We’re conditioned to think avoiding pain is more important than pursuing pleasure, as if pain isn’t an inevitable part of life. Very early on we’re taught to avoid getting hurt at all costs. We’re taught only the weak experience pain because they must have done something wrong, therefore to remain strong, we must pursue that which is likely to bring the least amount of pain. This is why people choose to stay in toxic situations and relationships. This is why so many people accept mediocre lives and are content just getting by as opposed to taking responsibility for creating the kind of limitless lives that we were all born to experience. Just like when you work out your body is sore because your muscles are being taken out of their comfort zone and pushed to become something greater, pain is a result of being pushed beyond a normal limit. Pain, just like circumstances are, is temporary. Maybe our parents should have let us fall down a few more times in our youth just so we could get back up and realize hurt happens and then life goes on. When I used to tell my grandmother something “hurted” she would tell me that hurted isn’t a word and that I would be okay. So what if something hurts, it will pass. Your job is to discern if the pain is a growing pain or your intuition’s way of telling you it’s time to do something else. More often than not our greatest pleasure lies just a few steps in the opposite direction of our greatest pain, but that first step in the opposite direction can hurt so much we freeze and never take it. Pain is not inevitable. You can let it build internally by clinging to things that you know don’t serve you. Or you can take a stand and choose to pursue a greater pleasure by feeling whatever you think will come from walking toward pain today. Usually when we choose to walk toward what we think is going to be really hurtful, the impact isn’t as intense as we anticipated. Everyone experiences pain but by trying to avoid it, we actually avoid pleasure as well.
What pain are you trying to avoid that could actually hurt you more in the long run? I challenge you to commit to pursuing pleasure by any means, even if it hurts at first.