Have you noticed that some of the most compassionate, understanding, modest, and intuitive people seem to be those who have suffered, been oppressed, or are in constant search for life’s ultimate meaning? I have and I find that it is an interesting phenomenon.
As stated in a previous article, it was not until rain and “dark-valleys” appeared in my life that I grew and could see my potential.
This article will discuss the upside of pain and will introduce tips on seeking a trauma therapist.
Pain gets our attention. It refocuses our purpose and breaks the human will to compete or be better than others and rise to the top to the exclusion of others. It adds character to some people, while with other people they may become bitter and angry with the world.
Once we begin to understand the personal qualities, rewards, and potential benefits to pain and suffering we can begin to reject bitterness and anger in favor of a growth experience designed to change, re-structure, and transform our mindset, behavior, and ultimately our life. It is important that you learn to redefine your experience and to see hope in all pain and suffering. It is very difficult to do this but once the pain subsides to a level where you can reflect and tolerate it, you will be able to see where you can grow, what you have learned, and what you can possibly give to others.
The first step toward acceptance and benefiting from painful experiences is to pursue a therapist who gets you. I suggest a good and experienced trauma therapist. In the video below, I discuss this further.
There are many reasons why we can become better people through suffering and pain. A few reasons are:
- You are more open-minded and focused: When you experience pain you see the world differently including yourself and others. You approach life differently and you recognize that your time is better spent pursuing what truly matters and rejecting temporary pleasures.
- You can relate: Pain levels the playing field. We recognize our vulnerabilities and limits and become modest enough to reach out to others. We recognize that all of humanity is subject to many conditions of living (homelessness, abuse, domestic violence, loneliness, depression, mental health problems, loss of family and friends, financial difficulties, and death).
- You’re more pressed to succeed: One most important benefit to suffering is that when you become tired of suffering, somehow you begin to fight back. You look for ways to reduce the pressure and strive for a better way, a better level of existence. Think about the success stories that fit this profile (John Newton, Victor Frankl, Chris Gardner, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Dr. Seuss, etc.). There are many successful people today in many fields who were rejected, abused, or suffered some sort of pain. No one is exempt!
- You’re emotional: Have you ever spoken to a therapist, friend, or family member who just didn’t get you? They couldn’t understand why something hurt you so bad or even stopped you from moving forward. You get those distant, non-caring looks that make you feel odd or misunderstood. This person might claim to understand you and might even use their own personal experience as proof that they get you, but somehow you realize they don’t. When you’ve experienced pain, you truly understand, although not entirely, what pain can do to you. You have a close idea that helps you empathize.
Each time I experience a setback, disappointment, or hurtful life event I find myself more intuitive than before. After all the “why” questions I can then begin to accept it and move on. Something happens and I begin to reach out to others. It’s a process that involves the heart and soul. It’s almost as if your brokenness makes you vulnerable or sensitive to the needs of others. Once the storm is over, you can certainly experience this too.
All the best to you
This article was originally written 5/5/16 But has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.