good” and/or blaming people or situations for feeling “bad”. This also holds true for any lower, negative cords you have attached to yourself due to your own distorted, self-defeating thoughts. You can become codependent on your very own way of thinking or feeling.
SOUL HEALING PRACTICE
The following are three steps to cutting cords of suffering. It is most beneficial and effective to apply this soul healing practice when you have the space, patience, and willingness to explore the experience with curiosity and compassion. I also recommend experimenting with the soul healing practice, change and refine it as needed in order to make it your own personal practice that resonates with you and is unique to you.
1) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
As previously stated, accept the presence of suffering, of painful feelings, as a cue there is a soul imbalance. This soul imbalance is asking to be acknowledged in order to restore peace and harmony. Suffering involves an energetic exchange of energies from you to another person, place, or circumstance and even an energetic exchange within your mind and heart. Taking responsibility is addressing your part in the exchange. Ask yourself: when have I felt this before? Often, but not always, feelings of suffering can be traced all the way back to childhood when distorted and self-defeating thoughts were seeded and grew into beliefs that may not be readily known, until an external circumstance activates the belief to be seen in the present. However, this lower vibrational belief was always activated and operated below the radar creating a negative feedback loop, causing suffering. Sometimes these beliefs may not originate during childhood and occur later, but the process is often similar. An external event causes internal distress, a self-defeating, limiting thought is seeded and can grow into a belief disrupting our present perception like static or interference on a radio signal.
In the case of anger or resentment you may have of another’s behavior, it may actually be a reflection of a distorted, self-defeating thought or belief you hold of yourself. For example, if you find yourself getting irritated with a “know it all” or someone acting superior, there may be an aspect of yourself you believe is a “know it all” or has the potential to be a “know it all” that you have not fully accepted, but actually rejected. Your rejection of an aspect of yourself creates anger and resentment even guilt and shame towards yourself and others. This rejection cultivates self-defeating thoughts leading to harsh and even punishing self-talk. This cycle can actually manifest adverse external circumstances, creating negative feedback loops, thus suffering. Acceptance is about loving every part of you. It also brings awareness and clarity, which then offers a choice to either act from or not act from that aspect of yourself. If you choose to act it out, then awareness also offers a choice of how, from a space of love or from a space of lack.
Another element in taking responsibility is to explore the exchange of energy a little deeper, especially if you felt disempowered. The presence of fear, anger, resentment, emotional pain, even guilt may also be the result of not having your needs met and/or feeling disempowered. Consult your mind for any thoughts of disempowerment such as: I feel restricted; I don’t matter; I feel small, so I must be small; or I’m stupid. Also, visit my blog post, “THE ART OF DISENTANGLING YOUR MIND” (15 March 2016), for further explanation of exploring your mind for limiting thoughts and beliefs that create a lower vibrational feedback loop. From this space of acknowledgement, the difficult feelings can be transformed into empowerment by setting soul boundaries in your relationships (all relationships, including the relationship you have with your mind and heart), letting go of relationships or aspects that are holding back your highest potential, or voicing your needs which will be explained further below. Use your voice from a space of worthiness and love, including your inner voice. Understand neither of you are higher or lower than the other, but perceiving an experience differently.
Taking responsibility for your part doesn’t excuse another person’s poor behavior, but promotes empowerment and compassion as they are a reflection of us and how we may relate to ourselves and the external. In the reflection, we may find an aspect within us that needs to be healed or to be strengthened. Rather than feeling victimized, you regain your power. This awareness interrupts a negative, lower vibrational feedback loop due to a change in perspective allowing a positive shift in the energy between you and your external world. Awareness offers an opportunity for forgiveness, especially of yourself and also offers an opportunity for reflecting back clarity and love, thus creating a positive, higher vibrational feedback loop.
2) FORGIVE AND CUT THE CORDS
Prior to forgiving and cutting the cords, it is helpful to have an understanding for the negative, lower frequency behavior. Often, but not always, it was rooted in fear or hurt. The more compassion and empathy you can offer to the suffering, the wider the door to healing and growth is opened for peace and harmony to be restored. For example, you may find thoughts such as: I or they reacted with anger out of fear; I made you feel small because I’m afraid or because I feel small; or I shut you out because I was hurt.
