Suffering is a Symptom of Growth

For all your power, whether natural or acquired, you still can only function in a rather narrow band of comfortable experiences. Step outside this range, and the outcome is death. Approach your limit you will experience every trauma a human mind can. There is no way to expand this area except to march purposefully into trauma.

The first trauma you learn in infancy is separation from the womb, the only familiar environment you’ve known. The shock of birth overwhelms you, forcing your first breaths and instinctive cries. You don’t know what is happening, only that you wish to return to what you know. It is natural to resist what you do not know, and stress happens when changes come faster than you can mitigate them.

As you grow, you learn more of your physical limits each time that you hurt yourself. Pain is a powerful teacher. It shows you where you are not yet ready to go. You must make yourself faster, stronger, more flexible, and more durable to expand the comfort range of your body. So long as you can endure the strain, you will soon accomplish physical wonders.

Your mind learns its limits just as quickly. Tending to your daily needs, you learn one arbitrary way of operating. The way you initially learn to express yourself creates a template of comfortable boundaries. While this is is a necessary first step in your young life, it becomes perilous when your expansion plateaus there.

As soon as you expect reality to start showing up a certain way, you set the stage for mental trauma when those expectations go unfulfilled. Nothing can stay the same forever. Either you will come to be ready for more on your own terms, or accidental circumstances will force you to act beyond what you know. Then you enter a new landscape, home to all new levels of psychological pain. These levels and their limits escalate indefinitely.

Passion is the source of all motion, for it creates an attachment to ephemeral events. It is therefore also the source of all trauma. When change is gradual, you are allotted a buffer to adjust your expectations. When change is swift, your mind’s limits are revealed by trauma. Reality is now happening to you outside your admissible range. You suffer.

The abrupt annihilation of your strongest attachments can scar you for life, grooming you to relive the trauma without end. You can no longer even think of your life without the twinge of pain that came when your whole life changed so rapidly. In staying trapped in the old world you once knew, you never adapt to the new one that is always happening around you.

Only the most important experiences stay with you in the years to come. You hold on to your trauma because letting go feels like killing a part of yourself. Learn to leave the past in the past, or carry a lifetime of baggage everywhere you go. Learn this reassess what you thought you knew about your past so the traumas of today become the adaptations of tomorrow.

Forgiveness exists to absolve the human psyche of trauma. It gives you the chance to close the recurring loop of failed expectations in your mind. It is the natural result of growing emotionally so that you no longer expect things to be the way they once were. It is essential for amputating the threads that tie you to the past and prevent you from fully entering your future.

There is something to be gained from any situation if only you can process the trauma within. Perspective can always expand. Appreciation can deepen. You can gain a deeper knowledge of rare events that few people have the wherewithal to investigate. Be brave enough to see what destroys you as a potential friend and teacher.

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Gregory Diehl left California at 18 to explore our world and find himself. He has lived and worked in 45 countries so far, offering straightforward solutions to seekers of honest advice and compassionate support in the development of their identities. His first book, Brand Identity Breakthrough, is an Amazon business bestseller. His new book, Travel As Transformation, chronicles the personal evolution worldwide exploration has brought to him and others. Find him at: