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Feel the pain

It’s common knowledge that if something physically hurts you, then it’s telling you to avoid it.  A hot stove plate causes pain?  Stay away from it.  Sharp knives cut?  Be careful with them. Falling off cliffs kill?  Don’t get close to the edge.

It can be easily seen that what hurts us is what we try to avoid.

But what about emotional pain?

I find that when I’m experiencing some form of pain in my life that’s based on the interactions I have with other people, then I’m doing something wrong.

Our emotional reaction signals us the same way our physical reactions do.  If it feels good, keep doing it.  If it causes pain, stop.  Pain is telling us that we shouldn’t doing whatever it is that’s causing pain, because it’s hurting us.  If we feel bad about something – or someone – around us, it’s because we’re doing something wrong, and it’s a definite sign to start changing what we’re doing.

Someone beating you up?  Why would you stay with them.  Leave.  Get them arrested.  Whatever.  Just do whatever it takes to stop the pain, if you can. 

But what about if you love them?

Love shouldn’t hurt.  And yet love is the greatest inspiration for people to continue doing something that hurts them, whether it’s physically or emotionally.

If someone is cutting you with a knife, you’d try to stop them, if you can.  If someone’s cutting you with their words, why would you accept that?

The best thing you can do for yourself when you’re feeling pain is to get away from whatever it is that’s causing you pain.  Once you’re away from it, able to look at it without the hurt, you can objectively work out what was actually happening.  If you were doing something that resulted in experiencing pain, you can learn from it.

Just as touching a hot plate teaches you not to touch it, so does being around abusive people teach you to not be around them.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
– Albert Einstein

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you’re not insane, but in order to prove me right, you have to stop doing the same thing over and over if it causes you to feel pain.

Do something different, and look after yourself.  Feel the pain – and then change your life so you’re feeling pleasure instead.

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