Embracing pain


 

Embracing Pain - Robert Hafley.jpg

The taste of my pain is sour

yet bittersweet

Embrace it I will

with courage and determination

For I know that only through

the struggles undergone

of trials and sufferings

of body and soul

The trickle of salty tears

Anguish of heart and facing fears

will there once again shine a ray of hope

and the muscle of faith will be strengthened

Do you find yourself trying to flee the afflictions of life? Pain and suffering? Sadness and hurt?  I used to detest these times.  Of course, nobody really wants to experience pain.  And the pain I’m talking of here isn’t in the physical sense, but the emotional sense.  The pain of the soul.  Of the heart.

After 40 years of life, I’ve learned that pain is inevitable.  I’m trying to accept it as something that is strengthening though.  Just as a body builder lifts weight to make his muscles grow, if he stops training, his muscles will atrophy. Pain and suffering builds muscle, and in the absence of it, we remain weak and shallow.

As a Christian I can also use this analogy for my faith.  If I don’t undergo the trials and sufferings that this earthly life has in store for me, my faith will not grow, in fact it will just weaken.

So I will embrace the pain.  I will let it grow me.  I will allow it to shape me into a person of perseverance, character and tenacity.

How do you feel about pain? Emotional pain? Pain of the heart and of the soul? Do you allow yourself to be defeated by it? Or do you allow it to cause growth and maturity?

Photo credit:  Robert Hafley

https://stacilys.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/tenacity/

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50 thoughts on “Embracing pain

  1. I know God often uses pain for our benefit, as He has previously in my own life, but I confess I try to run from it or let it defeat me more than I embrace it. Kind of going through that right now. I’m currently wrestling with issues that on some days, like today, just make me want to go crawl in a hole, cry my eyes out, hide away from the world, and just give up. But I know I can’t. I have to face both the darkness without and within, if I’m ever going to grow. Thank you for such a timely message. God bless you…April

    • Oh, I’m so glad that it met you where you’re at right now April. I, also am going through a bit of a tough time emotionally. I have to remind myself that feelings do not dictate reality. And they definitely don’t dictate my relationship with God and how he sees me (good thing).
      I think it’s totally natural to try and run and hide. No human being wants to go through the struggles and pain that life brings.
      Thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing April. I pray that you come through with flying colors and greatly strengthened.
      🙂

      • I pray that for you too, Staci. And I’m glad to have met you too. 🙂

        You’re right about letting feelings dictate reality. That’s something I have to remind myself constantly of as well. Feelings change, truth does not.

  2. Pain can be looked at differently as something positive in our lives. It’s a reminder that we are alive. Physical pain lets us know we can feel. Emotional pain helps us define our feelings. The world needs balance. If a person knew no pain, how could they know true joy?

  3. i love this post, Staci, and your question. i turn to love, and it helps with the pain. x tony

  4. Such a great post, you describe it so eloquently. I certainly don’t embrace pain, I often retreat from it, but you are right- it is pain that grows us. Although I may not welcome it initially, if God wants to refine me through the fire, then I’ll learn to endure it- i want to be molded and treated to the fine gold he wills for me to become.

    Actually I’m kinda going through this lesson in life right now.. Thanks for this reminder!

    • Yea, unfortunately that saying, “no pain, no gain” has a lot of truth to it. I’m afraid I don’t welcome it with open arms either. But then again, I don’t think anybody does really. We all want to be comfortable and on the mountain top all the time.
      Thanks for the comment and for being open and vulnerable. I’m rooting for ya.
      🙂

  5. I don’t know if I embrace it, but when it arrives I explore it. I don’t run from it, because I don’t want to fear it. Often times it will give me the impetus to write a song, or poem. I find that I can convert the energy that surges through me when emotional pain arrives and try to make something good from it. Out of the ashes Phoenix rises.

    • Interesting Rob. You explore it? Like go into it and see why it’s there? I find it interesting how you say you don’t want to fear it. My hubby is like that too. He faces fear head on so that it doesn’t have any power over him.
      Your final comment reminded me of a song from Crystal Lewis, “Beauty for Ashes”. Have you heard it? If not, google it so you can hear it. She’s got a unique and powerful voice.
      🙂

      • Yes. I try to understand it. I can’t free myself of it until I know it. I also find fear and sorrow to be powerful tools from which to write. I’ll definitely check that song out. Thank you!

      • Oh yes, me too. There is some great art and creativity that is birthed out of times of internal turmoil, pain and melancholy. I so totally hear you here.
        🙂

      • Oftentimes yes. But then again, I usually write off of sudden inspiration. I wrote Sweet Routine and Monotony, Simplicity and Drinking in my Days when I was happy and content. But I do a lot deeper stuff when I’m not happy.

