The Strength To Feel The Pain

There are probably people in this world who have never had their feelings hurt.  I have never met one of them; and I suspect I wouldn’t want to.

Emotional pain is a part of our humanity – a necessary part.  It would be difficult to have compassion, if we did not understand sorrow.  Love would not be something special, if there were no risks involved.  We could never feel whole, if we had never known emptiness.

Our feelings and what we do with them are very important parts of who and what we are.

In our society, we have somehow lost touch with the significance of emotional pain.  Vulnerability has become synonymous with weakness.  Crying or showing any sign of despair has become a badge of dishonor and a signpost for neurosis.  And so, some of us (those who can) try to hide it.  They try to hide the pain, from themselves as much as others.  By hiding the pain, they think they are ignoring it.

There is no way to ignore or hide emotional pain.  It will surface, one way or another, until we feel what we need to feel to heal the wounds inside us.  There are those who try to mask their pain with anger and resentment.  They find it much easier to take their pain out on others than to deal with it themselves.  It seems to me that those people are the weakest of all; and they deserve our sympathy.

To face our pain . . . to really feel what it is we need to feel . . . that is an exercise in wisdom and strength that leads to healing and happiness.  When we recognize this strength (in ourselves and in others), we will respect ourselves and others around us in a way that promotes a sense of unity and harmony.  We will understand that we need not feel threatened by our own pain or that of others because we will view the pain as a sign of healing — not something to be feared or despised.

I was recently introduced to several videos by Brene’ Brown.  Brene’ is a researcher at the University of Houston.  She has spent over a decade studying shame and vulnerability.  As a result of her research, she also came to understand the role vulnerability plays in authentic happiness.  This research led to her own spiritual awakening and has provided her with keen insights on the truth about our humanity.  Her talk, “The Price of Invulnerability,” is something I felt compelled to pass on to you.  I encourage you to watch the video and share it with as many people as you can.

© 05.05.12

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  1. Brene Brown’s video is excellent! Thank you for sharing it. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  2. Do you think that there are those among us who are not hiding pain, but rather they are a lot less affected by it.
    We are obviously each made from a different mix of physiological, psychological, and emotional aspects, and we are always in a state of change.
    Knowing this, it would make obvious sense that there are people who simply do not feel emotional pain to a great degree, and that there are others that feel this pain, but are at the other side of the spectrum, therefore are hugely affected.


    • I agree with you that emotional pain means something different to everyone. And some people deal with emotional pain more effectively than others (hence the “some of us” caveat). Certainly, there are those who are much more sensitive to a lot of things, including feelings. This is especially true for people with the high sensitivity trait (recognized by, among others, Carl Gustav Jung). Living with the trait myself, I recognize that emotional pain is a much more serious issue for HSPs.

      With that said, however, my point remains universally applicable for this reason – it does not matter how well some people handle emotional pain as compared to others. What matters is that we ALL have felt it, at one point or another; and it is a natural part of our humanity. But, as a society, we have lost touch with the relevance of this fact and the repercussions are serious. Feeling through pain instead of lashing out at others or repressing it is, in my humble opinion, an important aspect of healing and happiness – for everyone. Recognizing that fact (for ourselves and for others), instead of fearing or despising vulnerability, we can reduce the stigma associated with what is a very important part of our Being.

      THANK YOU, Danny, for the interest in my post and for your thought provoking comments.

      For those interested in learning more about HSPs, I would like to recommend the book, “The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Thrive When The World Overwhelms You,” by Dr. Elaine Aron. I also recommend you visit the following site at If you discover that you have the trait, you’ll be relieved to know that Dr. Jung, Dr. King, and Albert Einstein were also HSPs. Many blessings! S


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