Pain is your teacher; pain is there for a reason. Satchidananda
Do not consider painful what is good for you. Euripides
The purpose of pain is not to punish but to teach. Elinor MacDonald
“No pain, no gain” is a well known euphemism. It says that we must experience our share of pain in order to move ahead, to learn and to grow. Experiencing pain is a fundamental, integral and necessary part of life.
There is both physical and emotional pain. We are instinctively motivated to try to avoid pain, suffering and distress. Sometimes we can be so motivated, we will agree to do things we would not normally do, in order to avoid pain. This is the nature of torture tactics. If pain becomes severe enough we become motivated to do things we dislike doing, such as going to the doctor or dentist. Pain naturally occurs as a part of the trials and tribulations of life, hard knocks, disappointments, and life’s frustrations that happen our way. Sometimes it is emotional pain that occurs when we find ourselves in unfamiliar circumstances or when we venture outside our comfort zone. Our life becomes painful when we lose our feelings of security, comfort or well-being.
Pain is a normal part of our growth process. If we do not experience it our growth will be stunted and we will not likely grow or reach our potential. In a sense, pain is good because it teaches. This does not mean that bad experiences are good. Many experiences are tragic; the death of loved ones, job loss, poor health, and many others. These events present major opportunities to experience, observe, learn, and gain wisdom. It is very foolish not to learn from them.
There is a good pain that comes from experiencing new challenges. Venturing outside the comfort zone is painful. It is like a newborn finding itself outside the mother’s womb. It is not its normal environment; it feels vulnerable and insecure. We must exit the womb to start life, to experience new things and grow. Our survival instinct and learning process thrives on new experiences. We endure, learn and then grow. Learning to ride a bicycle is a good example of the before and after, the fear beforehand and new found confidence afterwards. We experience the emotions associated with being fearful followed by the joy of our success.
Our experiences teach us to grow, to adapt and then to learn how do better at this thing called, “Life”. Painful experiences offer the greatest potential. We need to embrace them and exact everything from them we can.
Challenge: Learn to separate yourself from painful experiences enough to learn life’s lessons. It is okay, human and natural, to feel grief, sorrow, anger and hurt. Turn your pain into growth, knowledge and wisdom. You must learn from all experiences. All of this is making you into who you are and who you are becoming. Painful experiences will happen to you. It is such a waste for you not to gain strength and wisdom from each of them.
Wisdom: Life breaks us all, and we heal stronger in the broken places. Friedrich W Nietzshe
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
God never promises the absence of pain and suffering. He promises to give us the strength we need to endure and grow through life’s painful experiences. All of life’s experiences have a cumulative effect on the person we presently are as well as the person we are becoming. When we have had enough spiritual growth we can really trust that God has our backs and have an inner strength giving us power and perspective to take on life.
Prayer: Help me to grow through my pain.