What’s Your Answer to Life’s Most Important Question?

Image by Kathryn Cramer Brown

Lately I’ve been thinking alot about the two primordial emotions of life, Love and Pain, and all of the sub-emotions that arise from them. And what’s interesting to me is that, even though love is our nature and pain is learned, we tend to live in pain and long for love.

At first you might think to yourself, “Hey, that’s not me!” But if negativity (fear, anger, judgements, criticism including self-criticism,etc) takes up more than half your day, you’ve built your emotional home on a foundation of pain, surrounded by windows that reveal only glimpses of love. So if you intend to live a meaningful life, you had better plan on moving soon.

Fear is the most common sub-emotion of pain. That’s because every negative emotion has it’s roots in fear. If you’re angry, you’re afraid of something. If you’re jealous, you’re afraid of something. I could go on and on, but what’s hard to understand is why we choose to live in pain when love is our birthright.

Recently, I was upset when a close friend stopped responding to my messages. My surety at the slight made it harder than usual to go to sleep for a couple of days as I ruminated on the thought that our friendship might be ending. But things changed when I asked myself a simple question:

Do I want to live in pain or in love?

It was obviously a rhetorical question. But in our unconscious moments so many of us gravitate to the painful thoughts, words and emotions we’ve learned to fall back on. What we need is to reconnect with our true selves in a way that feels like we’re coming home.

So the next time you feel cheated, angry, jealous, offended, frustrated, embarrassed, rejected, judgemental or any number of other negative feelings, stop and think about the fact that you’re true nature is just one thought away and ask yourself this question:

Do I want to live in pain or in love?

And then when you’re sure of your answer, go out and change the world!