They say that pain is a signal that keeps you from causing more damage. Example being, you feel pain when you burn your hand so that you pull your hand away and keep from burning it worse. Sure, I get that. But I’m not so certain that all pain is valuable. Headaches can signal dehydration, lack of proper nutrition, and probably much more (I’m not a doctor after all).
Pain is one of those strong emotions that helps burn a memory or lesson into your mind. This makes sense, because why learn that pressure washing your foot is a bad idea if you are just going to forget and do it again the next week?
But today I have a headache, and I have NO IDEA WHY! Sure, I could go through the long, long list of what causes headaches and systematically eliminate potential reasons. But, let’s be real. Who’s gonna do that? I might drink 16 oz of water, and if it’s still there, give up. Much more likely, I’m going to break my cardinal rule of “stay away from medicines” to take a pair of iBuprofen. After all, why be at work if I’m getting no work done due to my pounding temple?
So is pain valuable if you don’t know the reason behind it? If there’s nothing you can fix, does it serve any purpose? If you don’t even know what to fix, often times we end up fixing the wrong thing.
I feel like this happens in my relationships with others. I don’t like confrontation. I pull the most ridiculous stunts JUST to avoid running into people I have issue with. So this is kinda a big deal to admit... If someone hurts me, innocently and without realizing it, and I say nothing, my pain is in vain. Sure I may learn not to trust someone or to put my guard up, but haven’t we learned this pessimistic attitude enough? This doesn’t mean I should lash out, or yell, or accuse. But perhaps, the only way for meaning to come of it is for me to sit down, calmly and logically, and let them know what they did and the result it had on me. Only by sharing this will they have the opportunity to learn from it.
Disclaimer: This does not guarantee they will learn from it. You can’t control what others do and they may hurt you again.
So maybe this level of vulnerability is what I need to learn next. Let people know how their actions make you feel if they need to know.
Labels: communication, Friendship, mindfulness, pain, relationships, Work