1. Out of pain, genius is born.
Your creative genius is on the other side of your vulnerability. Whether you want to write, act, sing, paint, whatever is your creative poison of choice, some of your best work will be the work in which you express your pain. It’s the light that comes through the darkness that moves people and that is what you can put into your art, that is what will make the people who interact with your art feel the most. You may even find that there are creative expressions you never knew existed when you’re deep in the throes of your own pain.
2. We connect to each other through our pain.
When we truly connect with others, it’s when we can share in our pain together. Our surface-level relationships never get to that place (and that’s fine), but we dive deeper into our relationships when we can find a commonality amongst our battle wounds. That’s when our relationships are taken to a new level, when we get to the core of who we are, and at that core, is our resilience. This is how we connect: how we overcame pain, how we’re currently within the pain, and how we can feel less alone together in whatever future pain awaits us.
3. Without pain, we wouldn’t know appreciation.
This is not a novel concept, but it bears repeating. Have you ever come out of a terrible flu and suddenly felt a renewed appreciation for the small things in your life like your sense of smell and your ability to stay awake for longer than thirty minutes? This is how it is with our pain. We have a sense of appreciation for our lives and we expect less, feel happiness and joy more, once we have overcome a situation in our lives that had caused a good deal of pain to us. We appreciate far more than we did before that pain had entered our lives and that means, joy and love become simpler and more attainable on a daily basis, because we see it everywhere we hadn’t seen it before.
4. Pain etches a unique story into us.
The most interesting part of you is the pain you’ve overcome. This becomes your story, unique only to you. Your scars become your battle wounds, the identifying markers of a life well-lived. Your pain continues to define what you become, more so than any other experience in your life. Pain forces you into action and it calls upon your instincts, your trust in yourself, and your ability to be resilient in the face of something that’s attempting to bury you. This gives you the kind of character that is complex, dynamic, and can empathize and connect with others on a level they can relate to. You are you because of what you’ve overcome.
5. Pain will teach you who you are.
There’s nothing quite like the urgency of pain that will show you who are. Are you resilient? Do you back down from a fight? Do you have the will to change your life and come out the other side of the darkness? Who will you be when things don’t go the way you’ve planned? How will this painful experience change the trajectory of your life? Your pain defines you and will open up parts of you that had been dormant. You will see the cracks of your own trust in yourself by seeing how you react to pain. Do you fall apart? Do you know how to heal yourself and gain perspective? Your pain is invaluable in showing you who you truly are underneath the posturing and the energy you’d previously used to avoid pain.
Experiencing and then overcoming your pain can be one of the most defining moments in your life. Plus, there’s no real way to avoid pain except to become a shut-in that never talks to other people. The more you experience pain and the more you stop expending energy to avoid it, the simpler it becomes to gain perspective on it, glean what you will need from it, and heal yourself. Some of your best lessons are born out of pain. Instead of assessing situations based on whether or not they will cause you pain when you can’t be sure, just go, live, experience. Get your heart broken. Do something you don’t know you’ll be great at. Take thoughtless, crazy risks. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Be the most vulnerable version of yourself. Have blind optimism. Fail. Try. Fail again. If all you’re afraid of is pain, then there’s nothing to be afraid of. Your pain is the best part about you.