For all living things, since the beginning of time, there has been pain. We may not have been able to define it as such for a long time, but we knew enough to avoid it, even as bundles of chemicals and pond scum on this erupting, creating world so many millions of years ago.
But then there comes a time when we look at the pain in which we’ve been living and see it not as pain but simply as not-pleasure. We forget sometimes that pain is life-giving as much or even more so than pleasure is. Pain teaches us of our boundaries and how far we can push ourselves beyond them. Pain teaches us how our bodies work by showing us how our bodies break down. When every movement is pain to you, you are aware of what you are made of, both physically and psychologically.
Some will say that it is hideous, ridiculous, and downright self-destructive to say that pain is good. This is especially true with psychological pain, and in only a few instances would I condone it; it is not right to beat yourself up, to allow pain to control your mind or your emotions, for pleasure or otherwise. But creatively, pain is good in the only positive way that it can be—it reveals to you those invisible walls that keep pain out. Where physical pain shows your body to you, psychological pain shows your mind to you. If we get hit by a jolt of pain to our back, we freeze, lie still and if need be, move to relieve it. When we are hit with a jolt of psychological pain, we don’t freeze so much as react; so much as overreact. That’s really all our emotions and thoughts: reactions. Actions and reactions. If I realize that someone whom I fear and hate is sitting across from me on the bus, I’ll not freeze and play dead, I’ll move. And if I can’t move, then I’ll bite my lip, I’ll look away but not appear to be looking away. I’ll be going through several dozen actions and reactions in my head. Without my knowing it and definitely without myself controlling it, my body will react. I’ll turn pale, I’ll sweat, my mouth will go dry, and these are just some of the more common things. If any physical act is associated and imprinted physically on that person and the emotions I felt when I was with them or without them, I will conjure those as well. I may sing a tune, I may piss myself, or I may laugh uncontrollably. I may then take action. I may yell at them to get out, I may avoid their eyes, I may jump off the bus. And even after they are gone, the imprint stays on for a long time after. Depending on how bad the situation was before, I may be feeling like shit for awhile. I may fall into depression. I may stop going about my normal life. I may kill myself. All this from a simple re-introduction of a negative person in my life. Can you imagine how many benefits I could have if I bumped into someone positive?
That’s how pain works for us emotionally. But I just showed you the pain. How does it benefit us from being negative? Just like being in physical pain is no fun but we learn something, we learn something about our emotions and our brain. We can pay attention to our reactions and also to our boundaries.
Push through the pain. The pain of the mind is not milder than the body; in fact, it is harsher. I’ve learned this the hard way. But it can be controlled because we are the ones who react to it. Push past that emotional pain. Push past your boundaries. You know you have true emotions and feelings then. Write them down.
It reveals the world to you.