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Strategies for Growing Through Pain

Discover a Larger Perspective

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Growing through suffering requires shifting our outlook from one in which we feel alone to one in which our experiences, even difficult ones, are related to something larger. Removing your pain from your own dark isolation taking a longer view will help you put your suffering in a new context, and you will see your life as part of a larger plan. Suggestions:
  • Explore specific religious or spiritual traditions
  • Read about your own, and other, spiritual traditions
  • Take classes in philosophy, metaphysics, or other disciplines that explore the "bigger picture"
  • Investigate your family genealogy
  • Look to nature
  • Write down or sketch your thoughts and reflections

Turn Toward Compassion

Seeing the suffering of others puts our own trials in a new perspective, teaching us that we are not alone. Empathy is a natural element of human nature we're prewired to care about each other. When you act with compassion, you will assume responsibility, respect, and commitment to those suffering. And when best expressed, your compassion flows toward yourself as well as others. Suggestions:
  • Look at the things you say to yourself when you’re in pain. Find a voice that expresses compassion to others and yourself
  • Fuel your compassion with action: volunteer, help others
  • Show yourself compassion: find a photo of yourself as a child and use it as a reminder to treat yourself with tenderness and concern
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