Pain is part of life
We’re all trying to escape it. We dream of a life where the sun is always out; where we don’t hurt anymore; where there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow rather than a pile of shit.
When I was younger I was always in pain. I spent most of middle school and high school putting on a smile (literally, as a cheerleader) and truly believing that I was the victim. I spent most of college fading in and out of the scene and trying to numb my feelings with alcohol, pseudo friendships, and perfect grades. I was convinced that in a past lifetime, I must have done something to deserve all the suffering that I was facing in this one. I was anxious, depressed, and starving myself physically, socially, and psychologically. For the purpose of keepin’ it real – I was f*cked up.
Whether conscious of it or not, this was a decision that I made. I chose to resist all the feelings – good, bad, and ugly. I chose to dwell on the only emotion that I knew, which was loneliness. I chose to cling to the person I thought I was destined to be, which was small and depressed. I chose to continue to destroy myself.
It wasn’t until I realized that I was the one in the driver’s seat that I began to see my pain as my power. I began to appreciate everything I had gone through (and was still going through) as an experience, rather than a tragic movie that I was helplessly watching. I realized that this pain was, indeed, making me stronger and I knew that when I came out on the other side, it would be blindingly sunny.
My pain was no longer my demise, but my rocket fuel. I was no longer the victim. I was mother fucking Wonder Woman.
There is beauty in the breakdown
As humans, we are all going through something all the time. We experience illness, death, heartbreak, and disappointment. Whether it’s minor pain from a tiff with a coworker, or more excruciating, gut-wrenching, hide under the covers pain, it is there, and if we want to thrive we have got to accept it.
We are taught at a young age that pain is bad, and we spend most of our lives trying to eliminate it. We seek out therapists and pills and anything we can to make it stop, and in the end, all we are is numb. We need to learn to accept our pain as a part of us and love it as we love all parts of ourselves. We need to view it as rocket fuel, rather than kryptonite, and to understand that we can use its power to make us stronger, more empathetic, more grateful, and overall, better people.
While pleasure is powerful, it will not help you grow in the same ways that pain does.
If you are experiencing pain, I want you to know that it’s okay. You are allowed to feel like shit. Feelings are fleeting and it will get better. Your mind is strong. You are strong. Learn to use your pain as an incredible tool to propel you forward into greatness, and you will start to feel okay even when things are not. You will start to see that YOU are the one with the power.