Pain and Change


Most of us have faced difficult seasons so it probably goes without saying that pain can feel debilitating at times. Pain has a way of making life feel overwhelming. Occasional distress in life is unavoidable, but often we are missing the purpose behind ongoing sorrow. Pain often couples with a need for change. Change is difficult. Change disrupts everything we build to protect ourselves. Change elicits emotions, and emotions are often fleeting. Nonetheless the purpose of emotion often suggests an urgency that something needs to change. Perhaps the change is as simple as more accountability to your daily schedule or maybe it is more significant, such as healing from intense grief or trauma. Most of us would fall somewhere in the middle; we know without a doubt that change is prodding at the foundation of our safety net, but we aren’t sure why.

 Of course the irony to our safety net is that we don’t really feel safe, we just feel safe enough not to want to “make things worse” (aka change). Most of us tend to shy away from things that are uncomfortable. The unknown is daunting and we would prefer to make the best of what we have today rather than delve into charting waters with hope for a better tomorrow.

  • I’ll start eating better on Monday
  • I can’t afford therapy so I just have to face my pain alone.
  • I shouldn’t go to school because there is no guarantee I could pay off my loans.
  • I can’t heal my marriage/friendship because it is too damaged.
  • I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety so I will never be happy.
  • I want to go to the gym, but I’m too out of shape. I don’t want to feel out of place.
  • I will always be poor because no one in my family has ever managed to “get ahead.”

Change is the most promising challenge we face in life. The opposite of change is inertia. You cannot desire an outcome without sacrificing the source that feeds the thing which drives you. Consider for a moment visiting a psychiatrist office that diagnoses you with Major Depressive Disorder, ushers you out the door, and says “sorry”. You receive no tools, no medication, and most importantly no hope. Change is what drives hope and vice versa. Without one another there is only empty declaratives. Yet how often are we the ones making daily declarations about the things we can’t do, the people we can’t be, and the pains we just can’t seem to heal from. How often do we choose temporary discomfort over permanent change?

I haven’t been blogging for a few months because my life has demanded the need for change is now. The changes I have made and aspire to continue making require a constant presence to my life. No longer can I dismiss my discomfort. No longer can I accept that the gaps as they are. No longer can I contend with myself, for I will always be wrong. The most difficult aspect of change is that it requires you depend on what you know rather than what you feel. Neither fleeting emotions nor hopelessness can change daily opportunities to make choices. Your depression won’t just go away, that relationship won’t just appear, the gym won’t beg you to come workout, and the pain you feel will continue to keep you downcast. You are safer if you aren’t strong. This is the lie. Find hope in your own life, in your own way, through your own avenues of change.


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