October 2, 2014

Pain & the Art of Being Free.


When we go through physical or emotional trauma we close our hearts to the world.

This is mostly metaphoric but in some situations quite literal.

To a lot of people pain has negative consequences and shuts them down, even stops them from wanting to smile at a pretty butterfly because that pain makes them despondent and cynical. For others pain may actually propel them to move forward. If you’ve encountered a life threatening or life alternating event or a near death experience, pain may help you drag yourself out of bed, even if in vengeance. It may help you get over your most prominent shortcomings and may drive you to put your 100% into living life.

The drive caused by that pain will show its fruits quickly and its outcome will be clearly visible in a positive manner. People around will think of you as a very passionate, driven individual, someone who never gives up, someone who gets to the bottom of everything. People who know you from before your painful experiences will notice the changes in you and may even acknowledge your newfound vigor and enthusiasm.

But for how long? What will happen when the pain is silenced by medicines, vengeance or time?

What will happen when the things we wanted to achieve, are achieved; the unfulfilled desires, fulfilled?

Loss of will?
Discontentment, unhappiness?

Or are we going to start searching for a new leash to put ourselves on?

So we go back to where we started and in the same league as the ones who let their pain shut them out!
This behavioral pattern is very commonly found in today’s ruthless world because we let ourselves be driven by our pain, our sorrows, our failures or simply an overcompensation of our shortcomings and complexes.

When we let our pain motivate us and create our passions for us somewhere deep inside, we are unknowingly creating a glass ceiling for ourselves. A ceiling through which we can see what is above and ahead of us but also what is beyond us and what we may probably not be able to achieve.

Is this pain of any use to us then? And then why should anyone hold on to it!

There may be several days or weeks of unbearable physical and emotional trauma, possibly followed by PTSD or roaming around spaced out telling yourself in disbelief that you are still alive. Followed by the same mistake everyone makes—using that pain to let you push yourself, to the bathroom, to the grocery store, to make that phone call to a friend, to the gym or even to do other things—to try to shield yourself from letting that happen again.

Turns out, one sometimes does need that initial push because it is any day better than hanging out in bed doing nothing. But there is a time—almost immediately we drag ourselves on to our feet—when it becomes essential to shed the pain. To accept that it happened to you and to realize that you are alive for a reason and that reason is surely not holding on to that negativity.

Instead of holding that pain and its associated emotions in our core and our conscience it is a lot more rewarding to burn it up in the fire of the will created by realizing the true purpose of our lives.

It is a lot fulfilling to release the toxicity of that pain just as we exhale stale air. To make space for fresh oxygen, to make space for smiles, for hope, for the ability to be able to do at least the minimum that we can do with whatever little we have. That fresh perspective is probably all you need to make that pain release its grip on you.

There may be a long, intense period of healing before you are willing to let your pain release its grip but it is essential to start treading that path, even if it takes forever.

“But you cannot let pain define you, drive you or make you who you are. One day you will want to be more, bigger than who you are. You have to learn to make peace with your pain accept it and let it go. And move on. It is hard to let to go and it takes time but you will know when you are ready. And when you are ready, you will be able to be free.” ~ excerpt from the TV show Castle

Life is beautiful. Life is a celebration of the fact that destruction is always followed by creation. Whether it is a sunrise, the flowering of a bud, the crowing of a rooster or birth of a new life, this earth continues to sustain. And it always will.



Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!



Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: wikimedia


Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Sonal Dighe