For many years I thought I was totally flawed: I got a Master in Psychology, went to a boatload of personal development workshops. I had a great life with loving family and friends… and still I felt pain. Everyday. Sometimes unbearable. I thought that there was something wrong with me at the core.
A lot of the "spiritual" talks these days give us plenty of tools and tricks to be happy, rich, soul-mate paired and all that stuff - so we can climb higher and higher on the bliss scale. You’re feeling down? Come on now, get your butt to a yoga class! Feeling depressed? Please, didn’t you read The Secret?! I was so engaged in fixing pain that I didn’t get that pain is not the enemy.
Because guess what: pain never ends. It just never goes away. And more than that, it is a great opportunity, if we can take it.
Pain is necessary. Ever tried to get fit without pain? On the physical level, we understand perfectly that pain is inevitable and even necessary. Ask anyone in a gym. On a psychological and emotional levels, it is painful every time we step out of our comfort zone or get to the limit of our capacity: growing is painful.
Pain is an opportunity. Pain keeps us from falling asleep. It makes us more alert, more aware. It signals a need for growth. When everything is nice and comfortable, we just go along in convenient contentment. Who cares about becoming aware when everything is pleasant enough?
Pain can be used to go deep inside and develop the faith and courage we need to live an outstanding life.
We can choose to go deeper. When we feel pain, we can try to make it go away, get angry, play the victim. Or we can stop for a moment and breathe. Acknowledge the pain, accept it, grow from it. And we become stronger, more alive.
And the good news is, for all of us artists and creative of all sorts, that being more alive and more human makes our creations SO MUCH BETTER. The authenticity and aliveness is what will make others resonate with what we offer. That is what connects us. That is how art and creation bring us together as humans, transcend time, place, gender, age, race and religious beliefs. Pain has a gift for each one of us. That gift, we can access it when we are able to accept and welcome the inevitable pain that comes with being alive.
Ultimately, we are on this planet to experience being human. So we might as well go for it.
BE BRAVE. BE INSPIRED.
Today, open your favorite art book, listen to your favorite song or watch your favorite dance moves and dive into yourself. Feel how brave the artist was, to welcome the pain of being humain and express it through art, creating connection and inspiration. We all have this ability. Leave a comment below to let us know: What is your relationship to pain? What gift did it bring you and how did you use it?