Pain is an uncomfortable sensation we experience. It is uncomfortable for the specific purpose of drawing our attention. Pain is a message, a form of innermost communication, to let us know there is a change that maybe harmful. Often the discomfort is instantly interpreted as potentially or actually harmful. Yet this is not always the case.
Sometimes the discomfort is because we are not familiar with the process that is being carried out. Learning is an excellent example. When we go through the learning process, ideas we have established, practices we are use to, may need to be broken down to enable a rebuilding of a more complex idea or skill. This breaking down and integrating process and cause a sensation of discomfort. Yet if we want to grow in our ideas and skills then this is a necessary process. It in itself is not going to harm us. It maybe uncomfortable but it is OK.
Indeed before long the process will settle down and a little later we’ll be established in our new knowledge or skill level. Until the next developmental sprout, that is. If we do this often enough we’ll adapt and recognise the learning process, become familiar with the sensation and the discomfort will be no more. Instead we’ll go ahh the learning process. YES!
Sometimes we look at the source of pain and can instantly see the cause and know what to do. Damn a paper cut. Oh well, its OK. I just got to stop this blood flow. Oh no that’s a massive deep cut, it looks like I’ll need stitches. Best go to the doctor. AWWWW looks and feels like a broken leg I need help. Call an ambulance. Generally we are well trained in dealing with such forms of pain.
Other times we don’t know what is going on. Something hurts, and we don’t understand. In these situations we might ask for help. We might distract our self, until we can’t ignore the pain any longer. Then we ask for help. When we don’t understand what is happening it is so much easier if it is physical pain. Too often psychological and emotional pain is ignored.
This is the worst kind of pain, in my mind, because, too often, we are taught it is a weakness and we simply need to toughen up. As a consequence we feel we have to live with, deal with it on our own. Yes it is true there are sources of pain we have to live with. Life is full of painful experiences. However the idea we have to manage them on our own or we ought not even have them is a problem.
Yes the discomfort can be in your thoughts, however it is still telling you something isn’t going well for you. The source still needs to be identified so you can determine an appropriate course of action. Denying the pain, pretending it doesn’t exist; being afraid to ask for support will only make it worse.
Remember pain is a form of communication. It is telling you something needs your attention. Pay attention, identify and evaluate the source, is it really potentially harmful? Whether it is or not it is important to acknowledge the message, identify the source and develop a pain management plan. You may need assistance with this. This is definitely the case if you can’t identify the source or managing the source is beyond your ability or know how.
Always listen to your innermost communication. It’s not knowing and being alone with the pain that is ineffective for responding to the message. Ask someone, get help. Whether it is physical or psychological the message of potential harm still needs to be attended to otherwise it will keep growing until it has your attention.