Forgiveness typically starts with you. It involves dissolving the heaviness, the burden that you carry due to suffering or from a negative feedback loop. The more awareness you have of your own self-defeating, limiting thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, the more power you generate. Again, it is at this point you give yourself a choice to act from a space of suffering or disempowerment or from a space of clarity, peace, and empowerment. How you address the suffering matters. Harsh and punishing self talk only perpetuates the cycle of suffering, keeps it fueled for relentless rotations. Try compassion, which may take some practice if you are used to talking to yourself in a certain way. Comfort yourself like comforting a child, loved one, or pet who is scared or hurt. Offer unconditional love in the form of loving feelings, sensations, visual mental imagery, or all of the above. Saying to yourself, “I understand why I or you reacted in that way because I or you were afraid or I understand why or you gave your power away, it’s a pattern from childhood”.
The key to cutting cords of suffering is to do so with unconditional love, higher vibrational energy. You can also cut cords of aspects of a relationship or aspects of yourself that feels stifling, heavy, limiting. It is helpful to utilize visual mental or mind’s eye imagery and symbolism to imagine the cutting of these cords. See yourself holding a sword of absolute purifying light and then see the cord(s) that are attached to a person, situation, or even to your own thoughts that are causing suffering and disempowerment. Imagine yourself as a warrior, full of confidence and empowerment and swing the sword so it cleanly severs the cord(s). If it feels as though numerous cords are attached, you can swing the sword in all directions, cutting the cords cleanly and swiftly. If you do not resonate with a sword, then use any instrument that has the ability to cut the cord(s). The instrument you use will be unique to you, but imagine it as a powerful tool, that is infused with higher vibrational energy, purifying light. If the instrument still carries anger, resentment, or pain, the cutting of the cord will only fuel more suffering, keep the negative, lower feedback loop rotating.
Once the cords are cut, feel a sensation of relief or lightness, as the tension is released. You can offer an intention of, “I set you free, as I am now free”. Imagine a bright light within your soul’s core expanding rays of purifying, white light as bright and powerful as a star and then see the same for whomever or whatever the cord was attached. The space between is flooded with light and unconditional love, as you see the person, situation, or an aspect of yourself begin to freely dissipate and fade away peacefully, to be transcended into a higher vibrational energy. The imagining of this light helps to release the cord with unconditional love. It also helps to further clear the energy and space around you including within your own mind and heart. I also imagine the cords and its attachment, are not being released below or above me, but on equal level remembering love has no hierarchy. If the cord or its attachment are persistent in its hold on you and doesn’t quite want to be released so easily, you can try offering another burst of purifying light.
This visualization will be even more effective when you make it your own and becomes your own unique personal practice. It is important for you to experiment with the imagery so it truly resonates with your sacred self. Again, the soul healing practice will not be effective if you try to release the cords with anger, resentment, or guilt.
3) SET BOUNDARIES
Now that you are hopefully in a space of clarity and love, restore your power and set appropriate soul boundaries to protect yourself from potential lower vibrational attachments and cords in the future. This again is an act of love by taking care of yourself which in turn takes care of others. Boundaries can take many forms and will be unique to the circumstance.
Soul boundaries can be internal, energetic boundaries like a shift in perspective to include feelings and/or thoughts of empowerment such as: I don’t like feeling restricted, I am free; I invite those who encourage and support my expansiveness and release those who don’t; or I matter and do not deserve this treatment. Another type of internal, energetic boundary may be a vow that you will replenish and recharge yourself, place your needs and desires before others in order to open yourself to receiving and to restore a reciprocal exchange of energy, especially if you have a tendency to be an over giver. Boundaries can be external such pulling back your energy or focus, not being readily available, or creating space between you and others or situations where you feel trapped, held back, unsupported. Sometimes its necessary to let go of these types of relationships which includes the whole relationship or aspects of the relationship or even how you relate to yourself, knowing the relationship has served its purpose and is not meant to go further if it doesn’t provide mutual growth and expansion. Expressing your needs and desires are also a way to set an external or even internal boundary and may include: I need to speak my truth; I need space or time alone; I need time to focus on my passion; or It is not OK for you to speak to or treat me in that way.
It is natural to feel some discomfort when setting boundaries. Feelings of guilt may surface when setting boundaries. We all fear rejection, even the rejection from those or things causing suffering. Trust the desire to set the boundaries, to resolve the suffering. Remind yourself others can take care of themselves when you say “no” just as you are taking care of yourself. You are actually interfering with their own growth and expansion by not setting soul boundaries. In fact, by not setting boundaries you unintentionally create fertile grounds for codependency which is not serving either of you. Even as a caregiver, it is still vital to set boundaries in support of your wellbeing so that you are able to care for your loved one to the best of your ability (i.e. giving yourself time for respite and rest, hobbies, passions, etc.).
