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Focus on Who You Are Without the Pain

Maybe healing is just shedding the old identification with the pain to find a truer version of yourself. Maybe we put a little too much focus on healing pain and not enough focus on figuring out who we are without it.

I posted that to my Facebook feed just a minute ago. It struck me as a somewhat profound observation I wasn’t planning to make today.

The spiritual world focuses heavily on healing from pain. I talk a lot about that process myself, offering a slightly different way to work through the pain that doesn’t involve crying it out or re-living painful experiences. But, what if even my focus is a bit warped? Maybe I also need to pay more attention to the concept of forming a new identity that isn’t based on pain.

It’s something I’ve been doing for myself in the background. I’ve had to figure out who I am without all the pain I used to carry around. It’s been quite the process, mostly because there are so many unknowns. It triggers old fears and offers a sense of imbalance, like standing on a wobbly ladder.

How do you figure out a new identity when you release the identification with pain your old identity had?

I compare it to playing dress up as a child. Your personality essentially stays the same and what you have to figure out is how you show up in the world. That’s what the new identity is. It’s a persona that you use as a way of being in the world.

My personality is the same. How I react and respond to the people and things around me has changed dramatically. I had to figure that out through a process of trial and error. Let’s see what happens if I respond this way. What happens if I respond that way? How is this going to look for me?

Through trial and error I figured out what made sense for me. But I had to do it all consciously. Creating a new identity isn’t an unconscious process. It doesn’t just happen while you’re asleep. It’s not a passive thing. You have to consciously decide how to be in the world. Through a conscious process you figure out which parts of your persona were based on pain, let those go, and consciously replace them with new responses and reactions. We’re working toward getting the pain out of our persona’s so that we can show up and not project or offer pain through our own actions and words.

The process of self-discovery is cyclical going between releasing pain and replacing it with a new identity. You spot the pain, understand and release it, then consciously figure out where the pain was showing up in your persona and shift that. It’s the balance between healing pain and shifting your identity that can become a little out of whack.

There is a lot of focus on healing pain because we think we can’t create a new version of ourselves until we heal all the pain. But if we don’t figure out who we are without the pain, we can’t fully heal. You have to be willing to shift your focus away from the pain and back onto who you are versus who the pain made you become.

Every single time I became aware of pain within myself, I figured out how it was showing up in my persona. How was it affecting how I showed up in the world? Based on my understanding of that I would shift and show up differently.

Does that take a bit of courage and some self-awareness? You bet. We start to worry what others will think. We start to worry about what might happen as a result. Changing how we respond and react offers us an unknown outcome. Immediately that creates fear in the mind. What happens if…?

The trick here is to focus on the likelihood that if you’re not offering pain, things will eventually improve. It might take a hot minute because people have to realize that something has shifted and then figure out what they are going to do with that. It might take a bit for people to come around, but they will.

It’s the understanding that it might not change instantly, you still may not get what you want, but it will still be better than where you’ve been. When you’re not offering pain, when you’re standing in a more stable power within yourself, it offers you choices. It offers you more freedom. It gives you a bit more control because of the additional options it provides you with.

With a focus on figuring out who you are without the pain, you put your new identity first – you put yourself first. As you come across a pain point, you heal that and then go back to working on understanding yourself.

When you understand yourself within the experience, you not only understand why you respond and react the way you do – you also understand how those things are still reflecting old pain and you make the conscious choice to shift that every single time it shows up.

Is that easy? No. It’s a way of being in the world that makes you fully accountable for yourself in a very conscious, active way that is not dependent on what’s happening around you.

Love to all.



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