What Pain and Suffering Tell Us | Pain Reminds Us That Change is in Order

We’ve all heard the phrase, “No pain, no gain.” Pain tells us there is something we need to pay attention to. Most of us go through our lives just existing until pain forces us to stop, listen, and re-direct or start over. Most of us don’t start the sometimes difficult process of growth until pain motivates us. Pain will push us until we define for ourselves what it is we want and begin to live within that vision. Vision pulls us toward the creation we want our life to be. 

When we begin to alter our consciousness—to receive the possibilities of a new life, dream, state of awareness, or relationship—we often have to try them on for size. In order to manifest a vision different from our current life experience, we have to change who we know ourselves to be. Holding a vision requires us to adjust ourselves in some way to accommodate that vision. It is a discipline to practice living our lives inside of a vision.  We are used to defining who we are according to our experiences and what is happening to us right now.
To begin living our lives with a new vision takes some getting used to, but once we start, we find that the need for suffering is greatly diminished. When you are not living your life out of a clear and powerful vision, you will be driven, grounded in a belief that you will never have whatever it is that you want.

Once we master living inside of a vision, we are no longer confined to suffering and pain as our main vehicle for personal growth. We grow because we are inspired by a possibility—of who we could become if we could only release whatever is blocking us. We begin to enthusiastically engage because we begin to see and believe in the possibility.

When we start living our lives with a vision, we often begin behaving in ways that might be foreign to us. That is because we usually make choices about who are and how we behave from our past experiences. Because we do this, we tend to repeat past behaviors in the present because that is who we have defined who we are. This confuses us and stymies us for a while because we are not sure why we continue to get the same thing we have always received when if feels like we are trying so hard to make it different. 

When we speak of a new possibility for ourselves—a new dream, relationship, way of interacting, such as “I’m committed to having an extraordinary relationship”—then all kinds of amazing coincidences, unforeseen opportunities, and synchronicities are put into motion. That is why it is so important to have integrity with our word. When we create a history of speaking and then acting in harmony with our words, we gain strength in our ability to create with our words. We get better at it because we start getting more responsible for what it is that we say. We begin to develop a certain level of consistency between what we say and what we do. It is like exercising a muscle. We get better at it the more we do it. Most of our abilities have to be cultivated, developed, and practiced, practiced, practiced.  
When we define our behaviors based upon our future instead of our past remembrances, we will act in ways according to our vision instead of according to our present identification. For example, a person who is committed to creating a loving, spiritual partnership in the near future behaves differently from a person who is still dealing with a series of failed relationships from the past and identifies him/herself as a person who has difficulty in intimate relationships. 

There is a vision for you just outside of your conscious awareness. Glimpse a possibility for your life and open your heart to see it. You need only to listen long enough to allow it to reveal itself. Engage in releasing that which is inconsistent with the fulfillment of that vision and embrace who you will be in order to manifest it.

Peggy Hammes, M.S., is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, and Teacher of Wisdom.

See the index for more articles on Relationships and Conscious Living.