Pain reminds me a lot of the saying, “you can’t live with it and you can’t live without it”. Having some type of inner pain seems to be part of the human experience. At some point in our lives we will experience it, for many most of their lives. There are two ways of experiencing inner pain: pain of presence and pain of absence.
When we are struggling with painful thoughts and feelings often times trying to get rid of the hurt or pain tends to have the opposite effect. It becomes bigger, more intense because the importance of trying to get rid of it and the energy put into shutting it out of your mind makes the painful thoughts/emotions return more frequently in the long run. This is what we call the pain of presence. Pain of presence is when you feel the pain right here and now whether it be depressive feelings, anxiety, unwanted thoughts, etc.
Pain of absence on the other hand is pain for the longing of wanting your life to be a certain way. As the pain of presence grows so does the pain of absence because your energies are being spent trying to get rid of those present feelings so you miss out on the life you envision to have. We have been taught from a very young age that when we don’t like something then get rid of it, simple as that. What if it doesn’t work that way inside of us?
What if we shift our energies to living our lives the way we want to, even though we have pain of presence. Instead of putting our lives on hold to work on getting rid of the present pain, why don’t we flip the switch and move in the direction we want to in life. Maybe then will the pain of presence start diminishing or at least taking over our lives.