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University of Life

MP900439449The University of Life hands us some tough assignments. When those life assignments are filled with pain, we try to avoid it or get through it as fast as possible.

We don’t like to be in pain and will often do anything to avoid it.  We use alcohol or prescription drugs to deaden its effect or escape addressing it – anything so we don’t have to feel.

Yet pain can be a very important teacher. When I have been in emotional or physical pain I have learned something important about myself. What is working and what is not working in my life?

When I stay in pain’s presence, I am able to accept my vulnerabilities, break down the protective barriers I have built, and allow myself to grow. I have the opportunity to become real and honest and genuine. 

So while we may hate being in pain, it has an important purpose. It protects us and helps us survive. It tells us when we need to change directions, it tells us to slow down, and it gives us a time out from “life as usual” to discover more productive ways to live. It gives us the opportunity to address issues we have been avoiding.

What life expanding lessons does your pain have for you? 

1. What face is your pain wearing today? Sit with it awhile. Don’t try to alter it or change how you feel. Simply sit with it.  Tell your pain you are listening to whatever message it is trying to give you. Write down insights as they occur.

2. Remembering can produce both pain and joy. Dig deep into your resource memory bank and bring up both the good times that made you smile or laugh and also the not-so-good times that brought tears of remorse, sorrow, loss, guilt, shame, anger, etc.  How have you dealt with your pain in the past? What new things can you learn from your pain today? 

3. Thank your pain and write down what new important information you have learned about yourself, your world and God.

Remember that this is new information that will help you advance, make corrections and motivate you in making new goals. Focus on the positive possibilities of your learning experience. 

©2013 Marlene Anderson

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