This post is inspired by another article written by tobeme, “Pain and Suffering”, over at The Naked Soul.Again, I had to post my own article because I write way too much for other people’s comment section and I also get so personal that I want to document my thoughts on my own blog.Plus, I wrote about my religious beliefs and do not want to totally get off the subject of his post.I write in tangents, you see!

To make this [hopefully] simple, most of my life has been spent in pain, whether it be physical or emotional. I learned how to disassociate from it, music and my art being major tools I used for the emotional stuff.As I sit and look back through the years and arrive at specific experiences, the one common thread I see between my experiences of physical and emotional pain is that I did not try to block the pain out.It actually hurts more when you try to deny it.Rather, I’d ride through it, if you can imagine that.

I believe that going through the pain is the only way to survive it.Feeling the pain, exploring the pain as I ride through; then come out on the other side, stand up, look around and see that the pain is gone and I am still here and alive.Acknowledging pain, experiencing it and feeling it [very important], I believe, is the only way one can truly tuck it away, then bring it out again when we see someone else going through the same pain.Otherwise, when we say, “Oh yeah, I know what you are going through, I’ve been there,” it will be meaning less to the suffering person because they don’t feel empathy being projected toward them.The attempt will lack depth and authenticity.

When a person shares their own experiences, in depth, when trying to help, the sufferer will be able to feel the pain and identify with it.They know it’s not a snow job.Isn’t that what you are trying to do in the first place?To tell them that you’ve been there, weathered the storm, survived and that you are okay now.Revealing our own pain, I think, is a compassionate act.We lift the sufferer out of their own, more current, pain and enable them to forget it for awhile and focus on ours.They come away with a feeling that someone else TRULY knows what they are going through.

This is a concept that is shared by every self help organization out there.AA, all 12 step programs, and others that are not based on the 12 steps.I belonged to one such group for separated and divorced people, and it’s true;I did not really want to hear from my married friends or family.I felt more at home with people who experienced the same trauma in their own lives.I got the sense from them that they really knew what I was going through, and they did.I knew that I could call them at any time of any day and I would have a ear that would not get sore listening to me cry.Not so with my own family.After a while, people who do not share your specific pain, are not so happy listening to your woes… and it shows.

Sharing our pain to help our brothers and sisters.I believe this is what it’s all about.I believe THIS is the reason we experience pain to begin with.THIS is the answer when someone shakes his fist at the heavens and screams, “Why?” This is how we transform our very personal pain into a blessing for us and others.Instead of feeling negative emotions, hatred, resentment, disparity, we can perceive it as a way into the light.This is how I stay out of the deep, dark horrific hole I was in during my tweens, teens and early twenties.It was a major chunk of my life and I rather see those years as not wasted; but as a preparation period for my present self.A foundation laid out by my Lord to teach me lessons I needed to learn.I embrace my painful experiences because, through them, I am rich.Rich with knowledge and experiences; all of which I intend to share with my son, leaving him [hopefully] a good foundation to build his own life upon.

So, I do not worry too much about experiencing pain.I believe Christ suffered death on the cross to save man.I believe that in writing this post, in my own feeble mind, I am just beginning to understand that mystery.I think I begin to  understand what is behind that mystery, though, his suffering and death means so much more to humanity than my own, and being trivial in comparison to his.

Yes, Absolutely!We have the power to choose not to suffer. Allowing oneself to suffer is, indeed, a choice; whether we do it to get attention and sympathy, or not.Christ did not have to suffer, but he chose to and that is the difference.