I typically meet new clients at a point in their lives of great pain. They are often coming out of prolonged heartache. Sometimes they are seeing me after great effort to repair their marriage has failed. They often come and recount details about the pain they have experienced both in the long term and recently. The actions of their soon to be former spouse touch a particular nerve and the resulting pain can seem unbearable.
It is in these moments that I must urge individuals in this moment to understand that the pain is real but it is also an opportunity for growth. They are experiencing something they should remember- something that can help them gain great compassion for others who may also be facing similar circumstances.
In her article, “Am I invisible? One mom’s pain-relieving response to being excluded,”
Rachel Macy Stafford, and author and special education teacher, describes the concept of using people’s hurtful actions as opportunities for self-growth. She describes pain as a circumstance that can build compassion and trust between individuals.
And after reframing pain into an experience that can have positive outcomes, I remain hopeful that things really do get better.