Be Who God Intended
Go Towards the Pain
The complex struggle of pain, why we have it and why it shouldn't be avoided.
Pain is a complex subject. There are different kinds of pain. Most of us want to avoid pain. Why? Because it is painful. It hurts.
But, there are different kinds of pain.
Physical Pain Can Help Us Avoid Danger
Physical pain is the most obvious. I just had a spot removed from my cheek as a precautionary measure. It was benign. To take the sample, the doctor injected some pain killer. The needle caused a tiny bit of ouch, and then I felt nothing. I had three stitches to sew up the incision, and off I went. In this type of situation, I am glad we can avoid pain.
Later that week, I put a deep scrape in the back of my hand. It didn’t hurt much, so I ignored it. After a while, I noticed it had bled quite a bit and I struggled to stop the bleeding. I had no pain. If I had not seen the blood, it could have caused some problems.
I have never broken a bone, but I have heard it hurts. I was in a fistfight in high school. I got punched in the nose. It hurt a lot. No fights for me after that. I didn’t like the pain.
Physical pain is usually a good thing because it alerts us that we have a problem that needs attention.
Avoiding (or hiding from) Emotional Pain Can Hold Us Back
Emotional pain is a natural phenomenon. Sometimes emotional pain can feel a lot like physical pain. I describe my most difficult experience with this during a very moving saga in my book — Living Large!.
I ended up lying on the floor and vomiting. There was nothing physical causing this. But nonetheless, it was excruciating.
So many things can cause emotional pain. This might include:
- Psychological trauma
- Experiencing something we can not control and that assaults our sense of safety
- Grief over loss
The list is very long. It is pretty easy to deny our feelings and try to “soldier on” or cover them up with substance abuse.
Whenever we feel emotional pain, it is a signal to us that something is wrong. Avoiding that pain could begin a chapter that holds us back from growing into the person we want to become.
Getting Help Allows Us to Become Who God Intended Us to Be
By going toward the pain, I mean recognizing the pain and getting some help. Help can come from many places. We all need help at times. This could include:
- Talking to a close friend
- Finding God in solitude
- Working with a professional
Emotional pain will not go away by itself. It will haunt us underneath the surface until we find healing.
I am not a professional in this area by any stretch of the imagination. But I do want to become everything that God created me to be.
St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.”
In the words of Jesus:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.