How to Grow Through Pain, and Avoid Suffering4 min read


Sometimes life hurts … and sometimes it shakes us so hard that it seems almost impossible to get up again. When we live through a painful event we experience intense emotional processes. Processes we have been forced into by the very inertia of reality, and which we’ll need a lot of strength to get out of. Because if we don’t, then bitterness and pain will consume us. It’s all about growing through pain.

In fact, staying entrenched in our pain is a personal choice. If we stay anchored in our suffering then we’ll miss out on the inner journey that culminates in acceptance, in the quietness of understanding and in personal development.

Pain is inevitable, suffering optional

Both pain and suffering are part of life. We should point out that we often use these two terms as synonyms. However, in order to deal with them properly, it is important to understand what differentiates them.

Pain, in its psychological dimension, is an emotion that can arise in certain situations or problems. It affects us physically, emotionally and mentally and lasts until the person can recover. In this sense, pain implies acceptance and being in touch with what we feel. It should also be noted that the time the pain is prolonged is proportional to the magnitude of the event that produced it for us.

On the other hand, suffering goes a step further. Suffering arises when we have an inability to accept reality and continue with our lives regardless. This state of mind will bring us again and again to thoughts and emotions that will make us imbalanced and could make us ill. In this case, suffering would be an unnecessary consequence of pain.

Growing through pain

It’s the hardships that make you strong. It’s the heartbreak that makes you fearless in love. It’s the disappointments that make you wise. It’s the challenges that make you determined and it’s not getting what you want that makes you appreciate what you already have.

Pain is inevitable. Getting hurt is an essential part of life because that’s how we grow and that’s how we learn. That’s how we figure things out. That’s how we discover ourselves. That’s how we know who truly loves us and who is just pretending.

Without pain, we would be blind. Without pain, we would be sheltered. Without pain, we wouldn’t have learned how to fight life’s toughest battles.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not romanticizing pain or saying it’s something beautiful. Pain is terrible and sometimes it can really disturb us and affect us in ways we can never really get over but there’s also nothing we can do about it.

We can’t control pain. We can’t decide that our lives will be free of pain and so we must find the silver lining. We must find the message behind our pain. We must understand how this pain will help us get to the pleasures we’re seeking eventually.

Because the greatest pain of all is not learning how to survive, the greatest pain is expecting to play it safe all the time and hoping the world will play it safe with us too, the greatest pain is getting injured every time someone pushes us and the greatest pain is having open wounds without knowing how to heal them.

And we’re here to learn, we’re here to evolve, we’re here to make mistakes and try to make things right again, we’re here to mess up so we can get our shit together, we’re here to live in contradictions and learn how to find balance.

We’re here to make sense of senseless things and find order in the middle of chaos and find what makes us happy when we’re sad and what makes us shine through the darkness of it all.

Because life is contradicting like that, you have to fail before you succeed, you have to lose before you win, you have to doubt yourself before you learn how to love yourself and you have to accept pain if you want to find happiness.

And if you think about it, pain makes you more compassionate, more self-aware, more forgiving, more tolerant. It hardens your core yet softens your edges, which in my opinion, is the best way to live a healthy and balanced life.

If we had the option to live without pain, we’d all choose that, but we don’t have that option so we might as well choose to live with it. Choose to make it our friend instead of our enemy.

Source: Through Catalogue

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