Questions surrounding pain tend to come up during tragedy and grief. When we are going through periods of distress, we want to know if God cares about our pain. Many people are dealing with pain in silence because we are taught not to talk about the pain we’re going through. It’s hard to think about joy when we’re going through a great deal of pain. One positive thing we can trust in is that there is beauty on the other side of pain. We just have to get to a place where we can experience it.
To understand the pain we’re going through, we must understand why suffering exists. We experience pain for our protection. It reminds us of the “fight or flight” instinct, Sujittra Tongprasert, MD, says. The pain we experience is our body telling us that what we’re doing is harmful to us and that we should stop. Ultimately, we have pain, so we can avoid danger down the line. The suffering that we experience generally isn’t physical. We often experience emotional suffering. It is impossible to avoid suffering because it is part of the human experience. While you can’t avoid it, you can reduce it by focusing less on yourself. Think about the fact that everyone suffers. It’s apart of our collective experience. Athletes experience pain on the court. Comedians tell jokes and get booed at gigs. Entrepreneurs will lose money before their business becomes successful. Before these people experienced joy, they suffered.
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We can apply this concept to pain. Most of our happiness is controlled by us – our attitudes, our circumstances, and our actions. We decide how we’re going to view the circumstances we’re in and how we will move past our pain. This is why it’s imperative to celebrate all moments of joy. There will be times when you fail, and you will suffer. Shift your perspective and understand that everything we do is a learning experience. The darkness you are going through right now may be the springboard for your growth.
Remember, most people don’t marry the first person they dated. This means that you will go through a lot of heartache and pain before you find your match. Most people don’t land their dream job or launch their business before experiencing a few losses. So many people will fail before finding success. If you’re going through any sort of pain right now, one of the best things you can do is track that progress and celebrate small victories. Take the time to review what is happening in your life weekly.
Make sure that you celebrate each small win. This will showcase your mini successes. This is also a great way to look at the things that are going on in your life that are triggering and hindering your success. What may feel like suffering now may lead to joy.
We don’t often think of our suffering as beautiful, but it really is a matter of how we perceive it. When you begin working out in the gym, you may not be able to run for three minutes straight or lift 50 pounds. Yet, with time, some agony, and a lot of persistence, you will find yourself breezing through a three-minute run and lifting 150 pounds and beyond. At the beginning of your journey, it will feel like suffering and struggle. You are putting your body through an extreme amount of stress, but this stress is beautiful. This is because you are becoming more fit and gaining strength in the process. It is really hard to fail, but it is one of the most necessary components of life. You should find beauty in every moment that allows you to learn, grow, and excel.
It’s hard for us to tell ourselves that pain is ok, but the truth is, it’s ok not to be ok. People often say this when someone has experienced the loss of a loved one. While it may seem like something you are just being told to make you feel good, there is truth to this saying. When we are going through each day of life, we can become disconnected from all the things we are experiencing. The saying “it’s ok to not be ok” is a reminder that no matter what you’re experiencing, it’s ok that you are going through it. We may try to ignore it. We may even pretend that our pain doesn’t exist, convincing ourselves that we are overacting. We think we may exaggerate our pain or don’t have the right tools to get through our experiences. This can leave us feeling confused. We may even choose to sit in our pain. In these moments, we begin to see that the emotion of simply being “ok” is acceptable. When we choose pain, we may be taking the first step in our healing. We are no longer avoiding that our pain exists and that the first step in finding happiness.
If the pain you have experienced in life leaves you believing that God doesn’t care about you enough, think about the number of passages in the Bible that speak directly to our pain. The prophet Isaiah talks about a great deal of suffering Jesus went through on the cross. Isaiah 53:3 reminds us that Jesus was “a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Jesus went through a great deal of physical pain and emotional stress up until the moment He breathed His last breath. Scripture reminds us that Christ paid for our sins, and those who believe that Jesus was raised from the dead will find salvation. If that isn’t the greatest example of finding beauty on the other side of pain, what is? Remember today that you are so much bigger than any pain that you’re experiencing right now. Never let someone bring you down to the point where you lose sight of your happiness and peace. There is nothing in this life worth losing your joy.