Everyone experiences pain- be it due to the loss of a loved
one, a painful relationship with family members or the incurrence of an
irreversible loss. There’s a difference between the way we feel and process
pain today and the way it was channelized prior to the Industrial Revolution.
Why the Industrial Revolution in particular?
Because that was when mankind transitioned from a lifestyle of lack of structure and lack of cleanliness to one of routine, schedules and technological advancements that made life what it is today. I’m not referring to the one in America (which took place in the 18th century) nor specifically about the British Industrial Revolution. I’m talking about any form of industrial revolution that led to the creation of any form of industry that created the need and innovation for technological advancements and discoveries.
Why Am I Talking About Technology & Industrial Revolutions?
Prior to the creation of schedules, technological devices
and the need for currency that could be used to buy anything in the world,
really, the one thing everyone practically fought war for, was resources and
Food and utensils were bought via a barter system (who knew
I remembered this much history?) and no one really knew what currency, wealth
and the need to impress one another was.
Or maybe they did but the number of people who did so, it
appears, were fewer than the ones who felt comfortable in their own skin.
It was in this time period that people channelized their pain
and emotions into the work that they did. Artists, writers, pianists (blind or
otherwise) and anyone involved in any field of work found it easier, to use
their vulnerabilities, to give life to their work. They didn’t rely on social
media to communicate with one another.
Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo weren’t Facebook friends
hashtagging the renaissance period (#renaissance #homies #artists #lezDoDisBro
#LoveYouForevs) nor were they frenemies, creating passive-aggressive Instagram
Stories commenting on one another’s work. They just hated each other.
AL-Khwarizmi (the Muslim founder of algebra-) and Al Kindi (he
wrote about numbers) didn’t create social media content saying “Got that
equation wrong, K bro. #Lolz #LoveYou #FeelinDumb” nor did they create YouTube
channels and television shows to throw shade at each other. Can you imagine
Al-Khwarizmi sitting on a show being “Yeah, man, we were best friends but he
said he knew algebra and I was like ‘Nah, homie, you can’t even but the letter
b in Al Jabr but I love you to the moon and back’ because, let’s face it I AM
the founder of Algebra” and then, go on to explain his stance on a social media
Everyone felt a certain way about something or someone and
were more obvious, even in their pretenses. Kings and Queens got married to one
another- not for love- but for monarchical convenience and, then, had affairs
with other men and women who they DID love.
Everything and everyone was a lot more real than they were
Today, we live in a world where, it seems, pain and
emotional health is put on the backbench for economic convenience, pretense,
and socialization and for purposes that don’t necessarily have anything to do
with one’s moral compass.
Pain is discussed but not felt. Emotions are known but not
allowed any form of channelization because it is believed that could ruin your chances at
getting a job or finding someone who’s willing to spend the rest of his or her
life with you.
In other words, everything is about everyone but one’s own identity, health and oneself. What is odd is that we know this. EVERYONE does but no one really wishes to acknowledge the fact that feeling emotions is a luxury.
How Feeling Emotions Is A Luxury
Ask anyone what they want to be in life today, they won’t
say ‘healthy’ or ‘happy’ or ‘loved’ but they WILL say ‘rich’ or ‘wealthy’ or
‘successful. Rich, wealthy and successful are all subjective terms that imply
some form of comparison. All 3 words suggest an outwardly view towards life
itself. You can be successful, wealthy and rich and still be unhappy in life.
The words healthy, happy and loved have an inwardly
connotation attached to themselves. You can FEEL happiness, love and health
within, even in the absence of money, wealth and success. Healthy, happy and
loved aren’t states that NEED riches, wealth or success but rich, wealth and
success NEED health, happiness and love, if one wishes to live a content life. These
are not human states to be in but tools that just add to life. They are a means
to an end.
This is a fact that is forgotten. Children are thrown into
‘the best schools and colleges’ to acquire the ‘best degrees and education’ and
yet little to no attention is given to the fact that these kids might be
bullied or become bullies. Neither the bully nor the bullied are given a
platform on which to talk about their emotions and inner workings. In fact,
they are encouraged to ignore their feelings and emotions. Thus they do the
only thing that they know to do: to take out the anger and rage on one another
Women and men are told how to lead their lives and yet no
attention is given to the fact that either or both genders’ psychological and
emotional state is given no regard and so, they COULD resort to more
destructive measures (embezzlement,
stealing, etc.) to keep things afloat.
