How to Use Pain to Change Your Life

May 08, 2020

Pain creeps in unexpectedly. We don’t ever seem to be ready, even if the expectation of it naps at the back of our mind. At the end of the day we are aware of the potential outcomes of our behaviours and circumstances, we just don’t want to get close to those feelings. Not unless we really, really have to. 

Pain surprises us in the worst of ways. We feel as if someone pushed us off a cliff and even though it’s scary we enjoy the moment of darkness before we hit the ground. The moment when our eyes are still closed, before the pain train arrives at the station and we literally will have no choice but to somehow accommodate it. For a split second, before the reality hits, we enjoy the peace playing out behind our closed eyelids. 

We are heading for a crash, but we aren’t there yet, thanks god. We still have a second to live. 

Pain is. Just that. Similarly to joy, excitement, sorrow - pain lives amongst the array of emotions to choose from. Only - we very rarely choose, we tend to fall into those states seemingly without a vote. 

Not today. Today you are going to decide whether to fall or fly. 

Pain can be destructive or constructive. 

We need the pain. Many of our most valuable lessons originate from the mysterious grasp pain can have on us. Pain pushes us to create, to express ourselves, to open the doors to any dimension possible just to ease the discomfort of being crushed by it. 

Pain can make us open up in ways we haven’t considered before, because it is unbearable. It forces us to reinvent ourselves almost instantly, to start paying attention to what damage is being done and decide - are we going to stay down or are we going to figure out how to get back up and start climbing that mountain? 

No one else can pull us up. Not really. The decision has to come from within, wrapped in a ribbon of determination. 

You will never be the same again. Even if you look as happy as new, the seed has been planted of a careful, tender need to take care of yourself. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by pain ever again, because it brings more than the feeling of sinking, it brings powerlessness, anger, betrayal. It stirps you bare to the finest threads of your soul. 

You can choose to feel naked and hide. But some of us will choose to enjoy the extraordinary view of the purest, most vulnerable version of who we are. 

The choice. Is. Yours.

Let it lead the way.

When scoothing at the bottom of the pool of your own tears, at some point, you will  realise that there is a decision to be made. 

You can let the water fill up our lungs, or maybe push you about a bit until someone notices  your crinkled body and gets you out without permission. Or you can think of ways to channel this emotion. 

The most creative moments happen in the darkness. When our senses are switched off almost to the bare minimum and all energy is sent to support the very basic need for survival. Everything else is a blur and maybe this is the reason why we are finally able to sense our world and recognise it in a new way. 

Pain brings about many questions, many very interesting enquiries into our own behaviour and beliefs. How did I get here ? How did I let this happen (potentially again) ? Where do I go from here ? 

Because  you are in a sort of a limbo, not really hearing what others say to  you, not really responding to stimulation other than the need for water and some food,  you suddenly discover the ability to connect with the voice within. And there is a lot to listen to. There are years worth of unanswered messages and calls. Yes, you’ve become extremely good at ignoring  your own unique methods for interpreting the world, you have become a consumer of the mass produced truths. 

Now is the chance to recognise that you have a choice. In literally everything that happens to you. You can choose to see what is happening in the way that will serve your growth, or fall into the black hole of despair and conviction that all is lost. 

This will be the difference between pulling your covers over your head while clenching your fists in frustration and pain, or slowing down, opening your heart up and looking for guidance. And guidance always comes - in an unexpected need for creative expression, in words noticed on billboards, in meditation, in a fresh wave of the desire to take responsibility for your next steps. 

The only requirement is trust. As with many meaningful experiences the way to do it is not to design your own answers and  get busy trying to prove your point. Instead, surrender your pain and trust in a better tomorrow, to the higher power.

Pain is the teacher of humble acceptance. If you let him lead.

But you can also totally wait for the circumstances to change and wipe you up on yet another wave of accidental living. 

The choice. Is. Yours.

The great thing about the bottom is that you have something to push yourself off of.

Say thanks for hitting rock bottom. Yes, that does sound counterproductive but it is, in fact, a great exercise in taking full responsibility for where you are at, and how you got there. 

It is not the most fun thing to do, granted, but what a goldmine it is if you are willing to pick up the chisel. 

There is nowhere else to fall, no amount of tears and resistance will take you anywhere else but where you already are. That’s the good news, right? You don't’ have to worry about hurting more, you have in a way, reached a certain status quo. 

You’re in pain, it’s becoming familiar, you are getting used to the feeling, you can recognise the pain points of this pain, you are memorising it and learning how to gently manage it. 

