What comes to your mind when you think about pain? Do you think about it and wish that you never had to feel it ever again? When you feel pain, what do you do with that pain?
They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. How many times have you felt pain in your past, and you continued to suffer from that pain because you kept it in your mind, thinking about it over and over again? Essentially re-living that pain and bringing it into present moments that are not the moment that the origin of the pain existed in the first place. The initial moment of pain is gone, but yet we as humans have a tendency to keep this pain in our minds and suffer from it. What does keeping this pain alive do for you? Does it change what happened in the past? The only time machine we have available to us is in our own heads, so the answer there is no, suffering from your pain doesn’t change what happened in the past. It only makes you suffer in the now. It leaves you miserable. Ah, but misery loves company doesn’t it – and you are that company! So how does that connect to insanity? The fact that we continue to re-live our pain and suffer is the insanity! We keep doing it over and over again, expecting different results. We re-live the past in our minds, thinking that thinking about it will change what happened in the past, but does it ever change anything? No. Then, the next time we experience pain, we do the same exact thing. We keep running that pain in our minds over and over again, re-living the past, and -SURPRISE – it still does not change what happened! Keeping the pain around and bringing it into your present moment, thinking that something will change is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
What can you do about your pain then? There is presence. Keeping yourself in the present moment. But yet, we are still human and those same thoughts about our pain will still keep popping up in our heads. So what do we do then? Do we fight ourselves about having those thoughts about the pain and bringing ourselves closer to suffering? That doesn’t sound very peaceful either, does it? You can’t think about not bringing your past pain into your present and then create more pain for yourself by beating yourself up about not being able to “succeed” at not bringing your past pain into your present. Use that pain, go into that pain. Create with that pain. Direct that energy towards becoming a better you. Pain is a tool. Use your pain, don’t “abuse” your pain by keeping it alive through your thoughts.
Picture yourself as a tree. A young tree. See your pain as the changing of the leaves every fall. See the growth and the growing beauty of that tree every year as your growth and beauty from using your pain for growth. Your leaves may turn and fall every year, but you come out at the end of the tunnel a bigger tree, with more branches for more leaves, more beauty – always. Use that pain as motivation to keep your peace, to keep your present moment, to further your beauty. Transform yourself through that pain. That’s where the true change will happen. Not by thinking about it over and over again. Change only happens in the present moment. Ask yourself what you can do in this moment to better yourself, to give yourself peace, to give yourself love.
Your pain is your teacher. Your pain is your friend. You wouldn’t be the person that you are today without it. Where would you be at in life right now if it hadn’t been for any of your pain? What things would be different if you had never experienced that pain? Sometimes we tend to associate pain with negativity while we are experiencing the pain. But we hardly ever see the positives that may have come out of that pain. You may have found a potential job that you believed at the time was perfect for you. You get an interview but you do not get the job. But because you didn’t get that job, you were able to find a job that was even better than that “perfect” job that you were so upset that you did not get. What seems bad at first can actually be good! It just takes time for you to see it. Even after this happens though, that initial pain you felt can still remain with you. If you find yourself in self-rejection, odds are that that initial pain and the thoughts surrounding it will still come back to you to validate yourself to reject yourself. It may not have any details of that original pain, but the root of the pain is still there.
Sometimes it’s difficult for us to wrap our human minds around the fact that everything happens for a reason and that everything serves a purpose. Look back at your own life, see if you can find any examples of a time when you thought you were experiencing something bad, but it turned out to be in your favor. Often times we have our blinders on to the bigger picture. If your focus is on the negative you will continue to experience the negative. If you focus on every time you didn’t get what you wanted, you’ll continue to think that you never get what you want even if not getting what you wanted in the first place led you to getting something better than you had ever imagined!
How much of your pain is pain and how much of your pain is suffering? You cannot control pain, but you can control suffering.