“I just don’t see the point”, he said to me. I looked at him searching my face, waiting for an answer that would satisfy. He sincerely wanted to understand why I was telling him he needed to connect to his pain. What I was telling him made no sense to him.
Why wasn’t his understanding on a cognitive level enough? Why did he actually need to get in touch with, and wail and grieve and feel his pain? What was the point? Why could he not just have an insight and move on? He wasn’t the first, and certainly would not be the last client to ask me this question.
As a counselor….wait….just as a person, I get it. I get why on some level it makes no sense to feel pain. It’s uncomfortable, it takes time and saps energy that one will never get back. And seemingly, it does no good. Or, at least that is one of the many reasons we have to avoid feeling our pain.
Author and Psychologist Henry Cloud says ‘Wisdom is hearing the lessons learned from pain, either ours or others, and using those lessons to avoid more pain. Listen to pain, it speaks’.
As a culture we have learned to cope with pain by avoiding pain, but every emotion has a job to do and neglecting our hurt can short circuit our growth process. If you are avoiding your pain, or even worse, have numbed yourself to pain, that may be a red flag that you are missing out on a growth process in your life.
Here’s a few points to consider about why it may be a very good thing to connect to your pain:
Pain is a great indicator that something has gone wrong or needs attention or that we need to grieve.
Ignoring pain, suppressing it, or fighting it doesn’t cause it to go away, it only causes it to fester and cause a lasting emotional wound.
Ignoring pain desensitizes us so that we can no longer feel pain, but we also often miss feeling true joy.
Pain teaches us about where we have been violated, and where we have violated others.
Pain can lead to a deeper understanding of our selves and of others so that we can be free to forgive
We hurt how we have been hurt. Ignoring pain enables us to continue destructive patterns of behavior that undermine ourselves and others.
We cannot face others pain if we have not faced our own; so running from our pain keeps us separated from being able to have close and healthy relationship with others.
Feeling pain brings freedom when done in an environment of understanding and acceptance; allowing us to better understand and accept the pain of those around us.
Connecting to our past hurt and present pain has the ability to give us life changing insight. If you avoid feeling your pain, it’s possible that you have also missed out on a deeper healing.
Counseling is a safe place to explore past and present pain, gain insight, and break free from destructive patterns of behavior and relationship. If you have pain, you were not designed to carry it forever, you were meant to live through and beyond it. Call Life Counseling Solutions at 407-622-1770 today to begin working through and ultimately living beyond pain.