Valuable Lessons From Pain: 10 Ways My Pain Helped Me Grow

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Valuable Lessons From Pain

What are the life lessons one can learn from pain? And is it true when they say that experiencing pain in life can help you grow as a person?

Why don’t you like romcoms?” My friend asked me the other night.

I smiled at her, refraining myself from telling the truth.

What was I supposed to say? That it’s not my reality? That I can’t relate with these foolishly happy characters so full of optimism, luck, and love? That’s not real life. Life is not a romcom. It’s a slow mundane drama with its fair share of twists and turns and an undetermined ending that’s open to interpretation. The reality is, there are numerous life lessons to learn which change and shape us constantly.

I know I sound like a sad and depressed guy but I am not. Really. Well, maybe I used to be. But not anymore. Now I just happen to be in love with pain. No…I am not talking about self-harm or physical pain or the kind of kinky pleasurable pain some of you may be thinking about.

I am talking about the pain that hits you the hardest. The pain you feel inside your heart and your soul. I am talking about emotional pain. The pain that makes you feel useless. The pain that makes you want to give up and just drop dead. The pain that makes you realize what life is actually about. The pain that makes you realize how beautiful you are inside. I am talking about the pain that we have all felt at some point in time in our lives or maybe feeling right now.

There are a lot of life lessons to learn from pain. And I am in love with that pain. Why? Let me try to explain.

Read 10 Types Of Physical Pain Indicating Emotional Problems

This is how I met pain

What is the easiest way to teach someone what pain feels like? Break their heart. It’s that simple. That’s all it takes to feel a numbing sensation inside that makes you feel your entire existence is crashing down. Nothing is more painful than a broken heart. Heartbreak can come from anything…anything that matters to you, anything that has emotional value to you.

The first time I experienced pain was when I was a child. When my parents decided to move to a new city and I had to leave everything behind. That was the first time I felt this pain inside me. I had to leave the home I grew up in. I had to leave my friends. The girl I liked. And my loving pets ended up with my grandparents. Everything I knew, everything I loved, everything I had in my life, everything that made me…me was gone. Yes, I hated my parents for doing this to me for a really long time.

But for me, there were a lot of life lessons to learn from this pain at that young age. And I did. The next time we moved, it hurt a little less. I had grown up a bit by then and I was used to this pain now. I was used to losing all that mattered to me. 

Did it make me a pessimist? 

Was I depressed? 

Maybe. 

But it still hurt. 

And I tried desperately not to go through this feeling again. 

I grew up to be a loner trying hard not to make any attachments. To people. To things. To places. But that wasn’t going to work. I was simply not the person I was trying so desperately to be. I was a highly sensitive, loving, and caring person. And I hated that. For so long I tried to change who I was. Because when you love someone, the pain soon follows. That’s the sad truth.

I got my heartbroken by the girl I fell in love with the first time. I lost some of my pets who meant the world to me. My first girlfriend cheated on me after a 7 year-long relationship. Friends backstabbed. Coworkers conspired. Family mistreated. In short, life happened. This was nothing unusual.

Everyone has to go through these experiences. Right? But from my perspective, it seemed I was the only one who was being targeted. As if God was deliberately taking time out to play with me. I cried. I screamed. I holed up in my room. I felt alone. I felt a rush of mixed emotions and no one was there with me to tell me everything was going to be okay. I was stuck in a dark foggy pit and no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t escape. I just couldn’t end this pain.

Maybe it wasn’t a big deal but it felt like the end of the world to me. I became depressed and suicidal. But still, I refused to accept the pain I was feeling inside. So I did the next best thing I could. I faked it. I pretended everything was alright instead of actually dealing with my emotions. My plan was simple: fake it till you make it. But here’s the thing with plans. They fail.

pain

When I stopped escaping pain

Eventually, all the bottled-up emotions that I avoided for so long exploded out and hit me hard in the most unexpected ways. It took me by surprise. And that’s when I realized running away from pain was not the solution. That’s not how things are meant to be. You can’t hide from the pain. You can’t run away from it. The only thing you can do is accept it, feel it, and hopefully find a way to get it out. When you do that you learn, evolve, and grow from your pain.

