That Painful Feeling Is There For A Darn Good Reason

That Painful Feeling Is There For A Darn Good Reason

Pain is a rather awesome alert system to let us know it might be a good idea to stop doing that thing. 

The other day I grabbed a dish from the stovetop that I’d taken out of the oven moments before. I’d promptly forgotten the taken-out-from-the-oven-moments-before part. Wow, it hurt like hell for the tiny second I held the red-hot dish in my hands. ⁣⁠

⁣What did I do? I dropped it back down (accompanied by enthusiastic cursing) without thinking about it. I didn’t have to decide whether to keep holding the dish or not. I didn’t choose to drop it back down. I didn’t have to think about whether it was true if the dish was hot. I just did it. The pain from the hot dish was my warning. ⁣⁠

When we touch something hot or sharp the pain is there to say STOP DOING THAT. ⁣⁠

The pain is there to say NOTHING GOOD CAN COME OF THIS⁣⁠

The pain is there to tell us to DROP THE THING THAT’S HURTING⁣⁠

⁣⁠Isn’t this the coolest thing?? ⁣⁠

⁣⁠Emotional pain is a good thing…when we see it for what it is

What many of us don’t realise is that the same warning mechanism comes built-in for our MIND as well as our physical body. ⁣When we feel emotional ‘pain’ – the twist of anxiety, the blow of sadness, the flare of anger, the rip of shame – that’s our cue to drop what is hurting us….our THOUGHTS.⁣⁠

Our thoughts are the sharp knife, the hot curling iron, the scalding pan.⁣⁠

That bad feeling – that pain – is warning us to drop that thinking. ⁣⁠

IRL examples

Example: You make a mistake at work. Your boss is disappointed and your colleagues seem pissed off. You feel ashamed. ⁣⁠

⁣⁠That feeling of shame – the pain – is telling you that your thinking is causing you harm. ⁣⁠

⁣⁠You can’t control what thoughts slammed into your head in the first place – “I am a terrible person, I’ve let everyone down, I’ve ruined the project, I am hopeless and shit”…..but you can see that you don’t need to keep holding them. ⁣⁠

Another example:  You’ve been dating someone for a little while and thought it was going well, until they abruptly end it. You feel confused, or sad, or angry, or hurt or any combination of horrid feeling, plus others. 

Those feelings are painful because that’s your alert again, letting you know your THINKING is causing harm. 

Thoughts like “I’m unlovable”, “I’m not good enough”, “It must be because I have one nipple bigger than the other”, “This always happens, I will be alone forever”, “No one wants me”, “I need to know why this happened” etc may plop into your head and you may innocently roll around with them. You may think they need examining and thinking about and acting upon. 

But you don’t control your thoughts, and that bad feeling is there to remind you that you’re innocently believing a thought that isn’t yours

I know, I know – our thoughts sounds JUST like us, don’t they? It’s rather annoying because that stops many of us from being able to drop them. But – really consider this – what if believing the shit thoughts that ping and zip into our minds without our permission is the ONLY thing standing between us and a more happier existence?

Don’t let a silly thing like uninvited thoughts keep you from feeling good

Mistakes occur. People hurt people. Shit happens. A LOT. 

When stuff happens, thoughts will plop into your head. They aren’t yours. They don’t mean anything and they aren’t about you (even though it really, really, really, really seems like it). 

You don’t need to believe those thoughts or pay them any attention at all. Don’t worry about *what* you are thinking or how it’s causing your pain, you don’t need to ‘choose a new thought’, or reframe the situation. or any of that extra effortful mind-fuckery stuff. ⁣

Just know – the feeling is telling you – you’re having some unhelpful, untrustworthy thoughts. You don’t HAVE to do anything here, except know that the situation will look different when your thoughts settle.⁣

If it hurts, drop it.

P.S. if you’re struggling with this and feel like you can’t just ‘drop’ painful thoughts, give me a holler here