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Is my pain really mine?

Richard Walsh
Social Work
Yes the pain is yours, but not as you are at fault. However, you are responsible to "handle it". What I mean by that is for example: if you turn your ankle and feel pain you are responsible to take action to determine the severity of the injury and do what is necessary to treat it. The pain in this case is your friend since it is warning you to not put weight on your foot and create further injury. Also, the pain helps you focus on other things such as: what could I have done diffeerently so as not to have this happen again. This analogy can be used for emotional pain as well. You are responsible to take healthy steps to relieve your emotional pain. You can also learn from your pain or use it to redirect your life in positive ways. Many people that have lost loved ones to cancer or other illnesses have committed their lives to helping others with the same illness. I also tell my clients that spiritually, emotional pain can be God's way of getting your attention in order to improve your spiritual connection to a divine source of energy that you may have forgotten.
Deepak Chopra
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Even though your ego may cry out as if only you are in pain, you need to look further. Offering help to others, for example, ends your isolation, a primary source of your pain. A woman stood up at a lecture once and asked me, "How can I get rid of this terrible pain in my heart? It has been with me for twenty years, ever since I lost a child." I had given specific answers to similar questions, but this time I blurted out, "You have to stop thinking of it as your pain." I expected her to look shocked or offended. What crossed her face instead was a puzzled look, as if she knew that something true had been hinted at. My pain? Of course it's mine. Who else could it belong to?

What if the pain that seems to be yours is really not yours? (And here I do not mean to belittle personal suffering, but only to offer a larger perspective that may help alleviate it.) The truth is that fear and anger exist outside ourselves. They are not yours or mine, unless we attract them. Negativity is an invisible parasite. It needs a host to feed off of, and the host is the ego. When you learned as a young child to cling to my toy, my candy, my pleasure, my happiness, at the same time your ego started clinging to the opposite: my scraped knee, my broken doll, my sadness, my pain. Absorbing an experience as "mine" was how you built yourself up, developed a sense of individual identity. As we grew, we learned to see this self in a larger perspective, in the context of humanity. But when tragedy strikes, we often regress to this early state.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.