You can’t hide from the pain. You can’t run away from it. The only thing you can do is accept it, feel it, and hopefully find a way to get it out. When you do that you learn, evolve, and grow from your pain. 

The more you ignore your pain, the more it will haunt you. What you need to do is step up to yourself, dig deep and find the courage inside to face your pain. Truly embrace it. You need to let your pain mold and make you the person you are meant to be. The person you could never even imagine you could be. And when you do that, when you become that person…you finally start loving pain. Because pain makes you better. Period. 

Pain is a side effect of love

The moment I stopped running away from pain is exactly when I became proud of who I was. I became the loving caring person I was always meant to be. Love is painful. It hurts and it hurts bad. There’s no denying that. By refusing to feel pain, I refused to love. I denied myself becoming the person I was inside. And that is what was making me depressed. My misery was not caused due to all the problems and challenges I faced in life. Everyone goes through that. It was caused by my refusal to accept pain. The moment I accepted pain and opened my heart to give and receive love, something magical happened. I felt empowered. I felt liberated. Liberated from all the self-doubts, insecurities, self-deprecating thoughts, and all the negative voices that kept telling me I was not worth it.

As I said before, there are innumerable life lessons to learn from pain and if you can do it right, it can completely transform you as a person.

The fear of pain can destroy you. But pain itself can make you fearless. You can’t fall and disappear into the darkness of fear. It is this fear of not being worthy of love is what makes us lost in this abyss. It makes us afraid of pain. I love pain because it helped me grow. I love pain because it showed me the path to better myself. I chose to evolve through my pain although it hurt like hell to do that. But now I know how to love and it makes me happy even though I know it could lead to more pain. But that’s okay.

If you love someone, you will feel pain. That’s the beauty of it. If you feel pain inside your heart, it means you love fully and unconditionally. And that is the most beautiful thing we can do as human beings. To love someone and not be affected by the outcome…that is a power you can experience only through pain.

Read 5 Emotions That Can Cause You Pain, And How To Control Them

I love pain, not suffering

“Pain is what the world inflicts upon us. Suffering is our emotional reaction when we fail to make the difficult conscious choice to choose joy.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Accepting pain does not mean you give up and suffer through life. Pain and suffering are not synonymous. Accepting pain makes you take a hard look at the reality of life. It forces you to rise above it and make your life better. Given the right mindset, pain makes you gain a positive outlook at life. But suffering breaks you.

It makes you feel hopeless and forces you to give up. It took me years to understand this difference as I silently suffered through whatever life gave me. Suffering made me blind to the fact that all the challenges life threw at my face were actually opportunities to transform that same life into something much more beautiful. 

Suffering is pain left unmanaged that corrupts your thoughts & actions. It made me a recluse and a loner who refused to get attached to people. Suffering leads to destructive habits that result in a life filled with problems. It made me suicidal and even insecure about myself which affected my relationship. I became weak, needy and a desperate person who was unable to be the ‘man’ my girl deserved.

And even though it hurts me to accept it, it was my insecurity and lack of self-confidence that drove my girlfriend into the arms of another man. This is what suffering can do to you. It can ruin your life and make you afraid of emotional pain.

An old Buddhist saying explains that when we get hurt by an arrow, we will feel pain. But when we react to the arrow and feel anger and plan to take revenge then it’s suffering. Pain experienced without fear or judgment can help you heal and transform. It makes you aware and mindful of reality enabling you to find peace and happiness.

However, if you get lost in that pain and reflect on it wondering why it happened to you, you will not be able to release that pain. This will create suffering. It is the story we tell ourselves about why we experienced the pain. Pain is mandatory. Pain is inevitable. But suffering is optional. There is always an option for you to choose to stop this suffering. 

