Pain helps us understand who we really are

Pain is useful. It is not pleasant but it is precious: we can try to make it an ally or consider it an enemy to fight.

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Pain is useful. It is not pleasant but it is precious: we can try to make it an ally or consider it an enemy to fight. The choice is ours, of course, but it has its own concrete weight also because - it is well known - pain is such a democratic reality that it does not forget anyone: sooner or later it presents itself in one of its many expressive possibilities.

Those who choose a "constructive" interpretation of pain are by no means alone. Marcel Proust - at the beginning of the last century - he recalled that “happiness is beneficial for the body but it is pain that develops the powers of the mind”, it allows us to have new ideas.

Alain de Botton, in the book "How Proust can change your life", explains how: the important thing is "never unlearn" to see beauty in what surrounds us, even in the little things of every day and in the knowing how to enjoy what is there, without wanting more and more.

The implicit invitation is to go beyond the materialistic appeal of our society which predisposes to a second, this time sterile pain, fruit - to use Proust's words - of a "cancerous proliferation of desire".

Also for Roberto Assaggioli, psychiatrist and theosophist, founder of psychosynthesis, the pain is constructive; in particular it identifies 4 positive functions:

  1. if only by reaction, to fight it, pain forces one to leave one's mental and moral laziness, from habits, of egocentrism and favors the emergence of latent energies, the development of the will; requires commitment;
  2. free from excessive attachments to people or things, show what is really essential;
  3. allows you to develop self-discipline, requires to reorganize one's instinctual, emotional and mental energies in favor of beneficial activities, for humanitarian and elevated purposes (going through pain allows us to identify ourselves better in the suffering of others, it can therefore push us to act then to alleviate it, help others; to develop compassion);
  4. it forces reflection on the meaning of one's life, on one's inner world and approaches to a transpersonal, spiritual dimension

Things do not change even when the pain is in the body, of the body: before anything else, in fact, pain warns us in an unambiguous way of a danger, of a situation of disharmony between us and the environment, and it does so with such force that we are forced to take care of it.

If we then enter into a psychosomatic interpretation of the symptoms, now often demonstrated also on a scientific level, it is evident how the disease is a language that speaks to us more intimately than we do: of efforts, conflicts, memories that are placed on an emotional and, even before, spiritual level. Thanks to the decoding of the symbolic message it carries, the disorder is therefore the path that can bring us first to an understanding and then to the overcoming of conflicts registered somewhere in our bodies (energetic, subtle and physical).

Read also: 20 physical pains related to a specific emotional state

Pain tells us who we really are

Even purely emotional pain is something that occurs when we move away from our true essence, from our Self: if we are willing to welcome it and listen to it, it tells us who we are, it shows us where we are and, last but not least, it provides useful personal direction of work.

So here it takes a clearer sense than stated by Herman Hesse: “I also began to understand that pains, disappointments and melancholy are not meant to make us discontented and take away our worth and dignity, but to mature”. To allow us to bring out our most authentic and hidden strengths.

Naturally we can not accept the evolutionary invitation of pain; this refusal, however, will open the way to a withdrawal on ourselves; it will determine a greater hardness of the heart, a "souring" in one's way of relating to others and to life which inevitably loses its beauty, is interpreted as cruel and meaningless.

We were not born to suffer but suffering can become an instrument of knowledge: the less we resist, the more we follow the evolutionary thrust it offers us, the more we can learn from it, an opportunity for growth and development.

In the broader art of love, towards our authentic Self.

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