The Pain We Create

My pain is self-chosen. At least I believe it to be. That belief, the some would concur, is well-founded. Pain is a choice.

Now before you get upset hearing that, wait a second. I’m not talking about physical pain. You don’t choose the stabbing pains from a knife wound or a back injury. It’s not your fault that cancer treatment is brutal, and no one is saying that people ask to be abused, physically or otherwise.

What I’m referring to is a chosen pain is the sense of being wronged. Choose not to be harmed, and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed – and you haven’t been. What I mean is that if you don’t feel like you’ve been singled out or screwed over, then were you? No, because that’s subjective. Just as it was subjective whether you thought the intention of this blog was victim-blaming or whether you see it for what it is: a different way to think about the situations we find ourselves in throughout life.

Getting cut from a team – that’s objective. A sense that you were dealt a grave injustice? That isn’t. The resentment you decide to nurse for getting cut? That’s self-chosen pain. And choosing it usually comes at the expense of getting back to work and earning your spot (or changing teams so you’re no longer at the mercy of that capricious coach). Being born poor or dyslexic or being at the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s not your fault. No one is disputing the realness of the pain that would cause. But what is less real – what’s chosen – is the chip you carry on your shoulder about it. So is deciding to lay down and quit. Or to focus on who you can blame.

Believe that. Be free. Be unique. But in the end, be you.

By, Brian Nadon


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