Heal from your fear

“Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that’s what makes you strong.” – Sarah Dessen

Have you ever woken up crying from a bad dream only to realize the dream was just the reality of your life? No, dreams are not always fantastical. Sometimes, they just show you what your life is like. And that reality or the realization of reality can sometimes be too hard to accept. It’s what hurts you the most. When you can’t even avoid pain in your dreams.

When it drains up all your energy and changes you into something that you are not. When you stop yourself from living life because you’re too afraid to get your heart broken again is when you realize you’re living in fear of pain. All you want is for the pain to end.

For me, I had been in fear of pain for so long that it came to a point that I was actually scared of being happy instead of experiencing pain. Being happy meant something worse was about to happen. I was more comfortable with pain. Pain was the home I grew up in, the pain gave me the warmth I needed, it made me feel wanted. It was the cloud of pain that reigned over my mind and made me feel comfortable in the darkness.

Pain was something I knew. 
Happiness?
Not so much. 
As they say ‘better the devil you know than the devil you don’t’. 
Right? 
Wrong. 

The problem is not with emotional pain or happiness. The problem lies with the fear of pain. That is what leads to suffering long before you’ve even experienced pain. The key to loving pain is unconditional acceptance. It is only when you accept it, you can finally let it out. You can sing or even dance your pain out.

You can write about it or paint it. You can talk about it to whoever is close to you (there’s always someone to talk to, even if you’re a loner, trust me I know). You can walk it out or travel it out. No matter what you do to express and release your pain, the moment you release it you will feel empowered. Having gone through the experience will make you stronger, wiser, and more courageous. 

The courage and act of dealing with pain is the most beautiful part about it. It heals you from inside.

Just look at the alternative: a lifetime of being scared of emotional pain and trying your best to run from it, pushing people away, isolating yourself, and ending up alone…the very thing you were afraid of being. 

Is that what you want? The answer is a definite NO!

This is why you need to have the courage to step into the darkness and move on to the glorious light that exists on the other side. That’s where you heal. That’s where you find unconditional love. That’s where you find peace and happiness. That is what defines you.

Valuable Lessons From Pain: 10 Ways My Pain Helped Me Grow

10 ways my pain helped me grow

“God gave us pain to remind us we are alive, so we will learn to value the joys and beauty of the world.” – Tom Corr

Being in pain means you’re alive. Being in pain means you are able to love. Here’s why I love pain so much.

1. Pain allowed me to grow and evolve.

“Pain makes me grow. Growing is what I want. Therefore, for me pain is pleasure.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Everything happens for a reason. You may not see it right now but in time you will see the bigger picture. You will realize exactly why you had to go through all that pain. Everything is designed to help you reach exactly where you need to be. Going through pain, falling down and breaking apart, and then rebuilding myself has made me the person I am today. And I am proud of who I have become.

Pain forces you to grow and improve yourself. It makes you ask the right questions and then find the answers that will eventually lead to complete self-development. Pain IS gain. Without pain, I would have never had the opportunity or the motivation to get out of my shell and take charge of my own life and happiness.

2. I have become mentally strong.

Heartbreak feels worse than death. But coping with betrayal and a failed relationship has made me a lot more resilient. Picking myself up and pushing through the pain when there was no one else by my side was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And in that process, I became so mentally tough and independent that I am not afraid to love anymore.

My perspective on love and life has matured and I have found my inner strength only after I was stretched beyond my limits. Now I don’t need anyone to be with me to be happy. I am happy just by myself. 

Read How To Turn Your Painful Emotions Into Superpowers

3. I take my own decisions.

When you are afraid of emotional pain, you are afraid of losing people, afraid of being disliked. So you agree with the people you love most of the time. You become a pushover and let people decide for you.

Once you’ve gone through pain, you learn to stand up for yourself and take your decisions. And guess what, people start respecting you more for it.

4. I have learned to take care of myself first.

When you try to avoid emotional pain and heartbreak, you eventually start avoiding things that you want to do, things that are good for your emotional and mental health. You care more about making others happy and your own happiness and pleasure takes a back seat. The fear of pain made me insecure and desperate. I focused more on keeping the people I loved happy than doing what I needed to do for my own long term happiness.

