Today’s physical pain inspired me to write this post. Firstly, I want to thank my mom, dad and Mother Nature for making me sensitive to any sign of bacteria. At least, I have an inspiration to write. 🙂
Instead of physical, I’m gonna concentrate on the emotional pain. The same thing in some ways, if you ask me. We are afraid to experience emotional pain even more than the physical, and we are capable to try countless shitty, or not shitty that much, attempts to avoid it.
Why I say shitty? Because of our subconscious urge to reach the calmness, we were assholes, cowards, manipulators, liars, big egoists, selfish bastards, wimps, and so on… at least ones in our lives. Our nature makes us do anything to avoid the pain. It’s a common reaction if we don’t grab the courage immediately.
And check this out, we invented ultimately a popular cure for the happiness. No pain guarantee! Let’s just always be happy. The ones who are not always happy should be worried how to “heal”. Then the crowd goes to the therapies with the ultimate goal of “always being happy”. This is where paradox steps in. The more we attempt to avoid emotional pain the more likely we are to experience it.
Why? Because life is full of hardship and suffering. We cannot pretend that it’s not a fact. We are likely to experience minor or bigger emotional injuries. In those moments of hard times, we create personal meaning, learn valuable lessons, and develop core values to which we choose to live our life. However, when we refuse to experience and face our pain we are unable to develop the skills required to tolerate life’s inevitable suffering. When we have a goal of “always being happy” we are not accepting of all the other emotions that are integral to the human experience. Ridiculously trying to avoid a large spectrum of emotions, we give the control to our emotions. They can never leave our system, they can only transform, and then we have panic attacks, depression, anxiety disorders, and similar forms which lead us to unhealthy behaviors to escape distress.
Unhealthy behaviors? Well, we can easily turn into a person with eating disorders, pathological gambling, internet addiction, excessive worry, over-exercise…
And I didn’t forget I called us assholes, cowards, manipulators, liars, big egoists, selfish bastards, wimps…
It’s very likely that we were or we faced someone who was a rude dick who pushed us away in order to avoid possible emotional hurt, which might be caused by our judgment or expression of dissatisfaction.
It’s very likely that we faced a liar or a wimp who tried to duck the pain, or a manipulator who wanted to control the situation and others in order to escape the possibility of loss.
It’s very likely that we faced a pathetic lover or a creep trying to get his loss back to feed the sorrow.
It’s very likely that we faced someone with a hysteric euphoria pretending to be vaccinated against the sadness.
It’s also very likely that we faced a cold egomaniac with a heavy mask trying to protect his vulnerable inner child.
It’s very likely that I forgot to add more examples, but you can brainstorm it for your homework. 😉
So, this head of mine trying to say that avoidance of experience impacts our ability to tolerate distress. Minor challenges become overwhelming. Paradoxically, those who face suffering understand that emotions are temporary and learn to accept this as part of the human experience. Within acceptance comes tolerance. The more we face the distress the less intense the emotional experience. In the long run, we gain perspective and understand how experiencing the pain of life also enhances the joyful experiences.