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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Pain is the touchstone of all spiritual growth.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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AA meeting sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Bill W of A.A. fame said, "Pain is the touchstone of all spiritual growth." He was te...
AA meeting signAA meeting sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bill W of A.A. fame said, "Pain is the touchstone of all spiritual growth." He was telling us a very profound truth.  In fact, pain is probably one of the greatest gifts we have been given.  Feeling pain, whether physical, emotional or mental is the way our bodies perceive danger.  Why does pain get such a bad rap?  Why is it so difficult to accept pain as a well respected teacher?  

There are two types of pain, necessary pain and unnecessary pain.  When we try to avoid necessary pain, we fall prey to a state of neurosis.  This means that we rely on our defenses to try to avoid the call to us that something needs to be taken care of.  Neurosis stops emotional, mental and spiritual growth from unfolding naturally in our lives.  On the other hand, when we accept and welcome unnecessary pain and discomfort, we have what is called a character disorder.  This is a maladaptive decision to accept pain that does not produce higher states of self awareness and consciousness.  It can be called a useless sacrifice.  

For instance, if we experience tooth pain, it is usually an indication or alarm telling us that there is some sort of problem there and we need to tend to that tooth.This is an example of necessary pain.  If we procrastinate and refuse to deal with the underlying cause of the pain, it actually causes us much more pain in the long run. That is an example of unnecessary pain.  The same type of reasoning can be used to distinguish necessary psychic pain from unnecessary psychic pain.  

Legitimate pain helps us identify areas of our lives that are not working well.  Legitimate pain leads to growth.  It is never necessary to feel shame over feeling pain.  In fact, we are better advised to reach into our pain.  Feel the pain, and do what needs doing.  Once the healing has begun, we no longer need the pain and it will recede.   The degree that we allow ourselves to tolerate pain and discomfort, is the same degree that we will allow ourselves to feel joy and bliss.  

To adapt well we are advised to identify the source of our pain.  We are to explore how we have contributed to the sense of that pain, and accept responsibility for healing the pain.  Use positive affirmations to heal these wounds.  Provide the nurturing that is necessary to be able to accept pain as one of our great teachers.  Think, feel, and live.  Choose growth.  Do not be afraid of pain.  Just handle it.  It will bring you to a better place. 

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