Title: We All Have Pain, It's How We Handle It that Defines Us.
I was speaking with a client this week, about the statement,
" We've all suffered, had trauma and losses. It's how we handle them that defines us."
I'm not sure who said that, but they made a good point.
How do we choose to handle the pain, loss and trauma in our lives?
These things are part of life. How we learn to cope with them will shape our experience.
I so often see people causing themselves more pain and/or becoming hopeless simply by choosing to cope with difficult circumstances, in a reactive, short-sighted way.
When we are hurting, we have a tendency to be reactive We may lash out or grasp at whatever gives us immediate gratification, a short-lived feeling of happiness.
Unfortunately, these types of coping mechanisms usually include pleasure inducing activities like drug or alcohol use/abuse, indiscriminant sexual activity, gambling, uncontrolled shopping, even over-the-top people pleasing. These are behaviours that feed our ego. They will give us some sense of immediate pleasure, but it’s fleeting and often comes with great cost or negative after effects.
We do need to do something to soothe and restore ourselves when we’ve been hurt, or experienced a loss or trauma. But despite what our instant gratification, ‘take a pill and make it all go away’ promoting society says, we need to make the effort to find or create the coping strategy that feeds our soul, not our ego.
By this I mean something, that helps you feel more whole; expresses who you are; giving you a lasting feeling of contentment, not just a fleeting moment of pleasure.
This involves exercising another part of ourselves that our society does not encourage; our creative side.
We are creative beings. We need to create, to learn about ourselves; to express ourselves to ourselves and others. Our society tends to teach that if your creative interest cannot be used to make money or build status, it’s a meaningless and useless pursuit.
But in fact, even if you’re not the next Keith Urban, Katie Perry, Picasso or Crosby, you have a creative spirit that needs to be expressed for you to feel whole. If it makes you feel fulfilled, then do it!
It doesn’t have to be expensive. Maybe it’s just making time to walk in the woods and take a few photographs, plant a garden, take a painting or potting class, volunteer for a cause you love, return to a hobby you loved as a child or learn one you’ve always been curious about.
It takes a little more effort and thought than just having the waiter bring you another drink, but it will be worth it.
It will open new windows to your inner self and to a new view of the world and your place in it.
It will soothe you and fulfill you in a long-lasting way that a new pair of shoes or even a new car cannot.
Try it and discover how wonderful and happy you can really be.