Recently I’ve been hearing people talk about how spiritual growth is not painless.
This, I think, is a very good thing to be pointed out, a very good thing to be reminded of, a very good thing to consider somewhat regularly.
The topic puts me in mind of certain other observations.
One, that to walk a path of or toward wisdom is painful and difficult, yet it being still more painful and difficult not to walk such a path.
Another, that truly adopting and internalizing a philosophical-spiritual perspective in life, inescapably, implies and brings about radical upheaval of one’s present way of living.
More generally, we all know, at least when we pause to consider it, that healing – whether physical or otherwise – often feels worse before it feels better.
Even Epicurus, whose end goal was in large part the avoidance of as much painful experience as possible, advised that one intentionally choose a painful experience, whenever doing so would avert a more painful experience later.
Let us recall such principles at regular intervals, or when we anticipate or have experienced pain and difficulty.
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19 thoughts on “Observations on pain and spiritual growth”
Well said. Some people seem to think its all bubble baths and journaling… in reality it’s a lot of hard work and not very glamorous.
Yes indeed. But not to detract from bubble baths or journaling, I think those are part of the hard work, and things that open us up to the pain we need to feel, and things that help us bear it and develop a better self-relation.
Wow, beautiful. You are right. The “simple” stuff can be a good doorway to open up to the difficult emotions that we need to feel, to be fully ourselves 🙏
Thank you for sharing the painful truth. The good news is that once through the pain, a wondrous world of peace awaits. It is so worth the journey.
“ One, that to walk a path of or toward wisdom is painful and difficult, yet it being still more painful and difficult not to walk such a path.”
Totally agree! I, like many people, started from a place of deep pain and damage, A situation I had grown to loathe. I wanted to live better, to live easier! The journey was very difficult because it meant unlearning so many lies I had internalized and the healing process was painful as I learned to let go of so much which no longer served me.
The end result after leaving the lies and the damage gently beside my path? The lovely parts of me I wanted to nurture and develop more!
A challenging journey but I highly recommend it for anyone still struggling!!
Thank you very much for sharing.
Well said, and a much-needed reminder. Healing and growth aren’t always pretty or pleasant.
There’s no escaping suffering. A group of us at church have begun a study of the value of suffering. Sometimes we look at people and it’s like, what’s so wrong in their life, the worst thing must be that their casserole burned. But they might be carrying a massive burden. We’re trying to find wisdom and meaning in it all.
Part of the meaning and wisdom is how one relates to oneself in the midst of one’s suffering
Pain is inevitable. Yet I have found much that is spiritual growth to be delightful. Were it not so, nobody would undertake it.
There is growing pains to every type of growth…
I am always in pain and I made it as my best pal. When I think of it, pain teaches many things and wisdoms are loaded in it. Without pain, there is no value for happiness. Both goes hand in hand.
That’s so true..Every journey has a process and you can’t escape pain while at it.But will understand why it was necessary while at the other side
I love the images in this blog post!
Thank you very much @ashjones93 !
For you to evolve your spirit have , first come reincarnated and start your process of modify old action, patterns, resolve old issues and that will include pain. Is always suffering and resistance. How learn your lesson without passing study hard. Who have a perfect life , Nobody
That healing often feels worse be it physical or mental – this point that you make in your blog I totally agree. Good read this !
I have also written a piece about how pain affects me be it my own or that of others – sharing it. Do read !