You can give meaning to pain by seeing it as a driving force for your growth and awareness.
A deep homesickness
Without hot and cold, love and hate, fine and non-fine, there is no distinction. There is nothing to discover, nothing to develop, so no growth. Without masculine and feminine or plus and minus poles, there is no attraction, no desire, and therefore no movement, no life! Have you ever thought about that? As soon as there is polarity, there is lack, there is pain and that pain sets us in motion.
Many are born in an atmosphere that lacks that which you would like to be deeply aware of. Some essential core qualities that you as a being want to express in your life are not seen, valued, or even condemned by those around you. You know that feeling: feeling misunderstood, not seen? What have been the consequences of that in your life?
That hurts. Essential pain. And that pain of missing ‘something’ that you can’t put into words, moves you. There is deep homesickness, a longing. And if there is a desire, then you seek. The stronger the desire, the greater the power that drives you to find that which is calling deep within.
No room to be yourself
If you look at it that way, the pain has meaning in life. Or rather: you can give it meaning by seeing it as a driving force, an engine for your growth and awareness. Imagine you are a little boy. Spontaneous, sensitive, unarmed, pure as you are. One chunk of love.
You are born in an environment where there is no room for it: no room for feeling, no room for spontaneity, no room for who you are, no room for the sparkle in you, the love, the light. Where you are born, everything revolves around the form, and how it should be. No room for challenge, for play. If you push the limits, you will be rejected. destructive. The whole atmosphere revolves around looks, about what others think of you. There is no real contact. Not physically, and certainly not with who you are.
Wearing a mask
That does something to you. It hurts. You don’t feel you can be there. You don’t feel seen. But as a small child, you have no words and no framework. You can’t share it. And as you are utterly dependent, you begin to conform to the form that is expected of you. Depending on your innate individuality, you react to it. You do that in your own way.
And you do that automatically. Subconscious. To survive. It hurts. It cuts you off from who you really are. In the long run, you don’t know any better. You confuse the straitjacket you have squeezed yourself into or the mask you have started to wear with ‘I’. And you make the most of it.
Until it’s your time to go from over-life to life. Then something starts to gnaw or your body forces you to look for you. The contrast between who you really want to be and what has become of you is overwhelming. You start looking for healing, for life meaning, or for happiness. Now you begin to develop. Developing: you throw off your wrappers and seek your core, yourself.
Abdominal pain: indigestible food
The boy from the example above needed a survival mechanism to live in the armor he was forced into. Because a harness really hurts. It hurts him when he feels there is no contact. That it is not about him, but about what others think and expect from him. The feeling is not supposed to. That’s the code, the keynote he grows up with.
As a result, his sensitivity closes. His skin, the largest contact organ we have, hardens. It’s better not to be aware that you really lack contact, then you don’t suffer so much. His stomach is also hardening. He often has stomachaches as a child – no one understands why. The doctor can’t find anything. Nobody comes up with the idea that the belly houses the most vulnerable part of you: the feeling. The stomach processes and digests everything you experience, but some things are say ‘heavy food’, indigestible. That will give you a stomachache. A kind of energetic blockage.
Survival mechanism becomes a handicap
This little boy grows up and adapts. He learns to fit very well. What happens to his sparkle, his clarity, his sense of play and challenge? He moves them to his head, his intellect. He develops into a man with a clear mind, vision, and leadership. He has an overview, but in his head, it’s like a pinball machine. Everything comes in. He sees and notices almost everything. He knows what others want and think. He can respond well to that. He prides himself on being able to manage things so well. And he has reason to be proud of that. Business is going well and he functions well as a high-level manager.
But his wife and children often blame him for not being there. Not only literally, he is away a lot, but even when he is at home, they also miss him. They miss real contact. He doesn’t understand that, but it makes him unhappy. He’s gotten used to having you shut off your feelings. He tries so hard… What used to be a necessity is now misplaced. It has become an obstacle. A handicap.
Something is gnawing inside
Time to become aware of the old survival mechanism and let it go. Time to reconnect with who he is and was before this mechanism entered his body and his life. Its originality. The purity. The sparkle. Love. Freedom. To live! And that’s all starting to fumble under the skin. It gives unrest inside that he cannot place. More and more often something is gnawing inside. A kind of emptiness. A dissatisfaction. A feeling that there must be more. Something important he’s missing. But he doesn’t know what.
Then his skin starts to play up again. More and more annoying. Getting worse. psoriasis. He takes it to the doctor and gets liniments that he would rather not. He tries an alternative route and is given nutritional prescriptions, herbs, and natural remedies. They do not help enough; his stomach has so many undigested things (in terms of feeling), that it is not possible to get all the good substances from food. His liver harbors a lot of unconscious anger about the spontaneous joie de vivre from which he has become somewhat cut off.
Anger, poison, it sours his life, it sours his body. And his skin knows no better than not to feel. No one, including himself, is aware that there is a chronic tension that hinders healthy skin function. This originally so sensitive man is eventually prompted by his physical complaints to find something he has lost: himself, his original, spontaneous, sensitive self. Ultimately his skin will be better and at the same time his whole quality of life! His skin is now a gauge, no longer a desperate problem.
Take life into your own hands
Perhaps you have suffered from polarity too. You may be having a really hard time with your parents. They may have provided a great contrast to what you essentially want to express in your life. Such a contrast hurts: you feel misunderstood, not seen, put in a straitjacket… Very annoying. And it’s a human reaction to get angry about that. But if polarity serves awareness, then it also has a function. It creates desire. And desire is the engine for evolution and growth!
So we have a choice: linger in feelings of victimhood, powerlessness, and pain and keep pointing the finger at ‘the guilty’ or go through the pain and dare to feel what lies beneath again. In the first case, you give your energy away to a bottomless pit and you get stuck in circles of suffering. In the second case, you take your life into your own hands, say Yes to the primal principle of life, and use all your potential to grow in consciousness, freedom, and authenticity. Along the way, you can’t help but develop one of the most important values of life in yourself, namely compassion.
The desire of the soul
Logically, in your pain lies the primal longing of your soul. Something wants to be expressed. When you were a child, and therefore dependent on the people around you, you may have experienced that what you deeply desired was not there. It therefore generally takes courage to now look for your desire through your pain. Chances are that along the way you first encounter that deep subcutaneous conviction that what you so desire cannot be there for you. That is why it is important to understand how it works, otherwise, these old and unconscious beliefs will block your growth.