Difference Between Pain and Suffering?

March 1st, 2023

During my Healing Spectrums sessions and consultations, I  often work with individuals who are dealing with varying degrees of pain. Naturally, no one wants to be in pain but the questions arise: What exactly is pain and what is it’s purpose? Is pain a bad thing? How do you deal with it? And of course, is there a difference between pain and suffering?

You can think of pain as simply a built in alarm system that is…designed for the purpose of preserving the continuing existence of your body, which is naturally programmed to survive for as long as possible. It uses the pain mechanism simply to alert us when something happens that interferes with your body’s normal functioning processes.

Think of pain as a warning signal on a computer. When something happens to the computer that could be potentially damaging, there is often a signal, sound or error message to let you know so that you can quickly (hopefully) correct the problem before it becomes a serious threat to the whole operating system.

Pain is not a “bad” thing. On the contrary, it is actually a “good” thing in the sense that it is simply doing its job. Without the pain mechanism, I doubt that many of us would live for very long! You could be seriously injured and not even know it. (Oddly enough, there actually exists such a medical condition, albeit very rare.) So really, it’s not bad or good–it’s just how the system was designed to call up for repair and maintenance procedures. Of course, we may not always know what the best procedures are but at least we know that something needs attention.

Suffering, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter. Pain is obviously uncomfortable and no one wants to experience it. The first tendency is to run as far away from it as fast as possible, to resist its very existence. That is the result of a fear response. Fear of what it might ultimately mean, what might happen, not knowing what to do about it, etc. And the suffering comes in when we resist, avoid, ignore, or deny its presence; thus cascading into more fear and uncertainty.

How can you utilize the pain signal to your benefit? I have discovered that when there is any pain, the first thing we can do is stop…

Stop to first acknowledge it and then step head-long into it to see just what the real depth and range of it is. That way, we can spare ourselves the immediate suffering that comes through any fear and anxiety that otherwise quickly shows up if we were to resist it. We can think of it simply as the alarm system that actually, thank God, “works.”

Through this process, we can even make better decisions of what to do about it, with greater clarity of mind. Of course, some pain can be so intense that it can be difficult to go through this simple process. But we find that there can be a higher pain threshold with greater clarity to respond appropriately if we can embrace it, even momentarily.

Over the years in my work, I have been able to help significantly reduce pain, through the work of the Healing Spectrums sessions along with teaching of the Healing Spectrums Self-treatment technique.

Contact me if you have any questions or comments on this topic or would like to know more about how the Healing Spectrums programs could help you relieve pain (and suffering, for that matter!)

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