The Gift of Pain
Learning to Speak the Language
Are you feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed out, and frustrated? Has this nightmare become your new normal? Are you seeking to gain or regain Mastery over your life as a result of feeling this pain?
Then you have just opened the gift you’ve given yourself, my friend, and that’s good news. You see, the pain you are experiencing in your life now is the result of past choices that you’ve made. What catches up with us are the consequences of those decisions, for which we are responsible. Depending on our choices there can be a lot of pain.
Why so much pain? Well usually, if our pain is speaking to us as feeling unhappy, lonely, sick, or broke, it’s because we’ve been ignoring the message our pain has been more subtly sending us for a while – until the whisper has become a scream. The pain will often get our attention but the message contained within our pain too many times is ignored, or not even recognized.
First, let’s be clear you are not your pain – you are the one who is feeling the pain. The gift your pain has brought you lies in understanding its message. This is why learning to speak the language and developing a better understanding of how pain communicates is so critical. Imagine driving a car and not seeing the red light on the dashboard – or seeing it but not being able to understand what it means. Or, you can compare it to street din in a foreign country, if you don’t speak the language you only hear the noise.
Pain speaks to us in two ways: first physical and second non-physical, such as emotional, mental, and spiritual.
It’s easy to recognize what’s happening with physical pain for instance you stub your toe on a piece of furniture and the message of the pain says, “Don’t do that again!” And so you take informed action and maybe move that piece of furniture. With our emotional pain, however, the message is often misunderstood and so we move into ill-informed action, experience more pain from those consequences, and repeat the cycle.
There’s a lot of reasons why we do this but basically, we’ve been trained to discard the information in our non-physical senses. So it’s not uncommon to go to the doctor and have them ask you, “Where is your physical pain on a scale of 1 to 10?” Non-physical pain, on the other hand, is much more fluid and so is not as easily pinned down.
Attuning ourselves to the non-physical message of our pain helps bring our awareness back to our self, to our needs, and what it takes for us to feel safe, secure, and healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. A popular example that people use is the instructions one is given when boarding an airplane for putting on your oxygen mask first should there be an emergency while in flight. To do this, we may have to change our mindset around what we consider to be selfish behavior and begin looking at what we are actually doing when we try and put someone else’s oxygen mask on for them – while we are on the verge of blacking out from our own lack of oxygen.
This means that your pain has pushed you into self-care. Thank you Pain, this is just the beginning of a bold new relationship! Well, now that you have your attention, what can we do to make it better moving forward?