Emotional pain can be similar to physical pain but we tend not to see it that way.
We understand that building a beautifully fit body is going to require some aches and struggles along the way. A good day in the gym results in pain at night. We know in our minds that the pain of stretching those muscles will cause temporary pain, but it will also create beauty and strength for the long run. As we hobble around at night, we might even brag that it’s because of “leg day” or something like that. We are proud of the pain, because it’s a sign of growth and evolution.
So that’s how it goes with our bodies, but when it comes to our emotions, that’s a very different story. Most people see emotional pain as something to be avoided at all costs. They don’t see how it serves any purpose.
When we have hurt egos, we complain. We get mad. And we might seek to get even with those who have caused us emotional pain.
For some reason, we never see or discuss the fact that emotional pain serves us in positive ways. It serves to build our range of experiences. We learn from these events, and that makes us smarter.
Each experience adds one more building block to the path of how big your life can be. Only those with the pain of experience (or the experience of pain) can build amazing lives. It’s a pre-requisite.
Even if someone could have a fortunate life (such as wealth or opportunity) without the pain (like if they were born rich), they will never know the satisfaction that makes that life feel ‘amazing’.
Without the pain and experience of building that fortunate life by their own effort, they will always seek out that elusive feeling of satisfaction. Often people who are born rich, spend their lives on a path of self-destruction for this reason.
It is part of the human experience to want to “feel something”. Ironically those born rich will go to the ends of the earth to experience the deep feelings that so many of us avoid and complain about.
Pain is a Warning Bell
Physical pain is the body’s alarm system. If something is wrong with your body, then your body’s alert system will send you signals of pain. The purpose is to let you know that there’s a problem.
Emotional pain is much the same. If you keep experiencing emotional pain in a particular relationship or situation, then pay attention. It’s your psyche alerting you that there’s a problem. This means that it’s time for you to develop new coping skills, or get out of that situation/relationship altogether.
Dealing With “Failure”
So emotional pain brings experience.
And experience brings us closer to success.
Yet, sometimes you can work on a project or relationship for years and not get a payoff. It may be extremely painful to admit defeat and change course. But walking away doesn’t mean forfeiting your investment or the benefits. You will still get a payoff, though it might not be visible for a long time to come. Success in life does not come from the one single chance to get it right or the one right person you meet along the way.
Life is about a series of events and experiences.
You have multiple chances to get it right. It’s just that you won’t get the payoff until you hit the high note — that crossroads where all converge; your experience, resources, the right people and the right timing.
You won’t have so much control over that moment but what you can control is how you get there. The more buttons you press (things you try) the more experience you will gain, thus increasing your odds of getting to those crossroads of success during your lifetime.
The key is to avoid short-circuiting along the way.
Experiencing too much emotional pain can cause long-term damage to our mind and body. One such example is Complex-PTSD, which can develop over time if too much trauma (prolonged or recurring) overwhelms a person. So here’s a secret on how to limit the amount of trauma-damage while you are busy taking risks…
From this point forward, try to re-frame your emotional pain. Try to see the value in it. Try to recognize the value even while the pain is still fresh. As you become more self-mastered, you will become better at seeing the value while you are actively experiencing the pain.
That will be a moment of evolution and maturity. Being able to do that will also reduce the amount of trauma to your mind and body (because having that perspective will cause you to experience the event in a less painful way).
Remember you are not alone. We are all fighting a battle in life. We’re in this together. Be kind to others… and yourself. Carry on brave warrior!