We learn a lot of ways to avoid pain in our lives. As we grow and are confronted with things that cause us grief, we learn how to modify our behavior to stay safe. But sometimes it can backfire; sometimes we are avoiding pain and creating more.
It may be time to check our reactions.
Unfortunately life isn’t perfect. We often find as we’re younger that the people we interact with hurt us: often on accident and sometimes on purpose. Regardless of the reason, they cause us pain over and over again.
In order to deal with the pain as best as we can, we come up with strategies and reactions automatically. These can help us in the short term, but can have long term impacts that may be counter productive.
For instance, we may become closed off, making it safer to deal with the immediate pain, but harder to get close to people later in life. We may become angry and lash out causing those who cause us pain to find us too difficult to mess with, but then we have lingering issues with future relationships and hurting those who mean the most to us.
We are avoiding pain and creating more. The good news is there is healing if you want it, but be aware, it will require change.
First, let’s just clear the air. It’s okay that you’re this way. There is no judgement. We all have issues we are trying to address. We’ve all caused others pain and sabotaged ourselves to create our own. Our success is not in being perfect, but in working to be better.
Parts of life are tough. We do the best we know how at the time. We make choices that work for the current situation. That’s okay.
Now it’s time to correct what we need to correct. We don’t want to be avoiding pain and creating more. We want to change that. Here’s how.
Avoiding Pain and Creating Less
In order to avoid pain and create less of it to provide healing both in your life and in the lives of those close to you, simply follow these three steps.
- Love Over Fear: Too often what we do is motivated by fear. We make choices based on what we’re afraid will happen. Instead, we should focus on love. Ask yourself “how would this person like to be treated?” Then treat them that way.
- Patience Over Reactionary: Too often we let people push our buttons. They say or do something that makes us react. At that point we are no longer in control: they are, and if they are the ones operating from pain, that’s no good. Instead, be patient. Focus on peace and tranquility. Stay calm.
- Listening Over Speaking: So often people want to just use logic to persuade others and so often it goes horribly wrong (I’m looking in the mirror as I say this). Instead, listen to why the other person is angry. Find out what is causing their pain. You’ll be amazed at how being heard and feeling validated can change a person’s demeanor. Just check out how this person disarmed an angry person and made an ally by listening and validating them.
So often we find ourselves avoiding pain and creating more, but if we focus on loving others by treating them as they want to be treated, being patient, and listening, we can create less pain and make the world a better place to live.