Why the Pain?

I’m amazed by how many people are hurting. This feeling drives their behavior and society preys on them by offering so many outlets for instant relief. I am equally amazed by how often the root cause stems from their childhood. Usually, an emotional loss or trauma is at the core. Their pain manifests itself in their daily pursuits as they seek a balm. Bad habits and addictions are usually the outcomes of their efforts.

Moreover, they feel they are”not good enough” and often seek to fill the void with love from worldly things. This provides temporary relief from the feeling of inadequacy or hurt, but it’s like constantly running away from something and never getting anywhere. I once had a teacher who said, “The surest way to get to hell is to run away from hell.” So true.

I’ve learned that managing ego and identity is like managing nostalgia. Nostalgia in Greek means “the pain from an old wound”. Who we are today is a function of how we manage the memories, images and experiences from childhood, i.e. the nostalgia. Rather than ask, “Why the bad habit?” or “Why the addiction?”, we must ask “Why the pain?”

Awareness is the first step to getting on the path to healing. We need to understand what’s in our head. And whatever you do, don’t try to escape the pain. Be with it. Being with your pain means you can experience it without having to run away from it.

How can you be with your pain? By sensing compassion from someone. Only when compassion is present will you allow yourself to see the truth.

This is why empathy is so important. When you can put yourself in someone else’s head, see what they see and feel what they feel, then you can express genuine compassion to them. By doing that, it’s a life-changer. They won’t feel the need to run away. They’ll feel empowered and equipped to change. They can experience growth because they have someone who understands along side them.

Whether you realize it or not, nostalgia is a gut level emotion that drives your behavior. No matter how mild or severe the feeling, if you feel inadequate, feel like your not good enough or are hurting, then be assured there is hope. I’ve been there.

You can be with your pain and become the person you want to be by learning how to manage your nostalgia. It will have a positive impact on your identity and confidence. I welcome the opportunity to walk along side you and hold your hand on your journey to build a new version of yourself.

Published by Marc Casciani

Bridging brothers & sisters to what's important. Author of Craft Your Calling. Host of the Neighborly Love podcast.

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