woman reflecting

“Pain is your best friend. It is infinitely more honest with you than pleasure. Despite what you might think, the painful experiences you have had benefit you far more than the pleasurable ones, even though most of us spend our lives trying to duck and hide from them.

But when you can center yourself and be open to look pain dead in the eye, then you have transcended the limits of your ego and this humanity. It is then that you enter into the possibility of becoming a great being.”

~ Swami Chetanananda

When I first read these words I wanted to reject them. How could pain be my best friend?

Yet, looking back on the painful, challenging and disappointing experiences in my life, I understand.

Through dark times we find courage and resourcefulness that we may not have thought we had within us.

We break open and feel into what matters.

We learn about ourselves and grow as human beings.

We are able to see the pain in others and feel more connected to them.

We enter the possibility of becoming great beings.


… and knowing this helps.





68 comments on “Pain as Your Teacher

  1. Sachin Dhiraj

    Namaste Val Boyko,
    This is Sachin from India. It feels great reading your post.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. “We are able to see the pain in others and feel more connected to them.”

    I think that’s the best part of the lesson.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Yes, this is very true Val, its not until later in hindsight we begin to see this, and I have now become grateful for those times of painful darkness, for it was only through overcoming them, that I am who I am today..
    Wonderful inspiration..
    Sending Love, and Light dear Val.. And thank you
    Sue ๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you dear Sue for your warmth and kindness. When we reflect on the past, there are many treasures waiting to be revealed. ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’›

      Liked by 1 person

  4. shadowedmuses


    Liked by 1 person

  5. So true. So painfully true!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You’re right, it does help, Val. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As you may already well know, suffering (‘Dukkha’), which is not pain per se but its correlate ‘suffering’ or ‘unsatisfactoriness’ is said in Orthodox Buddhism to be one of just three gateways to liberation; the other two being knowledge of impermanence (‘Anicca’) and non-self (‘Anatta’).

    H โค

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you dear Hariod for adding insight and depth to this.๐Ÿ’› No matter where we are along the path, we all share the experience of feeling pain. My experience has been that our awareness of suffering grows as our ignorance (avidya) lessens. I haven’t studied Buddhism, but there are many parallels in yoga philosophy. ๐Ÿ™

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pain CAN be a teacher, but we have to CHOOSE to learn from it, then let it go . . .

    For example, when we bruise our egos, we often slow down (or halt) the healing process by picking at the wound, adding to our pain, and creating unnecessary suffering:

    We analyze what happened.
    We turn it over in our minds.
    We tell other people what happened.
    We solicit their opinions.
    We gather support for Egoโ€™s view of the situation.
    We get mad/sad all over again.
    We may desire retribution.
    In extreme cases, we may plot our revenge . . .

    Does all this ego-maneuvering and posturing teach us anything?
    Not necessarily.

    When we hang on to the pain of negative emotions (hurt, frustration, anger, sadness, or grief), we can aggravate the impact of the initial injury by letting it and the accompanying pain eclipse everything else in our lives. We can get stuck for days, weeks, months, and even years, watching the same stale re-runs over and over, instead of choosing to move forward . . . while learning from the pain.

    And if we choose to hang on to the pain, rather than letting it go, we rob ourselves of the joy, peace, and happiness we could be feeling right here, right now.


    Liked by 4 people

    • Good point Nancy! Thank you for bringing in how we can choose to deal with pain. ๐Ÿ’› Clinging to the pain and picking at the wound prevents the healing. As long as we hang on to the resisting what has happened, our suffering will continue.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Such truth in this. It took many of us a lifetime to understand, but yet…so much truth.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. That’s true it’s during our pain that we start looking carefully at what we say so we don’t hurt peoples feelings and we learn and try new things so we can heal ourselves

    Liked by 3 people

  10. It really is the silver lining. It is the kind gift that you are given for going through the deep jungle of emotion and coming out the other side. Knowing this really does help when the next wave arrives. โค โค

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Yes…it is one of my mirrors. Embrace, feel, heal. Great post, Val. ๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Pain is hard teacher, Val, and there are experiences that I would rather not have lived, but there is learning in each of them, especially about compassion. โค

    Liked by 4 people

  13. |Always the most difficult times, and there have been many, have been my greatest teachers and my most creative. This most recent illness has been the most extraordinary spiritual experience; I am not through it yet but the grace and the power and presence of God in my life, is guiding me along the still waters to a place of silence and peace where I can hear His voice and listen to His words.
    Twameva Mata, Chapita Twameva.
    Twameva Bandhu, Cha Sakha Twameva.
    Twameva Vidya, Dravinum Twameva.
    Twameva Sarvam Mama Deva Deva.
    Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Finding Presence and the Divine in our pain such a true gift. Thank you for sharing here Helen. May you find ease and wellbeing on your journey. ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’›


  14. As Rumi says, “The wound is the place where the light enters.” So true ๐Ÿ’• Great post Val.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. I have found this to be true, though any kind of pain becomes old very quickly. Chronic pain has given me more compassion and connection to others for which I’m thankful. But there are times….

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Perception is everything! I just started a blog here; please check it out and let me know what you think! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  17. We learn a lot from it. We become strong because of it.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Beautiful wisdom here Val and yes we then have more empathy for others. Compassion grows through our own experience and journey.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Hey Val,
    This is the 2nd best post I read from your blog today. Keep motivating us.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. It is true that we need sometimes to transcend to low depths to achieve pure liberation..

    Liked by 4 people

  21. For me, this is more true for emotional pain than physical pain, although I supposed we can learn from both.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. This is soooo good Val โค

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Beauty from ashes, a rising Phoenix, scars displaying survival. …brokenness is opportunity for growth.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Hey great blog, Val! I really enjoyed it. I think you would appreciate my blog as well. http://www.TremendousTeacher.com I am taking my readers on a journey through my chaotic life as a teacher. You’ll probably relate and laugh at the stories of my wild world ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for any feedback! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: Pain as Your Teacher – One Nigerian Woman

  26. I just started writing yesterday.
    I write because I need an outlet for the pain in my heart.
    I only just put down the thoughts running through my head adn then I found your post.
    May I dare to hope that I will learn something from the pain that I feel.

    Liked by 3 people

    • There is often a lesson when we acknowledge the pain, and open up to a new insight to our life and circumstances. The lesson is usually to take care of your self, heart and soul. Keep listening and keep writing to inspire other women to do the same ๐Ÿ’•


  27. myboldspirit

    This really resonates with me after my challenging experiences of battling an eating disorder. I am grateful for this post.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. We grow the most when adversity hits us in the face with 12 tones of brick. If life were easy we will just not grow. It is alot like working out. The more resistance you put (weight) the stronger the muscle gets. After giving you a ton of pain.

    Liked by 1 person

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