Going through heartbreak and the pain that ensued has taught me to always prioritize my needs first and do what needs to be done without making any compromises. This has not only made me a happier person but has also led to healthier relationships.

5. I love more deeply now.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” – Mother Teresa

It’s easy to become guarded and close your heart once you’ve had your heartbroken. But all that pain has made me a more loving person. Just because something hasn’t worked out does not mean I will refrain myself from feeling again. Yes, it may be harder to love someone now as I will be more cautious and take longer to fall in love.

But when I do fall in love, I will give that special person all the love in my heart and receive what they have to offer without expecting anything. Why? Because now I love myself a lot more than I used to and that gives me the strength to love unconditionally.

6. I have become more compassionate.

Pain makes you more empathetic and compassionate. When you’ve hit your rock bottom, you start doing things that you never would’ve done otherwise. This makes you more open to what other people are going through. Once you’ve been through pain, you don’t want others to suffer what you have.

You become a kinder version of yourself who empathizes with others without judging their decisions or actions. You don’t show sympathy or pity. Instead, you understand, accept and forgive as you are now more open-minded.

Read #1 Tool to Transform Painful Experiences or Emotions

7. I feel more inspired.

“Failure gave me strength. Pain was my motivation.” – Michael Jordan

Pain can be the greatest inspiration to bring about a drastic change in yourself and your life. Breaking up with my girlfriend was the hardest thing I had to do…ever. I was completely dependent on her and was a needy boyfriend. Letting her go was not only difficult, but I tried to avoid it for the longest time in the hope of making things better.

But once I let her go, it inspired me to work on myself. It made me take a cold hard look at what I had become and motivated me to become the awesome person I once was. Although it took some time, I started focusing on myself and my projects. I did some of my most creative work and to be honest it made me a lot better at expressing myself through my work. Pain is the catalyst that creates masterpieces.

8. I have become a lot wiser.

Once you’ve been at the worst place of your life, once you’ve been broken, once you’ve lifted yourself up, you don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. You don’t overthink, you don’t stress or feel anxiety nor do you worry excessively about all the things that could go wrong.

You learn to look at the bigger picture and realize you will be able to sort this out too. Pain helps you look at life differently and understand its true essence.

Valuable Lessons From Pain: 10 Ways My Pain Helped Me Grow

9. I am a lot more positive now.

Depression can suck all the positivity out of you. I don’t think I can explain what being suicidal feels like and I am not even going to try, but I can assure you it is the darkest place one can ever be in. You can see no amount of light shining your way. And that darkness can consume you completely. Negative thoughts can affect your mental, emotional and physical health so much that it feels death is a better alternative.

No person should ever feel that way. And if you are going through something like this, please don’t lose hope. Seek help. Talk to someone. But once you step into that pain and take all the hits that come your way, somehow you are cleansed of all the negativity. It just washes off of you. Once you reach the light, all that remains is the positivity that gives you a new strength to move ahead. 

Life will always be hard, for everyone. But now I focus more on the silver lining than the dark clouds. I am more focused on how I can use a situation to my advantage instead of thinking about why it’s happening to me. It completely transforms the way you think and feel. What’s the worst that can happen? Well, I’ve been there, survived that. So bring it on.

10. I became more spiritual.

When certain things happen that challenge your beliefs and yourself, that breaks you as a human being, that makes you wonder what you have done to deserve such pain, you start seeking answers beyond yourself.You start to realize that God or the universe has a plan and it operates to help you reach the destination you were always supposed to reach.

Although you may not be able to see where you are going right now, I can guarantee you will end up in a much better place than you think. Going through what I would call an unfortunate life, now I understand why I had to go through what I did. It makes you have more faith in God. It makes you trust the universe a lot more. And you start paying attention to the signs universe sends you.

Read 10 Painless Ways To Turn Your Struggles Into Strength

Life lessons to learn from pain

Going through the dark tunnel of pain and finding the light of strength and hope on the other side might be easier said than done. But it’s doable. I am living proof of that. If you are also going through that darkness or want to step into it and face your pain, then let me share what I have learned from facing my anxiety, depression, and pain. It just might help you take that step.

