The Power of Pain
A key component in transitioning from "surviving" to "thriving" in life, lies in the way we navigate pain.
In a world where we’re taught to suppress our emotions, it’s no wonder that we’re losing our minds. Over and over, I find myself in disbelief at the degree of addiction, mental illness and suffering I see in so many. As a coach, I am able to quickly identify the correlation between personal suffering and stifled emotions.“Feelings are fun house mirrors,” a mentor of mine once said. They are magnified and confused representations which sprout from a seed of truth. Nevertheless, they must be felt. Pain, when ignored or suppressed, is the monster locked away in our mental basement. While we are trying to barricade this monster in the basement, it’s actually hosting a Cross-Fit class. This cunning beast has tricked you into thinking you’re powering past the hurt when, in fact, it’s gaining more momentum- ready to break down the basement doors of our minds. When it does, it comes in with all guns blazing.
Non-confronted pain wreaks havoc by popping up in a multitude of ways (oftentimes in the form of alcoholism, addiction, mental illness, eating disorders, etc). It damages our closest relationships, our careers and our over self-worth. It’s not until we’re buried so deep in the very things that we use to distract ourselves that we are then forced to face it. Emotionally beaten down, we realize there is no longer an escape.
Think about the Statue of David for a second. If we are the marble, PAIN is the chisel of life in which Michelangelo is shaping us into magnificent pieces of art. It’s painful, brutally painful sometimes, and not to mention uncomfortable, but it must be done if we are to evolve.
In tougher seasons of life try asking yourself “WHAT is the teaching me?” instead of “WHY is this happening to me?”. If we are to bare the fruit of love and success, we must also understand the risk and potential of loss and of heartbreak that many of life’s best things come with. None of us are entitled to pain free lives. Look closely at someone your admire both personally and professionally. Oftentimes a pattern emerges in the way these individuals handle adversity. Note their ability to lean into life’s challenges instead of running from them. We need encouragement to see pain as a friendly mirror for self reflection, a tool that helps us look a little deeper into parts of our lives that need loving correction.