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Looking at the Bright Side of Pain

Looking at the Bright Side of Pain | Soultiply with Brittany Ritcher

Pain.

More often than not, we do absolutely everything we can in order to avoid it.

Then how does it always seem to rear its ugly little head in so many different aspects of our lives? Our body & health, our romantic relationships, our career, our family life – it appears just about everywhere, like an unwelcomed wedding crasher here to ruin our big day. Pain can kill dreams, squash goals, and ruin our will to live productive, happy lives.

So the question is, how can we minimize our pain?

This very question was the main focus of Soultiply’s most recent Monthly Mantra.

The purpose of the monthly mantra series is to supply our readers with a go-to positive thought to guide the entire month.

Unfamiliar with the concept of a Monthly Mantra? Here’s the low-down.

The mantra is a thought to reaffirm your choices, to gift you with inspiration, and to bring you peace.

Last month, the mantra was “You are not your pain! Step outside of the feeling and know that it is not part of YOU.”

The monthly mantra is posted every month on the following Soultiply social media outlets, so feel free to check out this month’s mantra there.

But seriously, what a thought! You are NOT your pain. It can be hard to comprehend, right? Because we love to remember pain. It just soaks into our memories. And when it’s currently present in our lives, it is all- consuming.

But the key thing is: it doesn’t have to be.

After a month long venture into the world of this miserable feeling, I learned the painful truth by looking at the bright side of pain.

Pain comes in many different forms

Pain comes into our awareness through two over-arching forms: physical and mental.

I’m no doctor, so I’ll leave the physical pain issues to the professionals, but mental pain is a whole different story.

Mental pain can manifest itself in your life through feelings of frustration, guilt, resentment, jealousy, fear, worry, doubt – you name it! Mental pain can be categorized as any feeling where you do not feel your best.

These negative emotions feel painful to us, and are SO strong that they can oftentimes induce a physical reaction!

I mean, how powerful is that?!

For example, this month I was super nervous for a very important meeting I had with one of my all-time inspirations. The half hour before the meeting, I was physically shaking I was so on edge. I hadn’t felt that nervous since I asked a guy to prom my senior year of high school, ha! My legs were trembling and I felt cold and sweaty.

But then I remembered, “You are not your pain! Step outside of the feeling and know it is not a part of you.” And I just started to laugh at myself. Why was I feeling this doubt and negativity? This was supposed to be a joyous experience and an incredible opportunity! And I knew that even if I crashed and burned, (which I didn’t, thank God! Can’t say the same for my prom proposal…) I would be no worse off than I was before. Within seconds of focusing on the mantra, I stopped shaking and I felt grounded and focused.

In order to escape the pain, you merely have to focus on getting yourself to a place where you naturally feel your best.

And I’m not talking about a Band-Aid or crutch that can cover up the pain, such as drugs, alcohol, over eating, food deprivation, etc. I’m talking about working towards feeling your best from the inside-out.

To Feel your Best, BE YOU!

Whenever you feel pain manifesting in your life, close your eyes, silence your thoughts and ask to be guided toward the REAL you.

For example, when I feel mental tension and pain, I love to close my eyes and silently repeat, “Please help me be the real me”. Meditate on that thought and the answer will come to you.

I realized that when I’m ME in my natural, pure state – I’m happiest.

That’s me at the beach, picking up seashells. That’s me when I’m laughing at dinner surrounded by my family.

So in order to escape pain, everything I do needs to be working towards getting to that place, where I can be my authentic, pain-free self. Maybe that’s taking a mini vacation to the beach. Or maybe it’s making an effort to schedule more family gatherings. Work towards finding actionable steps that will lead you to your best self.

Who are you when you are your happiest, most authentic self?

The Magnet

Here’s a great thought exercise to deal with external pain: Imagine that you are a huge magnet. Your body, your soul, your mind – they are all infused with the magnetism that is you .

Then imagine your pain. It’s this sad, little crumpled piece of gray cardboard.

You can put the cardboard “pain” on the magnet all you want, but it just won’t stick. The pain just doesn’t have the proper polarity to stick to you!

In the same way, people can spew painful words at you all they want, but they just won’t stick. It’s against the natural laws; Those words are not a part of you! They just slide right off, they aren’t made of the same magnificent material as you.

Marianne knows what’s goin’ on!

This month I heard the beautiful and wise Marianne Williamson speak about happiness and purpose. Her words resonated with me because the same applies to our own experience of pain.

Marianne talks about how our grievances are like gray clouds, and when things are not going well, all we seem to see is the stormy sky. But we must remember that there is always a blue sky underneath those clouds, just waiting to shine through. You just have to see past the clouds.

Just like a computer, you ALWAYS have the ability to “download” the file of your purpose & bliss. Pain operates in the same way.

And so I say, make a decision to “x” out of all the painful “popups” in your life, put your Anti-virus up (whether that means adopting a meditation practice, spiritual beliefs, or engaging in your hobbies/passions – whatever makes your heart soar!) and be the healthy, pain free person that you are meant to be! Because with a clear screen and a fast, functioning computer – endless opportunities are available to you!

(Okay, that’s enough with the robot metaphors, you think? Ha!)

The Action to Move Past It

So we’ve established that your pain is not a part of you. But how can you move past the feeling and into a better place?

You must inwardly take responsibility for the painful emotion.

And the good news is, because it’s not a part of you, you CAN get rid of it!

External circumstances might seem like they are the cause of your pain, but the true, painful catalyst is your reaction to your circumstances.

Your environment and your circumstances are like paint. Depending on the artist, you will either end up with a masterpiece full of color and beauty, or a big, gloppy mess.

I know that I feel great when I visit the beach or when I get to spend a sacred afternoon laying out on the grass playing cards with my boyfriend . I know these circumstances augment my happiness, but they do not create it – I do.

There is nothing wrong with finding circumstances that can AID you in your quest for peace, but the real fix comes from your mindset within. Circumstances are just the ways to express the happiness that is already there inside.

And of course, if this process is beyond your scope or ability, please consult a therapist for additional aid.

Using Circumstances to your Advantage

Take a moment to consider, “When in my past was I happiest and felt my best?”

And even more importantly, “What was the MINDSET that I had during that time that could have allowed me to feel this way?”

My happiest memory in recent history was when my current boyfriend asked me out on our first date. I had been pining over him for months , and when the phone rang and I saw his name on the caller ID, I honestly thought it was a pocket dial; I was in absolute shock that he was calling to ask me on a date.

When I think back on that time though, this wonderful circumstance was not the reason for my happiness. My happiness was a completely due to my mindset at the time. I kept a gratitude journal, I meditated daily and I felt my best physically and mentally. I had an attitude of gratitude and I was living my life from a place of absolute joy. And I felt this way well before I received that amazing phone call!

Was the phone call, and the subsequent 4 years (and counting!) relationship fantastic?

Yes!

But the circumstances were only a way for me to express the happiness that already existed inside. Put your focus ONLY on the mindset of the happier time, and joyous circumstances will revisit you again.

So let me ask you, what element of the painful truth resonated with you the most? Did you realize any painful truths of your own this month? Share your experience in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Did you find the painful truth inspiring? Share with your friends, family, or anyone who might love to hear the beauty of converting pain to peace.

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Brittany Ritcher Looking at the Bright Side of Pain

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