For a long time I thought that pain was the result of me doing something wrong, or not being good enough, not being or acting as I was supposed to. Some kind of punishment if you will. I thought pain was a sign of weakness. A proof that I failed at creating a life that would bring me only happiness. A sign that I didn’t have the willpower necessary to convince myself to be happy and fulfilled, or that I was particularly bad with this law of attraction thing.
I’m now realizing that pain is not the enemy, or a sign of failure, or a symptom of our flawed human nature. Pain is here to serve me. Pain is here as a friend who is poking me to wake up, who is showing me the way.
Because of the pain of feeling isolated, I made the effort to get closer to my family. Because of the pain of feeling like I’m not doing what I really want to do, I got the courage to change my life around. Because of the pain of feeling misunderstood and unheard, I took the time to listen and understand myself.
Pain has made me more compassionate to others in pain. Pain has me made more aware, more alert. Pain has pushed me to seek spiritual teachings to free myself. Pain has brought me to this point of awakening.
The best things that happened in my life, that I created in my life, all came from pain. They came from the pain I felt when I was not true to myself, when I was cutting myself from others or hurting them. They also came accompanied by the pain of a new birth.
When all goes well and I’m feeling content and happy, then it’s easy to stay where I’m at, to fall asleep. Every time, pain came to wake me up to a higher level of truth, to a deeper level of compassion and love from myself. Pain pushed me to act. To lean into fear and to leave a situation that was no longer serving me. To reflect on myself and my life. To connect with others in pain and be able to acknowledge their pain.
When I’m trying to make pain go away, it only makes it worse. When I’m able to see pain as a natural part of my evolution, as something that is here to guide me and push me to love myself more, then it subsides, having served its purpose. And it comes back as soon as I need a reminder that I deserve more love, not less.
I’m writing this as a thank you note to pain. As an acknowledgement of its service to me. To honor all the ways that pain has served me, no matter how much I judged it and tried to push it away.
How else would we know to get out of a toxic relationship, or leave that dreadful job to pursue our dream, or just simply notice that we don’t love ourselves enough?
It strengthens my faith in the goodness of the Universe to see that even when I judged it as being the worst thing that could happen to me, the worst punishment, pain was actually there to serve me. Pain has been like that faithful being that stays by my side, no matter how bad I treat him or how many times I tell him to go away. That is serving me relentlessly despite never getting any kind of credit or acknowledgement. Pain really is the Universe in disguise serving me.
Before, I was afraid that acknowledging pain was allowing more pain to come my way. I now know that acknowledging my pain, and the pain of all beings, is the most liberating thing I can do.
I acknowledge you, pain.
And I acknowledge your pain.