Pain Through the Looking Glass

Hi there! It’s been a bit. 10 days but it feels so much longer!

Anyway, I’m glad to be back into the grind of sharing my thoughts and growing along with you. It’s been a busy couple of days at my end juggling respective priorities; but I remain committed to learning daily and sharing with you.

Today, we’ll discuss pain. This four-letter word needs no introduction; it is the one that gets us running whenever it is mentioned; almost as though it has superpowers that can give us uppercuts and sucker-punches from a hundred miles away. Concise in its spelling, it is that powerful emotion that can cripple our tenacious human spirits, bring our bodies to a crushing halt, and utterly incapacitate our souls. Pain is the “it” that must not be mentioned as we go through our lives; often doing our best to avoid it.

Pain is awful; unpleasant for everyone, agonizing and outrightly hard. For those of you who are going through a painful situation at this time – either with the loss of loved ones, illness, disappointment, hardship, financial loss, relationship losses, etc. ; my heart goes out to you and I pray for God’s healing for your hearts. However, I want us to look at pain through the lens of growth.

Having gone through a few painful experiences myself including the loss of my parents which shook me to the core of my being; I can say in hindsight, that pain, if not handled properly, can completely crush you; and when maximized, can spur you to great growth. I know this sounds very philosophical and you may be rolling your eyes as you read this but, what I can say is this – pain is growth! If you’re currently in the middle of a painful experience, you may think I’ve lost my marbles; and that’s fine. I empathize with you and pray that you experience great relief from that situation. If you’ve gone through a painful experience and have tucked it snugly in the “never to be discussed again” box up in your mind’s attic; well, I suggest you visit that attic. The aim of this is not just to have you relive the event; but to help you process it to identify lessons that can be applied to other areas of your life.

 As the blog reads, we are growing together so don’t for one minute assume I write from a place of achievement. I’m currently reading John Maxwell’s book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” and it’s an absolutely great read with immediate action points that can spur you on irrespective of where you are on the growth spectrum or the area you’re trying to achieve growth in. As I progressed in the book, I realized that there’s an entire chapter on pain – “The Law of Pain” – imagine that! I think it’s a constructive approach to the subject, so I’ve graciously outlined my top 4 lessons from the chapter for our conversation.

  • Every problem introduces a person to himself. Each time we encounter a painful experience, we get to know ourselves a little better. This one had me raising my eyebrows at first; however, after processing it, I realized that dealing with the loss of my parents, unveiled parts of myself I didn’t know existed prior to that time. While it may be hard thinking about the memory, focus on identifying the “new facts” you discovered about yourself from that experience.
  • Pain can cause us to make decisions we would like to put off, deal with issues we would rather not face and make changes that make us feel uncomfortable. Pain prompts us to face who we are and where we are; what we do with that experience defines who we become. I didn’t even try to argue with this one. My life today is living proof of this lesson. Losing my mum prompted me to deal with where I was in my career at the time and the quality of life I was living; the realizations prompted me to outline the life I wanted to live and start to make the required changes I needed to achieve that life. It surely has played a large role in who I am now and who I’m becoming; and I’m so grateful.
  • Life’s difficulties do not allow us to stay the same, they move us. The question is, in what direction will we be moved – forward or backward? When we have bad experiences, do we become better or bitter? Now, this is contrary to the popular thought on the subject. Most times, healing is described as trying to get back to “where we were” prior to the event; however, this lesson tells us otherwise. It asserts that getting back isn’t an option because change has occurred; it is now our responsibility to accept the change; and ensure it moves us forward. Pause and think, have you become better or bitter? [SELAH!]
  • Life is filled with ups and downs – don’t internalize your challenges and dips. We expect life to be free of stressful and painful situations, up and up through the course of our lives. News flash – that’s unrealistic. Over the course of your life, you will be sure to experience a minimum of one painful experience. Don’t let it throw you completely off balance and internalize the negative emotions that often come along; rather, know it’s part of your life’s journey and harness the lessons therein.

Look at pain through the glass of growth and turn your pain into gain by choosing a positive life stance, embracing & developing creativity and taking responsibility for your life. I obviously can’t get into the full details of the book, but I absolutely recommend it for you who’s committed to intentional growth.

In summary, refuse to allow pain to transform you into a survivor, struggling to keep afloat with your emotions. You’re here to thrive – so commit today to managing your bad experiences well. Let your discomfort be a catalyst for your development.

“Growth is the best possible outcome for any negative experience. Good management of bad experiences leads to great growth”! – John Maxwell.

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2 Responses

  1. So good, and do beautifully written – as always! “Each time we encounter a painful experience, we get to know ourselves a little better”. This is so, so true! Thank you for sharing love. God bless you.

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