(Originally posted on Loveumentrary

Pain cannot be escaped.

We spend so much of our lives seeking out safety and comfort. We try to numb pain, dull discomfort, and run from the uncertainty, stress and anxiety of life. Yet no matter how much we try to make the comfort last, it is never permanent. The chaos of life floods through the cracks.

I think it’s funny how we put so much effort into escaping pain, and yet the people we tend look up to and admire the most are those who have learned to embrace and lean into the pain. The all star athletes, the celebrated authors, the accomplished business people, the wisest, most loving, and most revered individuals who seem have life “figured out”… they all stopped running from the pain. Instead, they’ve learned to turn around, open their arms, and embrace it.

Climbing a mountain is painful. Training for a triathlon is painful. Speaking in front of a group of strangers is painful. Writing a book, filming a documentary, asking for a raise, standing up for what’s right in the midst of criticism, learning to ride a horse, running for office, committing to a relationship… all of these come hand in hand with pain. They stretch us to our max. They require us to beat our own path. They break us down and force us to rebuild ourselves into something better, stronger, and more courageous.

When we embrace the idea that our dreams require a degree of pain, then make the decision to move towards that pain, it becomes our refiner’s fire. Pain is a purification process. Through it, our weaknesses, and imperfections are slowly burned away as we push through and endure the intense pressure and heat. When the pain subsides we emerge as a different, vastly improved being.

However, when we try to avoid pain rather than embrace it, we put off the purification process. Rather than opting for the refiners fire, we are beaten down by the elements. We are worn down and eroded over time as we try to fight against the inevitable. We’ve all been haunted by this kind of pain at some point. It’s the inescapable pain we feel when we experience regret, fear, laziness, apathy, and inaction. It’s the pain of choosing to be the victim instead of choosing to be the master of your own fate.

The pain you choose is what shapes your life.

You either choose to suffer for your dreams or to suffer in spite of them.

You can choose to risk the pain of a broken heart that often accompanies loving fully… or you can choose the the despair of loneliness, or the regret of never fully investing yourself into love. Both decisions include a degree of pain, but only one has a payoff.

Pain is a an effect of being alive. Getting to choose your pain is an effect of being human.

You can choose right now whether you want the pain that comes with working for your dreams of living a love-filled life, or to live in the pain of the nightmare of regrets that accompanies inaction.

Choose the right pain.

nate2About the Author– Hi, I’m Nate Bagley. I’m the creator of   The Loveumentary, and I want to change the way the world perceives true love. My hope is that getting an inside look at the inner workings of happy, healthy, lasting relationships will give us all some perspective on how we can more fully experience true love and genuine human connection in our own lives.

Nate also is creator of Unbox Love and LoveCon, check them out!




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