What’s Driving You; Pain Or Pleasure. Do Not Let What Has Happened Define You 

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Pain can change you. But never let it define you” Heidi Rader 

It felt like my heart was being ripped into shreds; it hurt so bad that I couldn’t find the words to explain what I was feeling. Somedays I just stared into nothingness and on others days I was numb or going through the motions.  My heart ached, my appetite was gone, the nights were extremely long and exhausting. The drinks that had then become part of my diet, left me with bad headaches and an empty wallet. I would wake up and the void inside was still there.  

 

The situation I had been running away from was not a bad dream, it was as real as my heart beat. I had done things I normally wouldn’t do, I had become someone I hardly recognized. And when I looked in the mirror I was ashamed of who I had become. Time was what they said would heal the wounds. Time that I didn’t feel I had. I wanted the pain gone like the blinking of my eyes. I wanted to wave a magic wand and it would all feel like it did before.  

 

In time, just like I was told my heart finally healed and my eyes started to open. I realized I was not alone, I realized what I had been doing wrong. I noticed there were so many people who just like me were hurting. They had become angry, unhappy faces, and careless about their actions. Just like me they were doing everything to numb the pain that had already been inflicted. 

 

I noticed others who were surrounded by walls and shields to keep them from ever feeling any kind of pain. They were suspicious of everything and everyone. You’d often hear them say they don’t trust anyone. They didn’t realize that you cannot selectively numb emotion. When we numb hard feelings, we numb joy, gratitude, we numb happiness. They didn’t realize that the walls and shields they had put up were keeping them from having the best experiences of their lives. “The best way out is always through” Robert Frost 

 

Tony Robbins in his book Awaken the Giant Within writes on what drives people to do the things they do. He says; everything we do is either to avoid pain or gain pleasure. However according to statistics majority of us fall in the category of living our lives avoiding pain rather than gaining pleasure. We have become so accustomed to habits that get rid of anything that we perceive to be painful. And if ever we are struck by pain we’ll do anything to get rid of it fast. 

 

Sometimes pain controls us like puppets and we don’t even realize it.  We wake up, do the same things we do every day. We choose the same experiences, we keep our circle of friends small, we tread only on familiar paths. We have knee jerk reactions to things going on around us. Tony Robbins says “The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t life controls you.  

 

So, what does using pain and pleasure look like? It looks like evaluating your life and noticing how your actions and behaviors impact your life. What may look like short term pleasure or remedy, maybe painful in the end.; shortcuts are never really short. Using pain and pleasure means working through your current pain; feeling the pain at your core and not running for quick fixes. But instead indulging in behavior that will heal while making a positive difference in your life. 

 

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.” Rumi.Using pain and pleasure looks like allowing yourself to feel the short-term pain when you are getting your body fit to ensure long term pleasure(results). It looks like allowing your heart to heal in time. It looks like turning around negative and painful situations to make positive changes in your life and people around you. It looks like opening your heart instead of putting up walls. It looks like trusting yourself and others. 

 

“Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are going to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarette, with sex; but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them.” Iyanla Vanzant 

 

Be inspired to live your best life every day. 

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