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The Purpose of Pain

Let’s be real:

Life can be very painful sometimes. And sometimes it feels like a lot of the time.

Whether it’s a loss of someone of something, an expectation that did not get fulfilled, a new injury or a physical pain that won’t seem to heal, or even the pain that seems to have no tangible cause but pervades your being like a dark haze or a heavy blanket – pain is as natural a part of life as night is to day.

As long as we are a part of this physical universe of duality and complementary opposites, there will always be a balancing act between the opposites – pain/pleasure, night/day, hot/cold, yin/yang – we could not have this human experience otherwise.

So if pain is a natural part of life, the first step in learning how to manage it is to KNOW that there is no getting rid of it. We have been conditioned to believe that pain is something bad that should be avoided and/or something needs to be done to get rid of it. This conditioning has led to a culture of habitual distraction, fleeing from discomfort, and using any means to remove the feeling of pain without figuring out why it is there in the first place.

My message for you is that pain is your greatest teacher in life. Beyond every pain is an opportunity for growth and learning, IF we choose to see it that way. Pain serves us as a quickener of consciousness. When you stub your toe your attention immediately goes to the pain in your toe and potentially your lack of awareness of where you’re choosing to step.

If you think back on your life you’ll find that it was the most difficult and painful situations that ultimately led to the most growth and evolution into a more fully actualized version of yourself. Every pain has a source and every pain has a purpose. It may not be so obvious what the source or purpose is, but this is precisely the benefit: it’s up to you to accept the call to adventure into the Hero’s Journey through the initiation of pain to discover and actualize your potential by uncovering your Genius that sits as a precious diamond waiting to be mined through your inner cave of darkness via the light of your awareness and the pick of your conscious mind.

If you choose to distract, numb, victimize, or flee, you will inevitably miss the opportunity to discover your Genius and thus you will continue to call in similar circumstances that bring the familiar pain because of your lack of awareness of the beliefs, thoughts, words, and actions that are manifesting themselves in your external reality as sources of pain. In this way you may always see the source of your pain as something “out there” instead of coming to the realization that all of your pain is a direct reflection of your inner world.

And if what’s going on “out there” is a reflection of your internal reality, then we can come to the conclusion that what’s “out there” and what’s “in here” are ultimately one and the same. Therefore, if we do the hard work of allowing our pain to serve as a teacher to expand our awareness into the reality we’re choosing to create, we’re also doing our job to heal our part of the collective pain we’ve created for ourselves as a society.

Thus brings the saying, “a Buddha only sees other Buddhas.”

So next time you find yourself in a painful situation, my invitation for you is to sit with it and see what opportunities present themselves to aid in your personal evolution (which is the evolution of everyone and everything). Yes, it’s uncomfortable; but what’s worse: the discomfort of the growth required to reach a new level of love and awareness of what you actually are, or the familiar pain of being stuck in the same situations for the rest for life – and potentially subsequent lives?

You always have a choice.

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