Contrary to popular opinion, Christmas is traditionally a season of pain, not of joy. Mary and Joseph, wondering around heavily pregnant, having to travel to a census in the cold, not having anywhere to stay and then…boom. Waters break. #needsomewhere. Not an easy situation.
So, I thought I’d keep it real this festive season and hopefully help some friends who don’t have what they want in life.
So, what do you want in your life?
I don’t know about you, but I think about things I’d like to do, to achieve or to have. I think about experiences I’d like to have and people I’d like to meet.
In other words, I focus on the wanted things or people or experiences themselves, but rarely do I consider the cost of having what I want.
If you could choose to have pain in life, would you? Few of us would, but when we choose our goals, we also choose our pain. For every choice in life, there is a ‘pain price’. I think a better way to look at life goals is to ask yourself what kind of pain you’d put up with. If you’re not willing to pay the pain price, you don’t really want what you think you want.
For example, if I decide I want to be a published author, I am also saying I want the pain of loneliness, repeated and long-term rejection and financial insecurity in my life. If I decide I want a relationship, I am potentially welcoming a spectrum of pain – from betrayal to bereavement.
Thinking about what pain you might be willing to endure transforms situations. Because suddenly, if I’m an artist struggling to be heard or seen or bought, it’s not about failing at my art or not being good enough. The hard times are my pain price – I’m paying my way down my chosen road.
Similarly, a relationship that has become a struggle isn’t broken – but is exacting its pain price.
Culturally it’s important to train ourselves not to be afraid of the pain of doing the right thing, staying the course, running the extra mile and seeing through our goals. So, the next time you wonder what you want, ponder what pain you’d like instead. That’ll put it all into perspective.