Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Change from Pain

Not every change from pain is detrimental
There was a time when I hoarded hurt. Depending on the day, I either convinced myself not to bother anyone with it or that I couldn't trust anyone with it. The truth was that I didn't feel strong enough to deal with it. I didn't feel strong enough to share, open up, trust, be vulnerable, nor approach the healing process. Eventually, the combination of the pain and self-inflicted isolation demanded more of me. I needed to stop hoarding hurt and start healing.

Hurt is a part of life that we all experience. The sources vary, but all hurt leads us to change. Some become hardened and refuse to feel or connect with others. Some become fragile and develop an inability to cope with day-to-day stress. Most of us land somewhere in the middle. We have a tough exterior and a soft center. We ignore how we feel until it becomes undeniable and we distract ourselves in the lives of others.

The hurt that you have experienced has changed you. It may have made you more cautious or intentional about the people you allow in your life. Maybe it has led you to be externally focused in giving to others or by feeding on the negativity of others. Maybe your hurt has led you to be brutally honest with everyone but self. Or maybe you avoid being truthful and free. It's possible that you aren't exactly sure how your hurt has changed you.

When you experienced neglect, disappointment, betrayal, a health challenge, loss, and/or trauma, it impacted your personality. It altered how you handled relationships. It shifted your outlook and perception. You may interpret that to mean a negative change or one that has made you somehow less of who you were prior. That does not have to be true.

Not every change resulting from pain has to be detrimental. Pain can lead you to be more considerate of others. Pain can encourage you to focus less time on superficial interactions so that you can engage in deeper, more meaningful relationships. Pain can lead you to living more honestly and freely. In order to move forward, pain demands more of you. Working through it will show you just how powerful, resilient, and strong you are. You may not always have control of the hurt that enters your life, but you can determine how that hurt will impact your life. The only thing more tragic than the pain that you have already endured would be to give your pain the power that was intended for you.

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