Recycling Our Pain

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I’ve just read about a tragedy in a family. Once again it emphasizes the truth that human pain which is not healed and transformed, is projected consciously or unconsciously on to others, especially those closest to us.

Our human stories are full of figures, who because of their own unhealed inner pain, have imposed on others, on nations and the
world, the most devastating forms of suffering and anguish.

We all have the inner capacity to transform our pain however that pain has come or is coming to us, in to life-giving attitudes of compassion and healing? Precisely because of that ability, one of the uppermost questions each of us wrestles with, is this: Am I transforming my pain and giving it back as light, or am I hurling it back in the same form in which it was imposed on me?

Perhaps the best recycling work we can ever do is with our own pain.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Discernment, Family, inspiration, Relationships, Transformation, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Recycling Our Pain

  1. Hudson Howl says:

    If I was in South Africa, I’d kiss ya Don for this one.

    Like

  2. nrhatch says:

    Well put, Don. I’ve known many who transformed their pain into BITTERNESS that they spread in their wake.

    Like

  3. josna says:

    Don, you have the ability to get right to the heart of the matter in a few short sentences. And your insights always seem to come–to me, anyway–just when they’re needed. Not only that, they are almost always both personal and universal in scope, speaking at once to the individual and to society at large. What you say here is one of the hardest tasks that confronts us as human beings–transforming our pain so that it doesn’t become destructive, not only destructive to others, but also self-destructive. Thank you. (Now, how do we do it?!)

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    • Don says:

      You’re very kind in what you say Josna. Thank you. I think you’re right, it is probably one of the hardest things for us to do.
      I’m always a little hesitant to speak about the how to’s. I suppose because it inevitably sounds simplistic and like preaching. I also believe that we’re different and have different ways of doing it. However I’ve often had the opportunity simply to share my own experience and I’ve kind of been comfortable with that. Good question though, Josna. Thank you.

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  4. ladyfi says:

    Too often the human impulse is to turn pain into angry words and then the hard stone of bitterness.

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  5. Carolyn Page says:

    So true, Don; learned from my own experience… We, so often, fail to understand our own feelings; many wonder why they ‘hurt’ the people they love. Your words offer such understanding of this tangible problem. A great reminder to ‘look after our own sufferings first’….

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  6. Poignant post, Don. Transforming, recycling the deepest, most knife-twisting ongoing loss and pain–and giving it back as light–would be life-changing, and then onto the next level, changing the lives of others, too. The question is how to manage this, how to heal the damage and reach for the light when you feel surrounded by dark.

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    • Don says:

      Thank you Marylin. You, also like Josna ask that poignant question, how is it done? I can only say, with great difficulty. Maybe I should offer a few things I’ve learnt from my own life.

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  7. I endeavor to give it back as light, Don. I just have little way to gauge if the light is reflecting. All I can do is continue my efforts and remain hopeful that others are open to receiving it.

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Eric. I suppose there’s no real need to gauge it. If it’s there then it is reflecting. Knowing you I’m sure it’s there and reflecting Eric.

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  8. Shweta says:

    well said Don. Incidentally,I happen to read this post right at the time when I needed to hear it….It is difficult to recycle the pain & loss inflicted deliberately on to us by someone…It takes time to heal that damage and much harder to recycle it as light.

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  9. Val Boyko says:

    Don, This is powerful and thought provoking. Love the idea of recycling and transforming! Thank you. Val

    Like

  10. Val Boyko says:

    Reblogged this on Find Your Middle Ground and commented:
    This is the first time I have come across the idea of recycling our pain. Its profoundly simple and simply profound. Val x

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  11. I love this and am reminded of that verse as we give comfort we are comforted.. I come here via Val Boyko by the way!
    Diana

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  12. In the Stillness of Willow Hill says:

    It certainly seems that each generation has moved farther away from the ability to deal with pain. Today, we are quite sissified and expect to have NO pain (after all, technology, medicine, psychology…..have evolved for this very reason…to take away pain). However, NO PAIN doesn’t come from pushing away pain……but only by dealing with it, as you suggest.

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    • Don says:

      I agree with you. There’s a peculiar belief and promotion of a pain free life which alienates us more and more from our pain. It’s this very denial that causes so much pain in the first place.

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