I read a post by Tony Robbins on the purpose of pain, in essence, he was saying that pain is a catalyst for massive action which results in lasting change. I totally agree with this.
My own journey has taught me to embrace pain and discomfort because there is a blessing waiting for me on the other side. The often overlooked or possibly misunderstood truth is that without pain, without discomfort there can be no growth or transformation.
Historically, I do not like pain one iota. As a child, I used to avoid pain by lying – I didn’t realise the importance of facing what was unpleasant and how it made you a better and stronger version of yourself. What lying did was mould and strengthen the weaker parts of my personality, teaching me that hiding, denial and cowardice were ways out of difficult situations. We often learn lifelong habits and ways of being from childhood, and ironically I didn’t realise just how detrimental lying was until it began to cause me more pain than being open, honest and facing up to what was in front of me.
I’m reminded of something I saw on Lost recently (I’ve watched a few episodes on Netflix for old times sake), where John Locke was talking to rehabilitating drug addict Charlie about the importance of the moth’s struggle in the chrysalis. Locke points out that he could see the moth writhing and struggling in the chrysalis/cocoon and decide to help it out by making a tiny slit in it but in doing so the moth wouldn’t develop the strength and fight it needs to survive in the real world.
Many times our world teaches us that because pain and discomfort are unpleasant they should be avoided but the Bible teaches us that pain and discomfort are necessary for growth and transformation of the deepest kind. A scripture that often highlights this to me is Romans 5: 3-4
But we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance, character; and character, hope.Romans 5: 3 -4
Three things stand out to me from this:
Firstly the idea of knowing – it’s this awareness that actually there is a greater purpose and lesson in the discomfort tor pain that we may feel and often those lessons are more powerful and transformational than what we learn when our world feels OK to us.
Secondly, is the idea of glorying or rejoicing – it almost feels like welcoming and even embracing it as a gift or blessing. To me, this feels like letting go and surrender, an allowance that allows God to be God in our lives a settling into a place of trust that says that this storm can be a beautiful place too.
Thirdly, the idea of hope – the Bible talks about the hope of salvation which we can narrowly view as getting into Heaven but the Bible teaches us that the Kingdom of God/Heaven is right here amongst us and we are the ones that bring Heaven down. Our Hope isn’t a far off external experience that we will one day experience but a personal and present reality that we experience as a result of our character changing. Other words for hope are confident and expectant.
I’ve seen many of my clients struggle with these ideas, especially the first two. One of the reasons why is because of an intense desire to remain in control, to find a way of getting to the other side without letting go or falling apart. We can hold on to control in so many different ways, one is outright refusing to let go of the reins no matter what is happening around us, no matter how chaotic we feel inside, no matter what God is whispering to us over our internal screams in case we splinter and can’t pick ourselves back up again but the other side is outright denial and refusal to even face up to whatever “it” is.
Both are damaging and keep the person in true torment and pain much more so than passing through the fire ever could.
Reading Tony Robbins post I realised that this is the very reason why I coach around courage and confidence and not merely self-esteem or confidence. Someone who is afraid of pain and discomfort needs to re-learn how to access their inner resources of courage as well as tap into their storehouse of faith and trust in the natural and divine order of life.
Because life isn’t simply random, although it can feel like it. If we believe that God is a God of order and harmony and not confusion and chaos then we must also know and believe that nature, creation and the universe also follows the same pattern as the One who created it.
One of the greatest gifts that I give to my clients is Hope, the idea of confident expectancy that allows them to step into the world with greater boldness and seeking out new experiences and opportunities. Isn’t that what it really means to live, to not hide away from the pain, but to walk through it knowing that with the right amount of time, support and healing that it will move you closer to who you really are and what you truly desire more than running away or staying safe ever could?
If this is an area that you struggle with and you want to find out how you can tap into your inner resources of courage and confidence then let’s schedule a time to talk by clicking the button below.