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Your Pain is Your Pass

Moments of reflection led me to this concept of seeing pain as a pass. A pass in the sense that it takes you from one place to another. Naturally, as beings, we can sometimes get stuck in the middle of going from one place to another. Usually, we are not progressing in our journey because we’re not using the pass effectively. We’re holding onto the pass. (Or maybe holding onto the past?) Whichever way you look at it, our journey is being hindered because we are not using our experiences to guide us through.

“Guide us through what?” You may ask. Guide us through whatever this life experience brings our way. I remember a time in my life when I believed pain was the totality of my experience. Meaning, I believed the pain I felt when I experienced heartbreak, loss, betrayal, etc was all there was to experience. Nothing but pain. Almost as if there was no meaning or no end to the pain it was just… It was just pain.

But then, one day, I realized I didn’t like this pain-filled state of being. And the decisions I made were desperate attempts to avoid the pain. So, in my mind, I’m living in a perpetual state of avoidance of this inescapable pain, that eventually turns into a perpetual state of suffering. And then that’s when everything made sense. I was trapped in the loop of pain and suffering. Convinced this condition was how life was supposed to be (I think people are calling it “adulting” now.) Ultimately robbing myself the opportunity to see what life could be beyond the pain.

What happens when I travel through the pain, shedding the cloak of avoidance? What happens when I give myself permission to embrace the pain that I feel? What happens when I no longer create separation between myself and the other side of my journey? What happens is, I am able to embrace the pain as a part of my experience, and not the whole of my existence.

Pain then serves as my ticket from point A to point B. Let’s say I am on a train. We will call it “The Transformation Train.” I’m at Stop A: Fear and I want to get to Stop K: Fulfillment. So, I get on the Transformation Train. At every stop, the conductor clicks my ticket. This click suggests I am able to continue riding this train to the next consecutive stop. Now imagine what happens if instead of giving the conductor my ticket or pass to click, I keep it in my pocket. Just holding onto it. Maybe I’m nervous that he won’t click it in the right spot — whatever that means. Or maybe I’m worried that he won’t give it back and I won’t be able to get to the fulfillment stop. Whatever the concern is, the fact of the matter remains. Without that click, I’m not able to go to the next stop. And because I’m the one holding onto this pass, I’m the one stopping myself from moving forward. So, in the same way I hold onto this ticket and stop myself from continuing the journey, holding onto the pain of my past, does not allow me to continue the journey. It does not allow me to get my click. And that’s why I can’t move.

Or maybe I won’t move. Because again, I’m the one that has control over the pass. I can choose to grant myself permission to move forward by releasing the ticket and claiming my verified click! The same way I grant my permission, you also grant yours. So what will you decide? Will you give up the pass (past)? Or hold onto your pain until the very last. Stop. 

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