Sometimes our initial reaction to something isn't always the most effective response. When it comes to pain, we have an innate, compulsive reaction to immediately seek relief. Pain is to be avoided. But if we look past this impulse, we may be able to observe another characteristic of pain: it is like an alarm going off, signaling for our attention. Two opposing forces; an impulsive avoidance signal and a more subtle inviting signal. Chronic pain is like walking around wearing layers of stinky shirts - everywhere we go, the foul smell (pain) follows us. Pain relief is like spraying air freshener throughout the room. No matter how much air freshener we spray, we are still wearing the stinky shirts. Another approach is to take off the shirt, but to do that we have to bring our awareness to it, which at first causes us to notice the bad smell even more. Nevertheless, we can't do anything to get rid of the shirt until we remove it and separate it from our body. That is the first step. Likewise, with our chronic pain, the first step is to bring our awareness to it. At first, it is going to seem like it is expanding as we focus on it, but this is temporary. Soon after, we can observe a separation similar to the separation of removing the shirt. The pain is still present, but as long as we are observing it, there is a certain amount of freedom. When we stop observing it, we lose that separation - the shirt is back on our body. Can you notice this? Spirituality is about persistently removing the shirts. Whenever there is pain present, it is an invitation to remove another stinky shirt. Again, when we first focus on the shirt, the smell will increase then when we remove it, the smell will slowly decrease. When the smell is completely gone, then we no longer have to wear that shirt and can move on to the next one. The next shirt will very likely smell worse than the last one. Faith is the idea that if we continue to remove stinky shirts, eventually there will be no more left and the bad smell will be gone for good.