Stop right now. 

The most valuable lesson here is how to use this experience by turning it into a system, a step by step process, which will allow you to travel back to the brighter side of life. 

Notice what’s happening, how you feel, how you react, who around you is able to support you in the exact way that you need and who might be better pushed away for now (or forever). 

Now use the conserved energy to start moving your body again, to make and keep tiny, innocent commitments to yourself. Do something you believe is good for your soul - even if it doesn’t feel like it right now to your body - just do it, often.

Meditate for 20 minutes in the mornings - every freaking day, go for a bike ride - every freaking day, or read an inspirational book - yes, every freaking day, and then the next one and the next one. 

Consistency is the only way to success.

The twist is this; pain is necessary. Suffering is optional. 

You have all the grit needed to lift yourself up and regain the control of your days. Or maybe even claim the power to design your outcomes and the process of achieving them, for the first time in your life. Great, what a win ! Thanks pain. 

The bottom line is this ; hurtful things happen to all of us. There are times when emotions take over our lives like tornados and it might hurt a lot before the calm finally arrives. I get that. Pain is a citizen of this world. He has the right to exist. As any force it can cause emptiness or new growth. 

But suffering, on the other hand, is not something we are required to deal with at all. Although, In the weirdest of ways, we often choose to cling onto it for as long as possible. 

Yes, it might give you the perfect excuse to abandon your obligations and commitments. This is the perfect friend to be there when you rejoice in finally being justified for abandoning your healthy fast and diving right into Ben & Jerry’s. We’ve all been there. 

But maybe this time, you can do things differently. Just for the sake of venturing out of your comfort zone and checking what other options are available to you.. 

Suffering is the feeling we slip into easily, like in a custom made dress. It can feel really, really good. 

It is that long, cold, dark winter that follows whatever painful experience slapped us in the face. It is the, always renewing itself,  prescription from the world, giving us permission to be angry, unproductive and switch off from responsibilities, even those we previously enjoyed.

In a nutshell - it is a perfect excuse to act like a victim for as long as we want to, for as long as it’s easier than facing up to the next challenge. 

It has its perks - you don’t feel so bad if you don’t keep promises to self and others, at the end of the day you are hurt and unable to produce results. Maybe you can skip a few meetings, push the most pressing work projects onto someone else and avoid the boredom of dealing with reports and analytics that are due at the end of the month. Maybe you can skip that dinner at your in-laws next week, that you’ve been dreading for the last three months.

Maybe it will even earn you extra points with your nearest and dearest. They’ll visit more, they’ll call, they’ll comment on how great you are doing, taking your circumstances, and how hard it must be if your fragile state won’t allow you to even come to dinner.

You can bath in all the new-found “power” to put your life on hold. 

But if you can also choose not to entertain the suffering game. Don’t prolong the low vibration emotions, don’t make anger, bitterness and frustration your everyday wear. They will settle, they will get comfy, they will take over your reality and live in there, instead of you, for as long as you feed them. 

Stand up, recognise that the pain is here, rejoice in the fact that it’s temporary and most of all, that you have all the power needed to turn this experience into something that will mark the beginning of your better days ahead. 

Change your life - on a great scale, or just a little, this is the perfect time. 

The choice. Is. Yours.

The next step will determine everything. 

Pain has to be embraced. Where it comes from, doesn’t matter. How big it can grow, doesn’t matter. How powerfully it can change you for a moment (or forever), doesn’t matter. 

Everything is temporary and so is the pain. Regardless of its magnitude when it’s peaking, regardless of how much we sometimes wish it would just end us. It won’t. What it will do is pass.

So pick up that guitar, paint brushes, pen... and create, literally anything, just enough to change the flow of energy in your now. Don’t let the pain be the only emotion ruling every moment. 

You are the starting point to sparking up excitement, focus, flow. You can step out of the pain for a moment of intimate, soulful creating that will lift you up just a little bit every time you submerge yourself in it. 

Find a way to push the pain aside through meditation or exercise, reading, gardening. Use your hands, use your body, engage the senses that you’ve put on autopilot. 

Sooner or later you will start noticing that the pain is just a part of a very busy day. It doesn’t rule this kingdom. It has no claim to the top spot on your priority list. 

You are alive, you are beautiful, you are capable of juicing gold liquid out of this situation. 

You can call it unbearable, or you can call it massively transformative.

The choice. Is. Yours.

 

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