Stuck Pain vs Growing Pain

It seems to me that, although we often don’t have a choice about whether pain comes into our lives and relationships, we do have a choice about whether that pain becomes “stuck pain” or “growing pain.” We can choose to just endure the pain that comes our way and try to ignore it and/or numb it as best we can. We can blame others or the world and wait for them to change. This path keeps us stuck and stagnant. On the other hand, we can get the support we need in a painful situation and put forth the effort of understanding what in us may be causing us to experience the situation as painful. We can then look at how we might grow through this experience into being stronger, more fully alive and more deeply connected.
Mary Simon, PsyD

3 Responses - click here to join the conversation to “Stuck Pain vs Growing Pain”

  1. drjudi1 says:

    I am in total agreement. I am very capable of numbing myself out. It can be so useful to get someone else to listen to me (perhaps through a “Crossing the Bridge” ritual) and reflect back what they are hearing, so that I can have a deeper understanding of myself, and feel some support in making the changes I need to become “unstuck.”

  2. I’m finding your distinctions of “stuck pain” and “growing pain” to be very helpful! I see a connection between stuck pain and Terri Real’s distinction of “misery stabilization.” I find that if I choose to stay in stuck pain, I am choosing to stay in my familiar, yet false comfort zone of stable misery. If, on the other hand, I choose to seek support for stretching beyond the predictability of my stuck place, I am better able to move into growing pain and beyond.

  3. Good post. Stuck pain keeps you stuck in the past, and is a form of proving that you are right. Growing pain, moves you into new territory where there is the potential for coming together and for love. It can bring you into the present moment.

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