1. Thoughts are not real. It has the power to become real but only if you allow it. Don’t give power to negative thoughts.

2. It’s okay to feel anxious, depressed, frustrated, and angry. It’s okay to be insecure and jealous. It’s okay to feel every emotion that you feel. But it’s not okay to hold on to those feelings. Let the feelings come, acknowledge them without judgment and let them pass naturally.

3. If you love someone, tell them how you feel. Spend time with people who matter to you. Don’t isolate yourself.

4. Facing problems, challenges and obstacles will only make you more confident, resilient and patient. It may break you initially but it will mold you into something better.

5. Have faith in yourself. You’re better than you believe you are.

6. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable in life. You won’t always get what you want. Life gives us what we need, not what we want. And that’s a fact.

7. Overcoming your fear of pain will make you unbreakable. You’ll see what I mean when you get there.

8. Going through pain will make you aware of your inner complicated self and realize you are an emotional and spiritual being capable of greatness.

9. Experiencing pain will make you humble and empathetic towards others. It makes you a better person.

10. Not everyone will love you. No matter how hard you try or how much you love them, you will not get the love you want. Some things are just not meant to be.

11. It’s okay to cry. It helps you heal.

12. Don’t ignore sleep. Don’t stay up overthinking. Give your mind and body the rest it needs.

13. Don’t be afraid to love. Open your heart to love. Receive and share as much love as possible without getting attached.

14. Meditation can be a great place to start to face your fears. Just sit down and focus on your breathing for 10 minutes. Thank me later.

15. Heal yourself at every opportunity by spending time with people you love, eating good food, being in nature, loving your pets, listening to music and dancing, and anything that makes you happy.

16. Accepting rejection is hard but it is crucial that you do and respect the other person’s decision. If someone wants to leave, let them go.

17. Social media can make you more depressed if you are going through a bad phase.

18. Happiness is overrated. You don’t need to pursue happiness. The only two things that actually matter are self-love and peace.

19. Forgiveness is about you winning over hatred and bitterness. It’s not about the other person. It’s about setting yourself free from negativity.

20. Depression can be the worst thing you can ever experience in life. It will break you beyond what you can imagine. But you can get through it. Seek professional help and talk openly to at least one person you trust.

21. Love yourself. Nothing else matters. Let me say that again…LOVE YOURSELF. Love your flaws and awesomeness. Practice self-love and learn to forgive yourself. Accept yourself as you are. Don’t change yourself for anyone.

22. Everything will sort itself out. You just need to step up and be brave.

Read How Healthy Boundaries Can Prevent You From Taking on the World’s Pain

Appreciate the beauty of pain

Pain is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful things you can experience in life. You might not think so right now, but you will eventually. Your pain becomes a part of you. It changes you as you walk through the darkness. It makes you beautiful with it’s own inherent beauty. Unlike suffering, pain is inevitable. You can’t escape it. Trust me, I’ve tried. Pain is a crucial part of life that comes to you to set you free from all the darkness and lead you to the light.

Yes, it’s terrifying to face pain. Even though I have been lecturing you for so long, I am still afraid to face it. But I don’t run from it anymore. For me, facing pain is a better option than living a half-lived life filled with fear.

The life lessons to learn from your pain are far more important than any fear you might be feeling right now. The more you experience pain through heartbreak, failure, betrayal, rejection, shame, the more you will appreciate life through compassion, hope, kindness, and love. There is no light of hope without the darkness of pain. Just imagine how proud you would be for having survived the pain you were given instead of the shame & regret you would feel for running away from it.

Happiness is never about life without pain. However, happy life is built through resilience, compassion, love, and mental strength that you earn from your pain. So go ahead and step into the pain. It’s awesome on the other side.

And no! I still don’t like romcoms. But I love my life. I love my pain. I embrace it. I still grow from it. Every. Single. Day.

Pain is beautiful.


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