​Embracing Pain


Embracing Pain
The widow knows pain as the death of her husband; parents know pain as the loss of a dear child; the business tycoon knows it as the total absence of profit; the politician knows it as losing the election. On the scale of gaining: the boxer knows pain as gaining a punch on the face; anonymous Paul knows pain as gaining hurtful words from a dear one; the employee knows pain as gaining a sack letter from the employer; in love life pain is known as gaining a broken heart. 
Hence, pain comes in different ways, both imagined and unimagined. Pain is generally a feeling derived when there is  a shift in the normalcy of a condition. The Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary (8th Edition) defines pain as, ”the feelings that you have in your body when you have been hurt or when you are ill/sick”. Therefore, pains may be either external or internal; physical or psychological. Surely, no single thing can exist of its own. The popular saying goes, ”it takes two to tangle”; and out of such tangle emits existence or non-existence. Nevertheless, if such tangle is disentangled; there is a new existence or non-existence. In view of this, pian emits either out of losing or gaining somebody or something.
Pain is a necessary catalyst to being fully and truely human. A citation by C.S. Lewis bears a similitude to this, ”pain insists on being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” The message then is clear: humans require some measure of pain to be fully and truely who they are – humans. Painful as it may be, when a loved one is no more, one learns independency and self sustainance.
Despite being countlessly proclaimed, nobody wants change with its consistency. In other words, nobody wants pain since its a product of a change in normalcy. Forgetting, then, the lessons that pain has to teach.
The contemporary nutured child, sees tears as a symbol of pain; and the populace have rejected pain – the child too rejects pain. Here the populace and the child don’t intrincically reject tears -par say- rather, it is the pain that they don’t want to identify with.
Since, expressing pain has being stigmatized as expressing weakness. Even some make the statement, ”I am strong” when they are actually very weak. This then draws us to the fear of being weak. A familiar example is the preconception that men are stronger; while women are the weaker ones. In such situation, the women are looked at with spite and are condemned to playing second fiddle. Since a man would not want to identify with this, he then sees weakness as an abomination.
In the light of the above, it is necessary to embrace pain. Truely, this may sound obscene; but the antithesis is embracing an illusion. For true peace cannot be attained without embracing pain. Moreso, embracing pain doesn’t mean spending your eternity in pains. Rather, it means: identifying, accepting, experiencing, and – as the book Tuesdays With Morrie would suggest it – ”dropping it” to embrace peace. And this is how it works. All feelings are to be experienced: both high and low; mild and intense. Psycology presents it that feelings not identified are either misplaced or suppressed. One excellent psycologist, Sr. Freda, gives a technical statement to describe the result of such fixation – ”the feelings begin to shoot in different directions”; that is, they surface again to be used negatively against innocent individuals.
Embracing pain may be scary and strange; but this is because of what Anthony De Mello would regard in his book Awareness as, ”preconceptions”. In that same book, he advices that ”the besy way to learn is to unlearn” – unlearn those preconceptions that shackles us to so many weaknesses and strengths; both helpful and useless ones. This would help in understanding that pain is to be embraced, since understanding is key in the experience of feelings.
Conclusively, embracing pain frees us from stress; from shame; from dependency, from independency and most especially; it would free us from pain itself. Then the antithesis -peace- would be acquired.

-Agbator.I.Anthony {€mperical Ink}

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