Pain is not something I ever thought I would write about, maybe a little bit at some point, but I never thought that I would have this much to say until my understanding of my own pain finally came full-circle and I was able to not only understand it all, but also articulate it in a way that other’s could understand. Sometimes, as much as I ‘get’ or ‘understand’ something, it takes a bit of time and self-reflection in order to articulate it. When I was taking a look at my own pain, it took me some time to really understand what I was actually doing to myself. I kept thinking “Is there some kind of event that was so bad that I suppressed it until I forgot about it? What was it that happened to me?” I kept thinking that there HAD to have been something that happened and I kept racking my brain and something that I had been carrying with me ever since that made me into who I am today. This was not the case though. I just couldn’t see my pain for what it truly was, I was using ‘but’ as a way to invalidate my pain and this is why it took so long for me to finally recognize what I was doing! The mind is such a trickster!
Someone who has lived their whole life as a wealthy person, picture a big mansion, a billion dollar house, with everything you could ever want inside and outside of it. Now picture that mansion being replaced with even just a 1 million dollar house. This would feel painful to the person experiencing it, even though most of us would think “that’s not a big deal, I would be happy to have what they have.” You cannot compare your pain to someone else’s pain in this way without rejecting your pain, abandoning your pain, and rejecting and abandoning yourself. There is no need to judge your pain. Your pain is YOUR pain.
“My Dad beat me a few times BUT he didn’t always do that to me, most of the time he was hands-off.”
This is another way to invalidate your pain, escape from it, reject it and push it aside as if you should not feel this way. There is a comparison here too in comparing usual behavior to seldom behavior.
Two questions that you can ask yourself are, Did it happen? Yes. Was it painful? Yes. That’s all. There is no need to go any further than this. It was something that happened and it was something that you felt pain from – that is all that matters. Putting ‘but’ into your pain is only a way to disconnect from your pain.
In the game of either THIS BUT THAT – you will be faced with three choices. One choice is to recognize the THIS and another choice is to recognize the THAT. The third choice is to recognize the THIS and the THAT and validate the THIS. However, what typically happens when we put ‘but’ into the equation is that we are LOOKING for something to invalidate the THIS – we are looking for something to invalidate the pain and this is why the ‘but’ is used in the first place. We realize the THIS part and we focus on the THAT part, and due to the THAT, the THIS is not valid. In the example, the “My Dad beat me a few times” is the THIS and “he didn’t always do that to me, most of the time he was hands-off” is the THAT.
So why invalidate this pain? Why not give yourself the credit and acknowledge that yes this happened and yes this was painful? You’ll gain a better understanding of yourself when you do this.
Maybe a beating wasn’t the case. Maybe he did something that was just a bit more than a light spank here and there. Or maybe it was emotional abuse. Again, ask yourself the two questions. Did it happen? Yes. Was it painful? Yes. That’s all you need to ask yourself. There’s no reason to use ‘but’ as a way to shove this pain aside and invalidate it. Reject your pain and you reject you! ‘But’ can be used along with comparing your pain to others’ pain. Usually it does play at least a minor role.
Think of it this way. You wouldn’t get slapped across the face and knocked off your feet and say it didn’t hurt right? Regardless of who did it. This is what you do every time you invalidate your pain and reject it. The two questions are all you need to ask yourself and don’t give yourself more reasons to shove it aside by inserting ‘but’ into the equation. It hurt, therefore you felt pain. Nothing can invalidate this pain besides you! It doesn’t always have to be the word ‘but’ specifically. Any word that distracts from the initial THIS to invalidate it and focus on the THAT can be used. Any way to distract yourself from the THIS as a way to say that this pain you felt is not valid and you shouldn’t feel this way.