Every sentiment has a condition attached to it.
We live in a weirdly pretentious time where even the
emotions we feel aren’t always our own. The moments we live aren’t our own.
A lot of people put up birthday, Mother’s Day and Father’s
Day posts and it’s GREAT to promote love but oftentimes the parent is OBVIOUSLY
uncomfortable and horrified with being on social media. You can tell just by
the way they cringe and yet, not much is done on a daily basis to celebrate the
love that is felt for said parent.
Several friends and couples will put up social media posts,
hashtagging the hell out of one another’s lives, and talking about how much
they love one another, when the pretense, behind the picture, is crystal clear.
There’s a need to share everything, with the world and no
need to take the time to sit back and appreciate or inspect the smaller, finer,
things in life, which, really, are the only ones that matter in the
end…..unless you’re exceptionally morbid and are willing to make death a
hashtag (#dying #dyingggg #almostthere #dead).
It’s one thing to inspire through love and the pain we feel
but another to numb ourselves to a simple fact: most people are not as happy as
they seem because most of them choose NOT to feel their emotions and the pain
that they have had to endure.
There’s a universal need to create a façade that everything
is perfect and that everyone loves everything, when, in reality, there’s so
much bottled up negativity that isn’t acknowledged.
We’re living in a world that has access to so many tools, which
can contribute to the denial of our emotions, that feeling any true emotion is
now a luxury.
What is even sadder is that the premise of this negligence and ignorance of pain is fear of feeling (read SEEMING) anything BUT happy all the time. Most people are in denial of the fact that they are in denial!
Why Feeling Pain Is Important
I’ve always been supportive of any kind of content (articles,
books, movies, television shows, documentaries, blogs and social media
accounts) that has anything to do with positivity. I have an entire list of
Facebook video snippets, saved under a list entitled “Inspiration” and a ton of
self-help books that have helped me over the years.
However, there comes a point when all of that content
becomes toxic and counterproductive: when you deny the pain you feel. That’s
where you create an illusion, where everything is fine, and believe you merely
need to ‘be positive about it’.
That’s what makes it easier to escape the pain when, say, a
friend walks all over you or you make bad decisions, when it comes to work, or
you choose not to acknowledge the fact that your diet is just not producing the
results that you need, to get the kind of body you want.
Sometimes, you just can’t be positive about it. In fact,
most of the time, you have to know, feel and deal with the negativity to move
on to the positive. Otherwise, you’re just using positivity as a way to numb
the pain because you’re afraid of taking responsibility. No, denial is not
positivity. Using positivity to justify denial is negativity and it won’t help
you, at all.
I had a lot of unresolved anger and pain that I didn’t care
to explore until I turned 27. Before I was made to recognize how much pain I
was truly carrying, I would seek to put a positive spin on everything. Everything
was done, experienced and the negatives were ignored, in the name of
Toxic individuals were excused to maintain a ‘positive’ spin
on everything (consciously and otherwise). Anyone and everyone, from the worst
to the best people, were allowed to walk in and out of my life. I sought to
maintain relationships with people whose beliefs and mannerisms didn’t resonate
with me. There were no boundaries.
Anxiety-triggering thoughts were harbored because I just
assumed everything would turn out great but it didn’t. I was in denial. The
more I denied the pain I was carrying, the worse everything got for me.
The less I entertained the negative feelings, the harder it
was for me to acknowledge the fact that everything WOULDN’T just turn around,
without any effort. The anxiety just got worse and it became prominent in the
way I dealt with friends, family, work and even in the way I thought or dealt
I became angrier but didn’t realize why or when. I wasn’t
able to focus on ONE task because there was so much else that was affecting me
at the time. I couldn’t be present because thoughts about the past and the
future haunted me AT ALL TIMES.
Staying positive was just not doing it for me, anymore. It
became a façade. I needed to feel the pain to find a way through the darkness
and to the end of the tunnel, where there was light. And I DID.
It took a while for me to recognize the denial but when I
did, I recognized just how easy it can be to do everything and excuse everyone,
in the name of positivity, when really, what I was doing was denying my
feelings. Denying my feelings numbed me and the numbness prevented me from
feeling or accepting any sense of responsibility over my life.
