Pain Has No Purpose
I recently read Gabby Bernstein’s book The Universe Has Your Back and came across the line:
“In some way, we get lost in the story that pain has purpose, or we buy into the belief that a meaningful life requires struggle.”
I stopped in my tracks as my eyes ran over the words.
Woman, you just described my life in one sentence. (How you do that?!)
So the backstory is my father did well for himself, but he believed that killing yourself for your accomplishments was the only path to success and if you hadn’t fought a dozen devils to get to your pot of gold, well then you didn’t deserve it anyways. He also believed to some degree that that even if you did achieve something worth having, someone was probably going to take it away from you eventually.
Needless to say, I grew up with this mentality and believed that nothing good would ever come to me unless I was bleeding from the knees by the time I got it. Even as I made my way into adulthood and realized that my father had a skewed version of looking at the world, I still had a hard time shaking that do or die mentality.
But the thing is, we don’t have to get lost in the story that pain has purpose.
Instead, we need to acknowledge that pain might have a temporary purpose but it has no long-term reason to stick around. As in, it might be a guide to show us a certain direction to move in or give us feedback about a specific situation but once we are able to recognize and process that information, then we need to put that story back on the shelf and pick up another one altogether that says that growth has purpose. Change has purpose. Evolution has purpose. And that life is meant to be loved. And when we want to hold on to the fact that a meaningful life requires struggle, we need to acknowledge that a truly meaningful life requires a lot of love.
I learned as I got older though that my father wasn’t the only one who felt this way and many people who I ran across in my travels believed that the harder they had to work for something, the sweeter the reward would be.
But let’s play with that for a moment.
What would it look like if you achieved your goals with a sense of ease and abundance?
In no way is this to say that you don’t put in the work, the effort, and the energy required to accomplish your desires and take yourself to the next level, but what would it look like if you felt powerful, capable, and successful the entire time you were working to take action? What would it look like if you worked with a sense of confidence and faith that everything would work out as it needed to? Would the outcome not feel equally (if not more) amazing?
Because here’s the thing, stress does not equal success. Lemme say that again
STRESS ≠ SUCCESS
Because when stress equals success then self-worth and self-value consequently go down the drain because you’re valuing the outcome of the event instead of the journey of getting to the finish line. And when self-worth and self-value go down the drain, then what is the point of continuing to do the work anyways? Just to say that you did it? But what happens after that?
So what if we moved more towards the work and the projects that increased both our success and our self-worth? What would that look like?
So here’s my challenge to you: The next time you feel yourself getting frazzled or frantic when you’re making big moves and working towards your goals, ask yourself how it would feel if you gave up the story of struggle? Ask yourself what it would look like if you allowed yourself to work with ease? What it would look like if you gave yourself permission to action with intention?
I’d love for you to give this a try and let me know how it goes? What did it feel like to value the process and the journey instead of solely the result? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.