Why We All Need Pain
How utter heartbreak can lead to a greater life.
There isn’t much in the world that is more painful than a broken heart. And most will say that there’s no salve but time to take that pain away. But why are we so quick to speed through and even negate the pain? Why do we distract ourselves from feeling emotions that can actually help us find more closure on the love that has been lost?
Pain is part of life. And while it is seen by most as something to be avoided, pain can actually be a good thing. It opens a well and presents you with a valuable opportunity to grow. But it’s your job to decide what you are going to fill it up with — love or fear. And it’s this choice that can take you to an entirely new realm of possibilities, because even if you do not understand why you lost love, you know that there is something beautiful that can come from it. There’s something more inside of you because of it.
While it can be scary to acknowledge change, you can find strength by commanding it. Tell yourself that things will never be the same. That you will never be the same. But this is an opportunity to realize new levels of opportunity and growth. And this doesn’t just mean in the long run.
Realize that you may not be able to have control over what is happening, there are certain things you can control. For example: your body. When you take control of your body, the mind and emotions will respond. Become emotionally strong by first getting physically fit. Put your body first, get into a peak state, and you will be able to change your perspective on pain.
Realize that you also have the power to feed your mind. You can dwell in memories of your relationship and replay the breakup over and over. Or you can feed your mind information, poetry, spirituality. You can use the pain to discover more about yourself and what you want in life.
Realize that pain is a signal to turn inward. And taking control of your physicality and your emotional state is the first step towards a higher level of self-discovery and evolution.
Sadness allows us to connect with ourselves. As bad as it feels, we connect. We connect with our emotions, we connect with our memories and we connect with our thoughts. This is why it is comfortable to stay in sadness and difficult to transcend — we are meeting our need for connection.
The only way out of this is to have something else you want to connect with more. You have to ask yourself, what do you value more than your pain? Do you value helping other people more? Perhaps you value helping animals? Ask yourself: “What is the reason I am here?”
By shifting the focus from yourself to something else, you’ll learn how to gradually let go of your pain and move on. This is the power of contribution.
Understanding how to find meaning out of your pain is a way to take a broken heart and turn it into something that will help you grow and expand your ability to love. We have to go through the emotions of shock, denial, hurt and anger. But eventually there is acceptance. And the best way to reach peace is to find a higher meaning out of our need to serve others.
If you can use your heartache to find a more empowering meaning, then you can take that same experience and say: “I’m going to take control of my life. I’m going to make a change.” Rather than sitting and becoming a reaction — making yourself the effect of the event — you are realizing that you have the power to determine what things mean and how you will approach life from this point forward.
One of the keys to utilization is envisioning a compelling future. What does your new vision look like? What are you going to be doing differently in the future? And what are you going to do differently today?
Remember, if you don’t take control and make the necessary changes, weeds are going to grow automatically. But if you learn and adapt, you can achieve a new level of living that would have never been possible had you not gone through the heartache you did.
This post is authored by the Tony Robbins editorial team and first appeared on the Tony Robbins blog.