Updated: Jun 10, 2022
Over the years I have come to realize that pain is absolutely inevitable. There are countless reasons why one may experience pain physically or on a psycho-emotional level. Somehow, many of us want or have wanted to avoid pain at all costs, however, I think it is the wrong approach since as I said before pain is inevitable. So what can we do? My opinion is that what is most convenient is to learn how to live with pain, know how to process it, transmute it and learn from that experience or situation that causes us that pain or suffering. Rumi said, "The wound is the place where light comes in." Thus we understand pain as one of the masters of life, which brings us an opportunity to learn and grow.
And what about suffering? For suffering is nothing more than the prolongation of pain in an indeterminate way either consciously or subconsciously. And I explain this... Imagine that we have a physical pain derived from bad nutrition, postural, or sports habit ... If I take account of this pain and do what is necessary to treat it, such as going to the physiotherapist, I am taking the necessary responsibility so that the pain does not become suffering. But if instead of doing this, I decide not to attend to that discomfort, continue with my bad habit and not take responsibility, the pain can become chronic generating unnecessary suffering that can lead, in the long run, to a problem of greater level. Well, this can also happen to us with psycho-emotional pains. When we do not attend to emotional pain, do not remedy it and do not assume the responsibility of solving it, it is very likely that this pain will become suffering capable of seriously denting our mood and life leading us even to depression or worse. And this is a choice that everyone makes...
It is, therefore, essential once again, to assume responsibility and have the will to transmute pain into the light. To do this, the first thing I suggest is to accept everything that exists in life that hurts us. There are many things that hurt us that we can not change easily, but if we can change how we feel about them, thus avoiding suffering and perhaps generating changes in our lives that make us be an active part of the solution to this stimulus that causes us pain. Second, it is very important not to assume the role of the victim. This attitude is very dangerous because it is the path that leads us to avoid responsibility, and therefore, to the possibility of transcending pain, leading us to a situation of deep suffering. Unfortunately, human beings are addicted to drama and blaming the outside all the time and being the perfect victim, but that doesn't solve any problems for us. Third, receive the pain. This means giving it its space. If you have truly understood that pain is part of life, you will receive it by understanding the opportunity it represents for growth. Fourth, process pain. And to process, it is to reflect on the origin, to understand why it appears and to elaborate a constructive response to treat that pain leading it towards a brighter, more loving space. Sixth, avoid painkillers. These analgesics can be drugs that induce us to artificial states of well-being or go to people who tell us what we want to hear, that validate our victimhood or drama.
To close this post I would like to say that in some stages of my life I have been immersed in suffering and depression. Even having suicidal thoughts. When I hit rock bottom I understood that I simply hadn't accepted the pain, I hadn't given it its space, its raison d'être, its importance to becoming a better human being. From there I opened myself to pain and assumed responsibility, I recognized the role of victim I had been playing, without being the real victim of everything that hurt me. At this moment I became aware and began to make the necessary changes in my life to be an active part of
the change I want to see in the world. That's the only medicine I could find in the face of my own illness and madness. There is a way, and it is inward.