selective focus photography of a girl holding flowers

Here’s How We Can Break The Cycle Of Pain

It’s taken me decades to realize, but people rarely inflict pain onto others unless they are in pain themselves. Likewise, when people are oozing with delight, they transfer these same elevated vibrations onto whoever is in their vicinity. This has caused me to reevaluate the bad behavior of others. Are they really bad or are they simply a victim of bad circumstances? Maybe their reaction or the way they dealt with a situation was rotten, but less frequently are their intentions rotten.

Like the feeble feline who knew nothing but abuse in all nine of its lives who was eventually rescued by a family that offered it an unrecognized tender, loving care. This feline may scratch and snarl when its rescuers try to pet its head, but does that make it a bad animal? Obviously, humans can’t be held to the same standards as a cat—we are not only more complex, but we have far more responsibility. Our past doesn’t earn us a get-out-of-jail-free card. We can’t wash away our sins with our justifications. And just because we were punished without forgiveness does not mean we must become punishers ourselves. But I think I understand the force behind this anger. I even understand why it sometimes preys on the wellbeing of others.

Despite the sticks and stones that may have beaten us in our early days, we still have to find the courage to lay the bricks of a different path. We still have to find a way to transmute lead into gold, even if we’ve never seen anything shiny in our lives.

Most of us are still learning how to separate our own pain from that of the rest of the world. Sometimes, even, we unleash our fury onto an innocent bystander. But in those moments, we’re never deliberately hurtful, we’re simply suffering from an injury that was waiting for its great escape. And sometimes all it takes is one trifling trigger to make that happen.

The point is, we’re all healing. We all have triggers. We all have displaced anger at times. But what would happen if we all become so hyperaware of these sparks of madness that we stopped provoking them in others? If emotions are transmissible, then surely we can be bold enough to break these cycles of sorrow and share the little bit of light that we know.

The cycle may not always start with us, but it most certainly can end with us.

About the author
Fluent storyteller, memoirist and lover of prose poetry Follow Valerie on Instagram or read more articles from Valerie on Thought Catalog.

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