It is essential to set soul boundaries with unconditional love and worthiness and not hate or unworthiness. The energy of the boundary matters. Set with hate or unworthiness you may notice others will continue to cross or even destroy your boundaries. Set with love they will learn to respect and honor your boundaries or just let you go. Please note if you are setting boundaries within a codependent relationship there is a potential the other party may cling tighter or lash out for a period of time, as they are adjusting to the shift in energy. Also, if you are currently in an unsafe environment, your physical and emotional wellbeing are always first before implementing a firm external boundary. It is recommended you take necessary measures to ensure your safety by seeking safety first with people or services you trust.
Cutting cords is also beneficial to use any time you’ve been surrounded by any type of negativity or lower vibrational energy, whether it’s your own or others. This can include envy and jealousy or circumstances or places that carry energy of hate or toxicity. I cut cords when I feel depleted or drained after interacting with people or from a situation or a place. For example, when someone comes to me for guidance, I typically cleanse myself with this soul healing practice after our interaction to release any attachments either one of us has made so we know we are working with our own energy and not confused by the other’s energy.
You may find as you practice, gratitude for the person or circumstance may grow for bringing an opportunity of soul growth and expansion. They have provided you an opportunity to grow deeper in your truth and to align with your sacred self.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE SOUL HEALING PRACTICE
I sought guidance from a spiritual teacher. I immediately was feeling irritated and angry in her presence. I noticed a power struggle forming between us. She was direct and offering teachings that I’ve already learned. I felt she was “condescending” and I felt belittled. I was aware that I wasn’t receiving her teachings because “I already knew it”.
After our session, I explored the feelings deeper. I realized her “condescending” approach is something I often worry about when I offer guidance. I would “hate” to think I was condescending in any way. I worry if others perceive me as a “know it all” or teaching from a superior place. I realized my irritation towards her was a potential aspect of myself I would or do “hate”. Notice the use of the word “hate”, which is an example of harsh, internal self talk.
I found the experience was also a beautiful teaching tool to restore my soul’s power and to set some boundaries. I realized when someone acts superior, sometimes I submit to their dominance by giving my power away so they feel good in the moment. I listened to her with anger and resentment and left feeling empty rather than standing in my worth and using my voice. I could have voiced to her I understand what she was teaching, but I wanted to know more about something else or voiced that her approach felt harsh. I realized in that moment, I am also a spiritual teacher and to stop pretending like I am not and to not be afraid of shining my light. Upon this internal dialogue, I established a boundary of empowerment and a vow to stand in worthiness.
I forgave myself for regressing into an old childhood pattern of letting others dominate me to where I feel like I don’t have a voice. I also forgave myself for “hating” a potential aspect of myself of superiority. I don’t have to act it out, but just love every part of me or I can choose how I act it out from a place of love rather than lack.
I then imagined holding a sword of purifying light to cut any remaining lower vibrational cords between us and within my own mind. I felt a deep sense of relief with each severing motion of the sword as the cords began to fade away. I then offered the intention, “I set you free, as I am free”, and saw a light within me expand rays of pure, white light as bright as a star and saw the same for her as she began to freely and peacefully fade away. The space between was filled with warm, luminous white light. It was done. I knew I had released her from my energy so that she and I both may be free.
Thank you for another opportunity for healing, expansion, and soul elevation.
The purpose of this blog is to share with you how I integrate my professional mental health experience, personal experience, and spiritual awareness in the form of soul healing practices. By sharing my experience, it is my hope it will provide a practical example of how to interrupt and eventually resolve the cyclic energy of suffering and to elevate your soul.
These practices work best when you are ready to heal and expand. It is OK if you are not quite ready. Please be gentle and patient with yourself. You will heal and expand when you are ready. Sending you so much love, warmth, and compassion.
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PLEASE BE ADVISED
The soul healing practices provided in this blog are meant as a tool to aid in healing and not for psychotherapy or social work practice requiring a contractual, professional relationship. If you need consistent therapeutic care and/or crisis intervention due to being at risk of harming yourself or others, then seek professional and/or emergency services immediately.
© Stacy L. Pintor 2016. All Rights Reserved.
Updated in 2022 by Stacy L. Pintor
(No part of this blog may be reproduced without written permission from the author.)