So let’s talk about pain, and more importantly how to dissolve pain…The climate we grew up in affected us—it was like perpetually receiving a minor shock…We suffered and believed our suffering was unchangable, which conditioned us to create defenses—highly destructive patterns.

We repressed the original frustration and pain we couldn’t deal with. Although we put it out of our awareness, it still smolders in the unconscious mind…Our defense mechanisms of aggression, submission and/or withdrawal fully developed…Our images are also a form of defense. They are designed to fight against painful experiences by erecting a rigid wall constructed entirely from wrong conclusions…

Not only have we done nothing to mitigate the original pain, we've invited more of it. Nice work, everyone.
Not only have we done nothing to mitigate the original pain, we’ve invited more of it. Nice work, everyone.

For those of us who have opted for the pseudo-solution of withdrawing, we’re defending ourselves against being hurt…Dollars to donuts, if our strategy is to make ourselves deliberately weak, we are actually wanting to lord ourselves over others…It’s plain to see that being weak is hardly harmless; it doesn’t hurt anyone any less than being outrightly domineering…In every case, we hurt others while also rubbing salt in our own wounds…

Thanks to the law of cause and effect, hurting others is not a zero-sum game; there will be consequences. So not only have we done nothing to mitigate the original pain, we’ve invited more of it. Nice work, everyone…Rather than abandoning our limping pseudo-solutions, we wrap them into our idealized self-image, whose agenda is to make us feel better than everyone else…Since the nature of the idealized self is falseness and pretense—we act perfect since we can’t be perfect—we feel alienated from ourselves, from others and from life. Another winner, if ever there was one…We’ll come to realize that pain feels a whole lot better than being alienated from ourselves and feeling numb…

Once we’ve gone through all this, emptying our inner well of what is old and immature, then constructive patterns can find a solid foundation…Whatever we must travel through is a growing pain that brings us to our final destination: a strong, self-reliant, full life. In the end, the payoff is actually worth all the effort…Once we learn to cope with mishaps and missteps, they won’t have the power to break us…

But what hurts so much presently is really the pain of not feeling fulfilled now, which is a result of our unsuccessful destructive patterns…Spoiler alert, here’s what we’re going to find. Beneath all our various “protective” layers is a pile of unmet needs that we don’t have a clue about…Realize, needing love is not childish or immature, per se. It’s only so when we refuse to grow in our ability to give love that we lock out and cover up our real need to receive love…We can now see that no unkind God is punishing us or neglecting us. We have brought our problems upon ourselves through our own unrealistic attempts at running away. So if we did that, we can do something different.

Nutshells: Short and sweet daily spiritual insights
Nutshells: Daily Spiritual Insights

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Read Original Pathwork® Lecture: #100 Meeting the Pain of Destructive Patterns