"I asked her for her greatest pleasure, and she gave me her greatest pain." - Tony Robbins
When you think about your greatest pleasure in life, how long does it take you to think about your greatest pain? A few minutes? An hour, tops? What do you feel when you think about your greatest pain? Guilt? Fear? Doubt? Deep sadness? Regret? Loss?
Pain is real. Yet so often, we deny the realness of our pain and instead identify with the story attached to it. When we attach ourselves to the story we've created about pain, then we've essentially formed an addiction to pain. There's no easy way out of this addiction. Because pain is so multilayered and complex, it requires a willingness to be vulnerable and honest about what's truly going on beneath the surface.
1.) "What is my story about pain?" Get very honest about what part of your pain is real and what part of it has simply become your 'narrative,' like a script you keep living out. The story might be a place of comfort, but how has it created even more misery? Dig past the external story and get to the truth of what you're feeling, so you can breathe life into deep wounds.
2.) "What part of my pain am I willing to release?" As soon as you can discern between the truth of your pain and the story you've created about it, you can systematically heal. This is where the binds of your past narrative are broken. Honor your pain by acknowledging exactly how you feel and nothing more. Do you feel alone? Lost? Rejected? Angry? Betrayed? Confused? Empty? Name the feeling, and then release whatever story you've continually told yourself and believed about those feelings.
3.) "Whom would I be without my pain?" Would you be peaceful? Fulfilled? Free? Weightless? Boundless? Confident? Empowered? Examine the person you are without the pain. Really feel how you'd feel if you were that person. Once you see that person, you have access to your desired feelings again.
It takes an enormous amount of courage to disentangle the tightly wound story of our past. But in doing so, we can use pain as a vehicle to move from darkness to light--from victim to warrior.