What a Pain…
Fill in the the blank, ______ can be painful. Growing, healing, being vulnerable, putting yourself out there, speaking in public, feeling. On and on.
I avoid pain, and most likely you do too. The avoidance of pain is an innate evolutionary trait that’s served our ancestors well and is one of the reasons they were able to co-create me and you. With those genes they passed on comes encoded information. According to Douglas Lisle, Ph.D., and Alan Goldhamer, D.C. our human behavior is rooted in three very simplified actions they pen as “The Motivational Triad” in their book, The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Forces that Undermines Health & Happiness. The triad that motivates human behavior is simply: seek pleasure, avoid pain, and conserve energy.
Sometimes the pain can be so unbearable and overwhelming that we can’t distinguish where it’s coming from and it makes everything ache. We may take pills to temporarily numb the pain, overcompensate our pleasure centers with booze and other intoxicants, overindulge in junk food and sex. We get depressed and over sleep and become slow as sloths all because fear of confronting the pain that already abides. It may not even be present, it may be that we allow past pains to reach us now. We may become addicts, addicted to the stress, addicted to pain and control. Maybe we identify with the pain and don’t know who we are without it.
When it comes to discomfort, we are wired to impulsively evade it. If you scorch your hand on a hot stove, step on a protruding nail, get chased by mountain lion or any other physically damaging event; it’s a fantastic move to avoid agony and recoil from it. But it’s more complicated than physical discomfort alone we may suffer from. We also have the tendency to avoid emotional pain, sometimes denying it all together. This behavior of banning or deflecting emotional pain leads to resistance in the body and is one cause of dis-ease. The more we resist messages of internal and mental discomfort the less we are able to live a life full of creative energy and pleasure. So there you have it, a conflict occurs because in order to fulfill our deep-rooted desire to seek pleasure and preserve vitality we must allow the pain that exists to inform us, to teach us.
Are you currently in a 12-step program and a creative writing class, or going to Art School while also receiving weekly acupuncture or chiropractic care? Are you actively participating in your healing journey to be better each day that you allow to give purpose to where you are now? Are you in therapy and also recording your first demo, or writing new music, taking an improve class… or a bazillion other combinations of you working on yourself while also practicing creativity. Physically working on yourself, spiritually supporting yourself, and emotionally opening to what can be. You are looking for ways to get out of the way and allow the life force within to light up. That’s how it feels when we are practicing all the purpose and desire we hold inside. How it feels to release that energy into the world. Sometimes we need support on that mission. I am here for you, to bridge the gap. Mind, body, spirit; it’s all connected, we are all the same. We have this trinity of awareness that wants to lift us up. Or if the motivational triad is dismissed our blind spots to to be learned from.
How can you take that desire to inform feeling and transform it into your next creation, your next novel, your next business plan, your next gallery show.
What matters? Who matters? How do you bring the important things forward in your life? What are the important things? Can you answer these? Tell me.