Pain is part of life, and while this much is true, it doesn’t mean that this makes it any easier to accept it. And while there will be times when one does all they can to avoid pain, there will be other times when they are forced to face it.
Experiencing pleasure is something that is more appealing to human beings. Because of this, the pain that one experiences will often be minimized or removed completely. For a short while anyway, and then before long, the pain will soon appear once more.
The pain could then come back stronger and more pleasure than before will be needed to create the same high. Although pain can be removed for a short while through experiencing pleasure, it can also be removed completely by facing it directly.
Emotional pain can cause someone to suffer as much, if not more, as they would if they had some kind of physical pain. And in some cases, physical pain can be the result of emotional pain.
Here, one could be suffering from something that has recently taken place in their life, or it could be due to something that happened many years ago. And the natural reaction to emotional pain can be to run away from it.
If the support is not around or if one doesn’t feel safe enough to embrace the support that is available, then it is going to be a challenge. Not having the right emotional support is one thing, but if the support is there and one doesn’t feel safe to embrace it, it still won’t matter.
This is why there not only needs to be the external support, but there also needs to be the inner support. All the time there is conflict; one is going to end up sabotaging their ability to face their emotional pain.
If one doesn’t have this inner support, but the external support is delivered in the right way, one might be able to get over their inner fears. Just as if the external support is not there and one is able to support themselves on the inside, they might be able to find the external support that they need.
As long as one side is there, something can be done. The biggest problem is when there is no external support and one doesn’t feel supported internally. One is then going to suffer unnecessarily.
So when one does all they can to avoid their emotional pain, they might believe they are in control of it. However, their actions are still being controlled by their pain, and therefore, their pain is in control.
And the longer one runs away from it, the stronger it is going to become. Over time, it will gradually build, and this can be taken as yet another reason to avoid it. Running away may give someone some kind of momentary relief, but there will be consequences.
On one side, one might feel better due to the pain that is being removed, but it is also going make them feel worse. Their self esteem and the belief they have in themselves is likely to erode.
For all the time their pain is getting stronger and stronger and having more of an influence on their life, their personal power has no other choice than to gradually disappear. It can also work the other way around though.
When one faces something and keeps going, amidst the challenges that arise, they are going to gradually build resilience; having the right support around during these challenges will also help.
If one was to stop as soon as they were challenged, their ability to build resilience is going to be affected. And this is because resilience is like anything else on planet; it doesn’t just appear, it has to be developed.
So when one faces their emotional pain and doesn’t avoid it, they are allowing their inner strength to grow. And as their inner strength grows, their perception of their emotional pain is going to change.
The impact it has will gradually start to lessen and it will no longer be seen as something that is insurmountable. As their emotional pain disappears, their inner strength will increase.
And when someone has been through a lot and faces their pain, they are not going to be affected by things that would affect other people. When one has been through something so challenging and come through it, it gives them strength and a sense of perspective.
Whereas when someone hasn’t been through a lot, it might not take a lot for them to be overwhelmed. And this is because they haven’t got anything more challenging to compare it with.
Based on their model of the world, this is the worst thing that could happen. But if they had experienced things that were far more challenging, then their current challenge might have less of an impact. This is not to glory suffering or to dismiss another person’s suffering, it is simply to show how extreme suffering can lead to resilience and inner strength.
So in order for someone to face their pain and build inner strength and resilience, it might be necessary for them to seek some kind of external support. No one is their own island and we all need other people. A therapist or a healer can assist someone in this process.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.