Stop running from your pain.

“Suffering is not caused by pain but by resisting pain.” ~Unknown

Pain. Grief. Sadness.

We hate it, these are ugly words in our society. One of humans first basic instincts is to avoid being hurt, and since we all would like to avoid the breaking or losing of limbs on a daily basis it’s definitely safe to say avoiding pain, for the most part, is crucial for our survival.
I gratefully have never broken any bones. I have been in some pretty bad car accidents and got banged up a little but that’s about it. On the other hand, I could fill rivers with the tears I’ve cried over getting my heart broken,
losing friends and loved ones,
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being uber disappointed when something I REALLY wanted didn’t work out.
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But I survived, and I THOUGHT I became stronger for it until I read the Invitation by Oriah.
The Invitation
After I got to this section I couldn’t even finish the book because I did some serious self-reflecting….. I realized I wasnt this strong enduring person like I thought I was, I was just numb, numb af. & I was negative because I thought that was the best way to guard myself. You can’t be disappointed if you don’t look forward to anything right?
We try to avoid pain by ignoring our emotions or dismissing them.
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We try to numb the pain with drugs and liquor.
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We isolate ourselves.
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We cut or burn ourselves, or engage in other kinds of self-harm.
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This is no way to live.

Pain, grief, sadness, are as a part of life and the overall life experience as much as the things that bring us joy. I remember when my sister died I just wanted to “get her funeral over with” to get out of that awkward uncomfortableness that comes when someone really close to you dies.

Let me be the one to tell you that you can spend every day hating every moment of pain you endure.

You can fight tooth and nail to escape the experience.

Yet, your resistance and anger will not lessen your pain.

If anything, your struggle will only increase it.

Each us will someday face the experience of unavoidable emotional, mental, or physical pain. Whether mild or excruciating, how we approach our physical suffering can change how we approach any discomfort in our lives.- Sarah Needles

When you’re happy you dont stop and say let me quickly end this moment. You savor it for as long as you can. You dont have to savor negative emotions or pain but you do have to let your negative emotions run their course as well.

When we fight the pain: judge it, try to push it away, avoid it, ignore it, it actually triggers other painful emotions, resulting in more emotional pain.” We also never learn healthy ways to cope. – Sheri Van Dijk, MSW

Sitting with our emotions simply means allowing them, resisting the urge to get rid of the pain and not judging ourselves for having these emotions.

Ways to Cope with pain: 

1. Observe your emotions.
Sit with your emotions by noting what you’re experiencing without judging yourself.
2. Validate your emotions.
Validating your emotions means accepting them. If you just lost someone or broke up with a boyfriend you have every reason to feel sad or be emotional.
3. Focus on the present.
It’s also helpful to focus our attention on now and not wallowing in the experience. This prolongs the pain.

Understand that:

  • Resistance creates more pain
  • its okay to cry or be sad
  • Pain is unavoidable
  • Give yourself time
  • Let go of “control”
  • You need to suffer “consciously” (Observe your emotional pain, your anguish, and frustrations. Observe the constant stream of negative thoughts that run through your mind. The dreadful stories that keep feeding your pain, but choose not to identify yourself with them.)
  • Give time, time.
  • Spend time alone
  • Reach out for help if needed.


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2 comments on “Stop running from your pain.

  1. I was meant to read this as a close family member is masking her pain. Talking about issues has never been a part of our table talk but now I wish it were. We, including me, need to be more open about our emotions.

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