      • Hmmmmm, maybe it has something to do with unloading pain. Not really sure. I’m sure someone who is overjoyed could do the same thing, but the expression would be quite different. It could be that strong emotions call for strong bursts of creativity.
        🙂

      • That makes a lot of sense. Completely off topic, but the shared drive is now installed. I’ve set up your profile. All I have to learn now is how to give you access so that you can upload. It’s set up now so that you can download, but we need it both ways. Still working!

      • I love it! It has some strange features. For example, the sound hole on acoustic guitars is on the front. This one has it on the front, but also on the top. There’s a rubber tear drop shaped plug you can pull out. It lets you hear yourself better when playing with others. Also, it has a built in tuner on the top that is color coded. If your playing in a club, and the lighting is poor, the tuner turns green when you tune each string. So cool!

  6. Pain tells me that something in my flesh needs to die. In order for “it” to die I must think differently. Out with old and in with the new. Not easy but necessary if I want to fulfill my Kingdom destiny.

    • Hi Rita. Yes, oftentimes the pain comes because there are things in our life that need weeding out. Or because of the wrong choices we’ve made. I also believe that it’s not the only reason for pain. Unfortunately we live in a fallen world and we have free will. Words from others can hurt. Violence inflicted can hurt. Chemical imbalances such as depression or bi-polar. And the list goes on.
      Thanks for sharing Rita.
      🙂

      • Yes, we live in a fallen world, BUT as believers we are not of this world. Our home is the Kingdom of God. If we are not of this world, then we can repel the negative influences of this world by renewing our minds. Have you heard of Caroline Leaf? Scientific research on the neuroplasticity of the brain and toxic thinking proves that the “renewal of the mind” is possible today, not just on the other side of eternity. Because I take the Word of God literally. I believe I can think like Jesus even amidst the evil. Is it easy? No, but it’s possible.

  7. “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.” I try desperately to cling to that verse, but I’ll be the first to admit it can be hard sometimes.

  8. Brilliant post Staci ! Exactly the words I needed to read right now- I need the reminder. I have been feeling sorry for myself in the trials I have gone through lately but your post has encouraged me to seek the Lord and let Him work everything out for my good.

  9. Pain is not pleasant. Not even the slightest or short period of it. There were times when it brought me to the point of tears and I felt terrible–like I was alone.

    As a fellow Christian, I agree it’s important that we experience pain so as to grow in our faith. The more difficult experiences we surpass, the more our testimonies and trust in God’s provision.

    As gold is refined so shall we be tested.

    • Oh, I so empathize with you Uzoma. Me too. I’ve been through the wringer. I had a lot of stuff to deal with in my 20s because of my upbringing. There was a lot of baggage that I needed to deal with and changes is mind-sets as well.

      I agree 100% with you about the importance of experiencing pain so that we can grow. You mentioned like gold being refining by fire. That’s a perfect example of beauty being formed by ‘high temperatures’.

      As always, great comment. Thank you Uzoma.
      🙂

    • Interesting. I had never heard that quote before. Thanks for sharing it. And it’s oftentimes true.
      Have you studied much about Rumi, his philosophy and his works?

      • i haven’t studied his work per se but i have read his poetry, and this quote of his stuck with me
        as someone who has been here a while now, overcome a lot of obstacles and pain, who can look
        through the lens of time and see that whatever i have experienced, created who i am now.
        i recently wrote,

        ‘i am just the sum of all my pain
        the kind that can never really be repaired
        i just learned to wear the scars beneath my skin’

        we live, we hurt, and hopefully we learn and transcend.

      • Oh yes, I remember reading that on your blog. Lovely.
        “we live, we hurt, and hopefully we learn and transcend.”
        –So true. There’s no way around it. If we have life, we have pain. There’s no escaping it. The sad thing is when people don’t learn and grow from it.

        Rumi, I believe was a mystic with an Islamic background if I’m correct. And wasn’t he the one that started the whole darwish sect? He was very inspired by music and poetry, from what I’ve read.

        🙂

  10. Emotional pain is something that draws me to creative writing. I often cannot express the pain I feel through talking alone and it is writing down my emotions that allows me to express and understand them. If I didn’t carry around a certain sense of pain, I don’t think I would be drawn to writing as much as I am.

    • I totally agree with you. Oftentimes I feel like it’s in times of pain and emotional turmoil that I am most free to express myself creatively. It acts as a type of therapy, don’t you think?
      🙂

      • I definitely agree!

        There are many times when I find it difficult to verbalise my pain but I somehow able to convey how I feel much better through the written word. For me, writing is an outlet through which I can work through some of the things that cause me emotional or physical pain.

  11. Very true words spoken. At first, I didn’t like the idea of facing pain–in fact, I used to see it as a curse. But as time passed, I now see pain as a blessing in disguise. I believe, as you said, that if we don’t undergo pain, our faith cannot grow, we cannot become strong and be an encourager for those who may face what pain we once did. Thanks Staci for sharing your poem and valuable thoughts!

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