Jan 16, 2018

Why does pain have to be a part of life?

We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
-Carlos Castenada

In her book, One Foot In Front of the Other: Daily affirmations for recovery, Tian Dayton writes about pain.

Our pains are not so unique.

In the Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA/ACoA) rooms we relate to one other and find common threads within our experiences. Finding this common thread helps us feel more belonging and less alone in our suffering. 
We are brought into the present our thoughts are no longer “racing towards the future or churning on the past.” 
No matter what life hands us, we are partly responsible for our response. Motivational speaker Brian Tracy calls this “response-ability.” Pain is a part of life, and what matters more is how we respond.

Running From Pain 

Tian says, “I recognize that what causes people to become crazy or dysfunctional is running from pain. Actually feeling pain takes a few minutes, a few hours, a few days, a few months,[BUT], running from pain takes a lifetime."

And according to Tian, it this constant running away or looking for reasons to avoid, bury, or deny our pain that we go crazy!!

Reason for Pain

If something repeatedly continues to bring up feelings of pain or frustration, then God is trying to teach us something, just like facing our fears, it’s time to face what is. 
It’s the only way to make our fears go away. 
In fact, avoiding pain is on our Laundry List. In List #10, “We have stuffed our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much.” 
We seek approval and lose our identity in the process. Are we afraid to be rejected /perhaps we are used to being rejected for being ourselves. Our true selves were never fully accepted; there was always something wrong with us and our alcoholic parent made sure to point our "faults" out every chance they got.
We live our life from the viewpoint of victims and are attracted to that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.  Laundry List #6 states that we have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves.
  • Do you try to help others relieve their pain instead of facing your own?
  • Do you prefer to fix your friends and family, rather than taking a look at where you could use some healing and mending yourself?
  • Have you been running from pain, and the truth of your pain? 

*Today’s affirmation inspired by Tian Dayton’s book One Foot In Front of the Other: daily affirmations for recovery 

Photo credit: Dreamstime

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