Identifying and accepting pain and the sources of this pain  is not at all a fun thing to do. So why do it? Why do therapists push for this so often? Walking through pain can help with several things. So often, we become reactive with the defense mechanisms that we’ve used for so long to protect ourselves. In some ways, this actually can work to help you temporarily feel better. However, this is usually only temporary. This unaddressed pain ends up showing itself when we experience changes, make big decisions, and when we are in romantic relationships. Therefore, to give yourself the best chance to make decisions that are from your healthiest self, you need to address the pain that you’ve tucked away for so long.

Identifying and understanding your pain can help you with the following:

  • You can walk away from your pain feeling empowered. After working through the denial that the pain is there at all, you get to know that you can handle your pain. You don’t have to avoid it, nor compartmentalize it anymore. Emotional pain is an inevitable part of living. However, if you work to understand how this pain feels, and why it feels that way for you, you have a wealth of information that you can use. This will give you a true some of personal empowerment, rather than a reactive, false sense of control.
  • You can truly move on. You may feel lost or stuck where you are at. If this is the case, you are not likely addressing some true level of pain that you have in your life. The truth is that you are not only trapped in the city, job, or relationship that you are in, but you are also stuck because you’re not addressing the true issues. What prevents you from addressing the true issues? Identifying your pain and the sources of it.
  • You can be honest with yourself. You can acknowledge and be proud of your successes and strengths. You then will also be able to accept your weaknesses. We all have them, but we just have to take responsibility for them and create work-a-rounds to deal with them. You won’t be as able to do this if you don’t identify your history of pain.
  • You can also learn about the roots of your emotions. You will see that you aren’t just responding to what is happening right in front of you. Rather, you’re likely responding to what has happened to you in the past. If you go back and look at this information, you’ll have an understanding of triggering things that you react to now, and you’ll be better able to respond to them in the future.

Working through pain is an uncomfortable and intimidating journey to go on. If you allow yourself to be vulnerable and go through this, you are likely find relief and knowledge that would otherwise have eluded you. If you don’t, interpersonal barriers will likely prevent you from reaching a place of contentment and personal acceptance and appreciation that you have the potential to achieve.

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