The meaning of pain
23 August 2014
We often find ourselves in situations that we think unfair that cause us what we think is undue pain that we do not wish to accept, that we think is not meant for us, should not exist in our lives
What we tend to forget though is that such situations exist to help us evolve, learn about ourselves , our limits, learn tools that would be necessary to help ourselves and help others in often similar circumstances.
When I talk about pain, I do not talk about mere physical pain inflicted upon one by another or by oneself but about the pain that is borne out of hardship, the pain that one feels when unknown change is about to happen in one’s life, the pain that one feels in being engrossed in the feeling of failure, of helplessness or exhaustion, in brief, the pain of letting go of what one is used to, one’s control over one’s life and accepting what is to come.
There was a time when I would feel punished for having to go through any sort of pain but after some events where what I learnt during times of hardship was put to good use later on, I started realizing that pain was not an idle item in life. Pain had a mission and it was about exacerbating the sensation, the feeling to a point where the mind becomes totally malleable and receptive to the ideas and lessons gravitating all around one. Every single item in life is a teacher and every atom bears a lesson to be learnt.
After these experiences, I now welcome such pain for I know that it will teach me something about myself that it will teach me something that will allow me to help another in difficult times.
I do not mean that one should be like a masochist seeking pain. There is a difference between seeking and attracting pain and accepting it in your life if it is meant to form and transform you into the person you are meant to be. Without pain in one’s life, one would tend to want to glide away into the oblivion of an easy life, not realizing what one’s fellow human beings are experiencing.
We surround ourselves every day with idle items of life in order to escape feelings while to feel is the greatest treasure of all. One of the funniest examples of this is the interaction you will get when you say that you are really not doing well to someone who just asked you whether you were ok and just meant it in the social sense without heeding your response. More often than not, the person would have just responded “good”, not realizing what you actually said. We tend to live our lives in an automated way, blending into the most current thoughts, the most usual ways of expressing oneself in society without actually thinking and feeling what is happening within and around us.
We don’t want to think. We don’t want to feel. There are even a multitude of expressions thwarting from feeling in every human language a few examples of which in English are “man up”, “it is not worth crying about”, “it will pass”, “grit your teeth and move on”, “be strong”, etc. We are so bent on not feeling the hardships that come our way that we only go through them gritting our teeth and holding on tight to our hope it will be over quickly while we go through it. What we forget is that the hardship is the goal of the moment for it is teaching you precious insight about yourself and about your surroundings. We are meant to feel every inkling of what is happening while we are in the eye of the storm, to think about it and not about when it is over, to ponder on our reactions while we are living it not to paint a rosy picture of what will come after the hardship and cling to that rosy thought. We are not meant however, to completely dissolve in our pain, thoughtless, full of abjection and of self-reprisal but we are meant to be active receptors of the pain, welcoming its effects on our psyche and using its energy to transform.
Pain is the catalyst of change. It is a wake-up call, a reminder that we are here not to accumulate wealth or anything material but a range of experiences and interactions that are meant to help us all evolve.
Above all, pain is a reminder that we can feel, that we are not numb and that the dulling of our senses is not meant to be, that we are meant to feel and thrive on feeling.
When one accepts pain as well as its lessons and integrates that discovery into one’s being, the only outcome of pain is love, an all-encompassing love for one’s human state, for what we are, what we could be, what we are meant to be, what we shall become.