“Nature shows that with the growth of intelligence comes increased capacity for pain, and it is only with the highest degree of intelligence that suffering reaches its supreme point.” ~Arthur Schopenhauer
We are so afraid of pain that we’re doing the best we can to avoid experiencing it, and yet our whole way of living is leading us to exactly what we are trying to avoid.
Painful experiences have so much to teach us. Pain implies that something is wrong with our lives. Pain shows us that we need to take action in order to change how we live — to stop doing some things and start doing some other ones. Therefore, pain isn’t bad, contrary to what most people believe. In fact, pain is our best teacher.
Only by paying attention to your pain, can you discover your bliss, because pain urges you to find out why it’s there and how to get rid of it. Pain means problems, and to solve problems you need to become more intelligent. That’s why those who don’t have the courage to face their innermost fears and deal with life’s problems are usually not that smart — they don’t use their brain that much and so it atrophies.
If you study the history of humankind, you will find that the greatest minds to have ever walked on earth were those most sensitive to pain. Pain urged those individuals to ask questions and seek for answers. Pain pushed them to see life from an entirely different perspective.
So don’t be afraid of pain; rather, accept pain and embrace it. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should desire pain in your life. It just means that when you’re experiencing pain, be present with it, instead of avoiding it or finding ways to distract yourself from it. This way you can allow pain to show you what it has to show you.
Most of us are continuously trying avoid confronting our pain, because we know that, if we do otherwise, we might experience tremendous emotional turmoil. So we choose to waste most of our time distracting ourselves. We watch TV, buy products, consume pills, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes… we keep on doing all sorts of things, no matter how stupid or harmful, just so we can avoid a moment of aloneness. Yet, unless we find the courage to listen to our pain, the harsh reality is that we’re never going to overcome it, and hence we won’t be able to find peace of mind and emotional contentment.
“Don’t carry your mistakes around with you. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as stepping stones to rise above them.” ~Ryan Ferreras
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