The Importance of Pain

Ever experienced pain that was even deeper than chest deep? It doesn’t just tear at your mind or heart but it feels as if your very soul is being shredded apart. Sometimes when I meet people, especially people that seem to be so well-put-together, I wonder what pain they’ve experienced in their past. Usually this curiosity is more innocent than that. I really just want to know what made this person in front of me, but not just all the rainbows and butterflies of their life. I want to know the demons that haunt them. I have demons… I keep them locked away in a jail far from my superficial self. It was an interesting morning when my demons decided to escape into my dreams. SO that brings me to this… do we explore the pain in hopes of learning from it? or have we already learned what we need from the pain which means that suppression really is the best answer? Ever heard of Baptism by Fire? For those of you who haven’t, its a term usually used to describe a Soldier’s first experience in battle. It originated from the french term “baptême du feu”, which has its roots in Christianity. Talking with Frank Andrew Waszut the other day about pain and its role in Buddhism, I remembered how important pain is in our lives. It shapes us, for better or for worse, pain can be the driving force that makes a man great or destroys him. I guess it ties into the saying “anything worth having takes work”, there is no real work like trying to overcome real pain. I wonder if people who have never experienced pain like I described above are able to appreciate happiness as much. Can we only take so much before even the strongest of men snap? We run from pain but it is pain that creates enlightenment. Not physical pain, physical pain is temporary and can be traumatic, but once it becomes traumatic it is emotional pain, the deepest and darkest of pains. Yet we like to scoff at emotional pain as if it isn’t something that is really that important, which is why I propose that those of you who have been, suck up your insecure sense of masculinity and realize that empathy and/or sympathy is the act of letting people share their pain with you. It takes a real man to deal with that… To those who live purely for self, you should realize the pain you cause to the people around you, your haughty sense of self importance drains your ability to really grow as a person. Just some thoughts…

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