Accepting it, on the other hand, had the opposite impact. It
enabled me to deal with my circumstances in a healthy manner – not just for me
but also for the people that were (and still are) part of my life. It became
easier to make decisions and to accept that sometimes, you just have to deal
with painful circumstances, without looking for the positive in a negative
Pain, much like any other experience, exists for a reason,
regardless of it’s nature (psychological, emotional, physical or otherwise). It
NEEDS to be felt. It HAS to be known and recognized. The whole point of pain is
to draw our attention to a circumstance, so that it can be rectified. No one
can be happy ALL the time. It just doesn’t make sense to be that way. Even
rainbows need rain and storms before they can be seen in the sky.
Denial of pain is not just toxic- it is catastrophic and has a horrible spillover effect. The pain governs one’s relationships; approach to life and themselves, too. Acceptance of pain has a long-lasting, positive effect.
Why Feeling Pain Is Magical
Pain, of any sort, has a way of making things better, once
it is accepted.
It helps make better choices.
A person who hasn’t dealt with their pain will,
subconsciously, create and unwittingly orchestrate their lives in a manner
where a pattern is created and repeated, over and over, again. The pain is
reflected in the way they deal with everything and everyone around them.
Why do nice people attract bad circumstances? They don’t
deal with the very factors that caused them the pain in the first place. Hence,
they will always attract bad relationships, make bad decisions and go for
options that don’t resonate with them.
On the other hand, feeling the pain and accepting it for
what it is, helps make better decisions because you are fully aware of your
strengths and weaknesses. Any decisions you make are, then, imbued with
self-awareness and self-love. You become hyper-focused on what helps you grow and
are aware of the fact that you have a choice in your life’s affairs.
You become aware of your likes and dislikes and can make
It makes you more present.
Denial creates a vicious cycle, where one is trapped by his
or her own thoughts about the past and the future. It convinces us that our futures will be
reflections of our pasts. A person with unresolved issues will, then, do
EVERYTHING in his or her power to escape or numb the pain, in the hopes that
everything will turn out the way they want it to.
This person becomes a slave to a time that no longer exists
and therefore, the present moment is neither enjoyed nor treated as a moment to
be enjoyed. The bigger problem is such a person’s relationship with life, as it
is now, becomes reflective of the past and a future that doesn’t exist.
This is why a parent, with unresolved childhood traumas of
their own, will impose their beliefs and experiences on to their children.
These children, then, grow up to be EXACTLY like their parents, because they
haven’t dealt with their own pain. This is why formerly overweight people tend
to be scared of eating certain foods, even after they have lost weight and look
GREAT (speaking from experience). This is why people make poor choices in the
way they choose their relationships (any relationship). In other words, denial
causes us to impose our fear, pain and traumas on to others.
Dealing with the pain does 2 things:, it draws your attention to the fact that
you can make choices, IN THIS VERY MOMENT, to change your past, for a better
Second, it is empowering because you are, then, aware of the
fact that you really DO have control over your life and can break the vicious
cycle of pain.
You waste less time.
As the saying goes: you only have one life. Why waste it on
choices that aren’t healthy for you?
As you recognize pain within yourself, you also start to
notice what life choices and relationships are good for you and those that are
not. Some people are in so much pain and carry so much negativity that they
will inflict it on to others via emotional blackmail, backhanded compliments,
bullying, etc., effortlessly. They can’t help it because the truth is that they
haven’t dealt with the pain they’ve been carrying, all this time.
What does this have to do with you?
It becomes easier for you to recognize the fact that what
they say or do is not about YOU but it is about THEM.
This very fact makes it easier for you to decide the kind of
company you would like to surround yourself with or be in.
You Learn To Forgive & Love Yourself.
Everyone feels pain, for different reasons, but that very
sentiment is personal. It is something that only YOU can feel. The person
carrying and ignoring that pain only breeds more of it. It, then, takes over
their bodies and affects their physical and mental health.
It stays within and creates patterns that repetitively
inflict the same pain that one ignores. The WORST part about pain is that it
controls you to the extent that every choice you make or step you take brings
you back to the pain you’ve been ignoring. Isn’t that awful? It’s as if you’re
stuck in a labyrinth of your own emotions. The only person contributing to the
maze is YOU.
The magic of pain lies in the fact that it sets you free from within. Feeling the pain makes you more compassionate, caring, understanding and aware of the fact that it is in being kind to yourself that you can be freed from the hold it has over you. Everything that you do, say and decide is no longer a reaction to what others want or expect of you. Instead YOU lead your life from a place of consciousness and self-love.
Thank you, for taking the time to read my blog. 🙂
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