For some people, reuniting with family & friends over the holiday season can be less than spectacular. Have you heard of the Pain-Body?

In Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth, he describes the pain-body as, “…a semiautonomous energy-form that lives within most human beings, an entity made up of emotion. It has its own primitive intelligence, not unlike a cunning animal, and its intelligence is directed primarily at survival. Like all life-forms, it periodically needs to feed-to take in new energy-and the food it requires to replenish itself consists of energy that is compatible with its own, which is to say, energy that vibrates at a similar frequency. Any emotionally painful experience can be used as food by the pain-body.”

Pretty heavy stuff, I know. Essentially what he is saying is that, even though we don’t want to believe it, there is a part in all of us that feeds off of negative thinking and that actually likes drama! When we push other people’s buttons on purpose this is what’s going on!

Tolle goes on to explain that the Pain-Body is usually triggered by a situation that is affiliated with a certain kind of emotional pain suffered in the past. This is why most people’s Pain-Bodies come out at family events. We tend to hang on to a lot of past hurts and resentments when it comes to our families. Imagine all of this coming to the table in one seating!

Tolle says the best way to lose identification with the Pain-Body is to recognize it when it comes out. Acknowledge the pain and negative emotion you are feeling. Just being aware of it is all you need. Tolle says, “The knowing prevents the old emotion from rising up into your head and taking over not only the internal dialogue, but also your actions as well as interactions with other people.”

Action Challenge:

Pick up a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth, if you haven’t read it already. In the meantime, be aware of those past hurts that resurface when you’re around family and even old-friends this holiday season. Say hello to your Pain-Body and wish it well as you say good-bye!