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Pain: The ‘Change’ Catalyst. A Study on Why We Suffer at our own Hands.

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Pain- many times it rules our bodies and lives. Often we become so immune to dealing with various types of pain, we simply ignore it wishing, hoping there was a better solution.  Pain comes in all forms and sizes.  Pain does not discriminate, rather, it can occur for no other reason than to advise us that change is necessary in order to move past pain.

I recall a moment in my life, when the pain became to great, and I turned to change.  I am an addict.  I used many narcotics to adjust mood and mind.  Never realizing the pain I was inflicting on my victims, namely those closest to me.

Most of those folks caught on quickly enough and moved past me in their own lives seeing as the pain I was living in created a liability vacuum.  This vacuum was the period of time between when things were going well to the point of rescue. Those addicted I’m sure understand this point.

This is not a new concept, I have borrowed this idea from the teachings of NA.

My pain became special to me almost a friend.  Often it was physical, due to carelessness during my using, more so, the psychological and emotional pain I inflicted on myself and consequently, my family far and away, was superior to any physical pain I came across.

I used a very potent cycle of justifications, rationalizations, blanket statements, reasons, excuses, logic (usually circular), threats, fear, intimidation, and worst of all, falsehoods and blame.

Looking back, I refer to the above as my Denial Base.  If you were to make a graph, the above mentioned defects and liabilities would almost be in direct proportion.  Why is that important?  Because that was how I ‘managed’ my pain effectively and could QUALIFY my dangerous, and destructive lifestyle, to anyone with five minutes to waste.

A Justification: Device used to ‘Rationally Explain’ the reason(s) why one needs to behave/live a certain way. Usually supported with much invented or over-exaggerated data to prop up a defunct or arbitrary position.  Example: “I deserve “X” because I work very hard.”

A Rationalization: Device attached, and sometimes linked to a justification, for consistency, to trap the listener into supporting the justifications, decisions, outcomes, and manipulations.  A good rationalization can often stand on it’s own merit.  It can often call on widely held common sense and knowledge that has been edited and twisted to garner a “smooth” reason why situations and issues happen.  Rationalization to self is the first manner on the path of addiction and dwelling in pain. Example: “Everybody does that, so why shouldn’t I.”

The cycle(s) of abuse, addiction, and pain REQUIRE the actor to make a series of wide, vague, and sweeping generalizations, supported by justifications and rationalizations, that ENABLE them not only to confuse and be untruthful to self and others with a minimum of consequence and friction from their environment, but add an element of ‘control’ and ‘illusion’ to true intents and motives.  These generalizations come in all forms and serve as a ‘checklist.’  By this, I mean that the actor is only comfortable with themselves and their decisions when the conditions of the checklist have been met, or the generalizations have become a law to them and their lifestyle.

Example: “I use “X” because I have to.”

The point here is Honesty.  Once eroded, pain much like rust to steel, sets in and decays the other closely linked virtue(s).  Those of Open-Mindedness, and Willingness.

Once the actor has lost a grip on Truth to self, the next seems to be they shut down and ‘close’ themselves off, at which point they lack the capacity to have the power to ‘change’ and the pyramid collapses under the weight of Denial.  This is not the end though, as the antidote to this malaise appears to be unconditional honesty and truth first with self and then with others at a moderated tempo.  Why is this important?  Too much truth revealed too quick, will often create a ‘Tabula Rasa’ or ‘Clean Slate’ effect for the actor.  The actor feels purged and satisfied by their old friend truth.  They feel, as in their pain, that they have done enough for now, and usually slip back into the old ways quickly.

In point of fact, daily maintenance of those virtues mentioned above MUST be practiced in order for change of pain management to take root, nourish, and foster growth and development to the actor.

Pain is fact.  We suffer, we grow, move forward past it, or it will consume us.  However, what is important is how we manage our pain.  That I feel comes only through wisdom, understanding, and acceptance of who we are as humans.

Lastly, not all pain is equal.  Pain’s companion is fear.  Without fear, pain has no footing in our lives.

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