How Does Experiencing Pain Help Us Empathize With Others?

There is no growth without pain

Most people naturally avoid pain.

From a physical point of view, it’s obvious — avoiding pain promotes our health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, always avoiding pain gives birth to the fear of experiencing painful situations, but also the compulsion to chase pleasures.

And both fear and pleasure distort how we think, react and ultimately, live.

Before diving deeper into the subject therefore, it’s essential that we improve our relationship with pain. And how do we do that?

Firstly, by separating physical pain from pain itself.

As said in the beginning, physical pain should be avoided as much as possible for one’s health. This is obvious. If we want to experience life on Earth, learn our life lessons and mature — we must be physically healthy.

Secondly, by accepting that pain exists for a purpose.

As an example, we can’t grow muscles unless we go through some pain. The same can be said when it comes to learning new skills, a foreign language or building a business if all we’ve always been accustomed to the safety of our paycheck.

It is by passing the test of pain that we are allowed to enter into a whole new “reality.”

Lastly, by embracing pain.

Once we’ve made the distinction between physical pain and itself, once we understood that pain exists for a specific reason — we seek to embrace it. And in doing so, we realize that painful experiences are always an invitation to let go of what has limited us in the past, and embrace a broader, wiser, more passionate way of living.

A teacher used to say: “When good things happen to you, be happy once. When bad things happen to you, be happy twice.”

For the most part, we have grown bored of our lives. We go through routines, we feel like a repetition, and deep inside, we yearn for the taste of life itself.

Usually, we express this yearning for something more meaningful through the pursuit of exotic experiences, travels, money, relationships, shopping and so on, which are fine but don’t solve the problem.

The main reason we yearn for expansion is that we grew attached to our lifestyle; with time, things have arranged themselves in a certain way, and we fear losing the “little” we have. We know what we should be doing, we know the steps, but we feel like it’s too high of a price to pay. So we settle.

The Universe’s way of getting us out of such mechanical lives is through chaos and pain. In tarot, this event is associated with “The Tower” card. If we don’t pay attention, the price to pay is having our world crumble to pieces.

Truly understanding and accepting this is what heals our relationship with pain. And as we do, we take pain as it comes.

In the past we may have had felt like someone or something was against us whenever we went through painful scenarios. Now, it’s different. We understand that pain guides us towards wisdom, which only can make us more compassionate with each other.

How do we become wiser?

As we give ourselves the time and space needed to process our pain, we develop a healthier and stronger relationship with ourselves. This love and compassion we have for ourselves heals us. And because we have gone through this process, naturally, we empathize — and develop enough wisdom to go a step further, and assist others in their healing journey.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, be sure to put them in the comments.

As a final note.

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Thank you for reading.

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