As imperfect creatures living in a flawed society, we are often faced with many emotional and psychological barriers. We deal with fear, anger, frustration and sadness. But one of the most uncomfortable hurdles we are forced to deal with almost daily, is pain.
Generally we view pain as a negative feeling; something uncomfortable, leading to prolonged suffering and distress. I often wonder, could pain affect us in a positive way if we changed our view toward it?
It’s no secret, we’ve all dealt with pain. Whether from a breakup or mourning the death of a loved one. No one is exempt from pain, including me. As uncomfortable and displeasing as it may be, pain provides an opportunity for purification. It brings with it the possibility to become better.
I believe that life is made up of a series of experiences which
allow us to gain experience and attain wisdom.
Changing your perspective of pain will not take away it's displeasure, but it can make it a bit more tolerable. When I left Baltimore almost a year ago, my plan was to expand my career in New York City. In doing so, I wasn't exactly met with open arms. From being disrespected by yoga instructors to being turned away by wellness facilities, I experienced my fair share of disappointment, prejudice and rejection.
On top of it all, I was sharing a home with someone who for years claimed to have my best interest at heart. Only for them to go against their word and place me in a position where I would have had to detach myself from everything I believed in, in order to maintain my living arrangement. Needless to say, I moved out.
But it was during those instances of exclusion and embarrassment that I discovered, the pain I felt was actually aiding my success. It was in those moments of misfortune, that I rediscovered my strength and resilience.
I won’t act as if I’m a super human and wasn’t affected by these painful incidents, but I refused to allow the pain I experienced to discourage me from moving forward. I went through periods of anger and frustration. I contemplated moving back to Baltimore. I cried enough tears to flood all of Manhattan, but I had to change my perspective in order to change my situation.
I had to remember why I was here. I reminded myself of the hell I went through for close to 3 years battling an addiction to anti anxiety medication. The physical pain I experienced dealing with withdraw. I refused to allow the emotional distress I was going through to force me into submission.
I challenge you to do the same!
My exposure to pain has not been minimized, but my suffering has ceased. Even today, I am still criticized, ridiculed and ostracized by many. I accept the fact that I don't fit into any category. I’m not societies depiction of the picture perfect yogi. I’m not the ideal image of what people see when they Google juicing or wellness coaching. But I don’t care!
My accomplishments are often met with opposition from family, friends and strangers alike. None the less, I am accomplished. I grew up with a drug addicted father and watched my mother play mommy and daddy while struggling to provide a decent life for me. Over the past few years, I’ve watched that same father overcome his addiction and attain incredible success, while witnessing my mother open her first business and become the entrepreneur she always dreamed of being.
I am the exception to the rule and so are you.
We are only defined by pain, if we allow it to override our happiness. Accept pain as an opportunity to become pure. Only through adversity do we experience true gratification.