Mobilizing Your Pain

Suffering, disappointment and difficulty are common realities for all of us. If we spend our days complaining, being victimized, or being in denial of the realities and trials of life, we can easily be wasting the powerful resource that is being given to us: PAIN.

Some difficulties and pain are of our own making. For these we need to assume personal responsibility by working toward resolution, not justifying or blame shifting, or being victimized, (playing the volunteer victim role). By doing this, we can grow and gain emotional strength and wisdom, as just one example.

If we don’ face difficulties and emotional pain and challenge with creativity and courage, they will tend to overwhelm us and embitter our hearts. The challenge is to mobilize our pain and not to waste our sorrows by being victimized and complaining and blame shifting. If we do this, we can mobilize our pain so that these “pains” become “growing pains”, and transform despair into hope.

If we just let emotional pain continue to take us over, we may miss why we are even experiencing it in the first place, and just cope and hope in response. For example, many people are emotionally stunted and limited by their childhood scripts… things that happened in their growing up years in dysfunctional and/or traumatic situations. Since they are limited in emotional capacity, they can only go so far in stressful situations and environments.

When they reach capacity and the emotional pain is “too much”, they may break down, react, act out in any number of unhealthy ways, and simply “get through” the event, never seeing this as a catalyst to mobilize their pain, go into their pain, and allow it to be healed. They usually do not, because the thought of doing so is even too painful. In this scenario, the person misses the opportunity to allow their pain to be mobilized in opening the door for healing work to be done. When we are broken hearted, God is closest to us. We shut the door on the healing and comfort He wants to give us because we, and our pain have “immobilized us.”

Trials are inevitable, and they alone are not the greatest enemy. Our greatest enemy is the fear and aversion to the trials that can and will keep us bound in fear and immobilization, hence stunting our emotional and spiritual growth.

BH/Henri Nouwen

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