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Contain the Pain?

Pain is an everyday occurrence. We all feel it to different degrees every day, emotional and physical. We experience pain through family, friend and work relationships, pain over sickness and weakness, pain from seemingly unfixable situations. Pain has always been rampant.

What makes me think that I am entitled to a life free of trouble and full of comfort. As long as we are on this earth, pain is here to stay.

Emotional pain? How do you contain it? It is not spoken of much, but it is the basis for distressing behaviors. What can you do when you hurt inside? You can take a pill, shop til you drop, go get into something online or on TV for distraction. You can even talk nonstop to an obliging friend or generous by-stander. You get very busy doing just about anything to avoid the feelings. This is nursing addictions.

I don’t understand why we were created with such sensitive pain receptors in our emotional make-up. Now that I think about it, we have strong receptors in physical pain. Pain in our bodies shout out that something is wrong and that it needs attention. Until it is healed, it will not stop hurting short of medication or a band aid.

Emotional pain is not always an easy fix. I like good and happy emotions. The other end of the spectrum is not so much fun. Pain warns me that I have an issue that needs to be faced? If I were to have my way and not have to feel negative emotions, I would not have the entire human experience. We walk through it. Wiggling or self-pampering is not beneficial. A valuable part of self-discovery is lost.

Facing an issue that needs work? Now that is hard. Emotions and even knowing where some of them come from is confusing and begs for a “Get me out of here.” response. You can look for a pat solution from someone somewhere, or an answer from a book or on the internet. That may be ok for physical pain, but emotional pain is abstract and complicated. Causes for pain is unique to each person.

Trying to figure it out sometimes makes the problem more elusive. I am no stranger to emotional pain. As a child, I was raised to smile and go on. Hey, I was cute. Now with a mountain of faced challenges behind me, I see the need to be emotionally real. With myself. And with God. Oh, and sometimes with certain people. I really don’t know myself like God does, so he is the one to whom I defer ultimately. It is faster if I go to him first at the slightest twinge of turmoil. Still learning to do that!

God lets me struggle in my selfish depravity and in patience gently provides relief. I just have to endure. Sometimes he gives me peace right away. Most of the time, it is journey through a jungle of desparation. The best thing of all is that I, as a human, can relate to God through Jesus, who understands flesh and pain. This all produces a dependency and connection to God that is ultimately the basis for self-knowledge. Hey, he knows every hair on my head. He is side by side with me and inside me by His Spirit. Why would I choose to go to anything or anyone else? In the meantime, he may provide trusted friends and counsellors, with which to share experiences. If you think God is abstract, you can find him in those who know him, and that is helpful in itself.

Ultimately through pain, there is growth. My growth experiences add up and become wisdom that can be passed on. The more age I get on me the more I have to offer in the way of godly counsel. All the times I have chosen to self-medicate and not face my issues, have added to the length of time that it takes to heal with. Things between me and my Creator!

Let us take time to feel pain and move forward as stronger more compassionate people.