In this article, I will talk about the importance of pain and why pain is actually our friend.
I’m sure that you have heard these before: ‘Pain is good’ or ‘no pain, no gain’ or ‘pain is weakness leaving the body’. All of the above are correct and not just for those with a knack for S’n’M.
We live in a very technologically advanced world where we enjoy everything so effortlessly. For example, 10-15 years ago before the mobile phone revolution, we had to find a public phone where we could actually make a phone call. Now all we need to do is put our hand in our pocket and take out our mobile phone and hit one button. Or even less than that. Voice activation only requires us to hold one button and say ‘call home’. Everything else is taken care by the mobile phone itself.
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Our memory is getting untrained
People are also being stupefied. Their memory is useless compared to that of 10 years ago since calendars and phone lists are taken over by our mobile phones. How many phone numbers do you know by heart? I am willing to guess that it is less than 10 if even that.
I remember a time where I could remember at least 20-30 phone numbers by heart. Now I can barely remember 10 myself. I have everything in my phone or elsewhere!
You see, in this time and age, we got lazy. Everything is made easy so that we can feel good and avoiding pain is the name of the game.
The importance of discomfort
We have forgotten lots of things. One of them is feeling discomfort.
Discomfort is a sign of growth. Remember when you were young, there were times when your whole mouth was in pain as your teeth were coming out. And that happened at least twice in your life, as the second time you got rid of your baby teeth and said hello to the permanent set of teeth that you use this very moment.
But that took time and pain was involved in the entire process. However, because you were young (and easily distracted by other things and the overwhelming amount of information hitting you in the face every other second of your existence), pain was never the center of attention for you.
The importance of pain
Unfortunately as we age, we tend to associate pain with illness, injuries or suffering. We forget that pain is also associated with change and change in turn, is associated with progress. Progress takes us to the land of our dreams.
And who does not want to get there?
However, we tend to ignore this fact and we resist this pain which creates conflict inside of us. This conflict creates bigger problems and in order to take our mind off the pain we indulge ourselves in hedonistic and addictive activities such as:
- Eating foods full of sugar,
- Being violent or breaking the law,
- Cheating and being involved in various sexual activities
- and other.
We take part in these activities to distract ourselves from the pain that we need to experience in order to take ourselves to the next level of existence.
One might ask ‘who defines the next level of my existence? Maybe I do not want to deal with this pain!’.
You define your next level of your existence.
The problem arises when the next level of your existence is defined by someone else other than you. Let me explain why.
When you decide to be or do something else (as the neo-hippy fans of Paulo Coelho might put it), ‘the universe conspires for you to get it’. That is actually very true for a simple reason. You are part of the universe, so when you want something, the universe helps you get it. But the universe is actually you! So if you want drama, then drama is what you will get. So the universe is not to blame, everything begins and ends within us.
What we think of, happens. It is that simple. Maybe the mechanics of it is a bit more complicated by what I just explained but it is there. If you want something really bad, you will find 1000 ways to get it. If you don’t you will find 1000 excuses not to get it.
Pain is normal. Just accept it and go with it. It will take you places.
Sometimes pain, when expressed in our bodies, is an indication of something going wrong. Then you must take heed of the message and take action (like call a doctor or stop pushing that knife into your gut!).
Going back to what I was saying about the next level of your existence. As Gandhi put it, “change starts from within”. When we want something to change and we make a plan and then take action, then after a bit of time (things take time) and effort (nothing is easy), we get the prize.
The importance of inner growth
If people are driven externally to make changes to their life, then this will cause conflict and conflict causes a different kind of pain. You see, the pain of inner growth is different than the pain of forced growth by external parameters.
For example, if you wish to get a better body and you want it because you want to look good so that YOU can feel better in your own skin, then all this is going to drive you harder and faster and give you all the tools, determination, dedication and motivation in order to succeed!
Now, if your desire for a better body comes from what seems to be internal but is in fact external, for example, you want to have a better body in order to attract sexual partners or the attention of a particular individual, then you might have a problem there. Actually two problems:
Problem A: You can’t be someone else
Even if you manage to get your goal of having a great body, your ultimate goal which is to be with miss or mister X may not be achieved. This simply because X might also need something that you not might have: something deeper like a solid character, or something shallow like more money or blue eyes, for example.
Problem B: Your goal must drive YOU!
So when rejection takes place, the person who was motivated based on solely external factors will feel failure on more levels than one, which might cause him or her to go into depression and throw away all their hard work.
There are cases when this can actually be a good thing and these people do appreciate all the hard effort and work they put in and use it to make the rest of their lives better but this is an inner battle that is not always won.
You could put any other goal in the place of a better body: a better house, better living situation, more money, the freedom to be anything you want or be anywhere you wish.
The process -when it comes to pain – is always the same and paying attention to where the motivation comes from (externally or internally) will, in turn, define if you are doing this for the right reasons or not, and how easier you can push through the pain you will find on your path.
As you can see, pain is an important factor in our growth and existence. Sometimes it is there to signal that something is wrong and at other times, it signals our imminent growth.
Understanding what kind of pain we are currently facing, becomes a must for a happy existence. If the pain is there to warn us, we must take heed and then take action. If it is there to grow, the same applies. If it is there to protect us, we must listen and do what is needed to either stop the pain or change our ways.
And of course, never forget that what we aim for should be based on the right internal motives in order to maximize the chances of success and protect our self from the ‘bad’ pain associated with failed plans.
Have you ever ignored a pain that turned out to be friend? Or perhaps you followed a pain that ended up being an enemy and landed you in a world of trouble? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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by Nick Sigma
CWC, EH, E-YRT200