Avoiding Pain Is Avoiding To Live

avoiding pain and suffering
avoiding pain and suffering
Photo by Jeremy Perkins

Daily Blog #299

As I have been reading a few of my more recent blog posts this morning, I have realized that a lot of them involve acknowledging pain or suffering. And for someone who is seeking endless amounts of happiness and positivity in their life, I will be the first to admit that any amount of pain is the last thing that I want to feel.

But as I am sitting here reading some of the things that I have been writing, it struck me. Avoiding pain is avoiding to live.

Pain doesn’t always have to be physical. You don’t need to see blood, have a broken bone, or suffer a black eye in order to feel pain. It can also be emotional. You can feel pain from thinking that you aren’t good enough, now knowing the value of your life, and you can feel pain by listening to your fears. Yes, those thoughts that we believe are protecting us from pain are the same thoughts that are actually causing endless amounts of pain in our lives.

The reason that we don’t try new things is that we are scared that we may fail or that we will be judged. We don’t do new things because we don’t want to feel the emotional pain of amounting to nothing. But simultaneously, we are creating more pain for ourselves by doing this.

Because we are avoiding the pain of seeking a world of new adventures, we are avoiding to live. We are willing to give up any and all excitement in our lives just to play it safe and feel as little pain as possible.

I have talked about this before, but I want to talk about it again. At some point in the future, we are going to die. While we will never know when that time will come, it is going to happen. And I’m not saying that you should be excited to die, but rather that you should accept the fact that it is going to happen. Because as much uncertainty as our lives are filled with, death is the only thing that will ever be certain.

As humans, the thought of death causes enough fear to almost scare us to death. And because we know we are going to die, and because we don’t want to feel the pain of ever being forgotten, we spend our lives trying to do something monumental so that when we do die, at least we will always be remembered. See what happens when we try to avoid the pain of being forgotten and dedicate our lives for the approval of others? We avoid living the life that is right in front of us.

The same thing happens when we try to avoid the pain of failing. When we become scared of failing, nothing exciting tends to happen in our life. Our days start to look the same, the things that we once enjoyed doing become dull and uneventful, and our lives seem to be blah and boring. This isn’t living, this is just existing.

We feel pain when we try something new that pushes us out of our comfort zone. We feel pain from breaking societal norms and do something that most don’t have the courage to do. And we feel pain from being true to ourselves instead of conforming to the opinions of others. This pain doesn’t mean that we are failures, it means that we are living.

The point is, avoiding pain is the same as avoiding to live. Life isn’t about being safe or feeling the same emotions. Life is about taking risks, feeling various forms of excitement, and accepting the fact that you are going to feel pain. Feeling pain means that you are alive. So learn to feel it, and learn to live your best life each and every day.

Michael Bonnell

2/23/2019

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