Let’s see, for example, how to go through a duel or a loss:
If we lose a loved one, we will feel hurt. We are likely to want to fall back on ourselves, distance ourselves a little from the world around us, and be in touch with that genuine pain.
If we believe that this pain will destroy us -because, for example, this happened to our mother- or if we believe that we must be strong -because our father taught it to use, then we will not allow ourselves to feel the sadness. We will interrupt the healthy, though painful, a process of mourning.
If, on the other hand, we have been able to go through the duel, we will discover that we can contact other things and other people and find satisfaction there.
But if in that we see a sign of lack of love towards the being that we have lost, it is possible that at that moment we interrupt that process of reopening the world. We will remain locked, doing what we have lost an altar; and of our life, a consecration.
Healthy pain or neurotic pain
It is not possible to establish general rules to know, in each situation, what our organism needs as a whole. That is why our conscience is often confused. It is about being attentive to the real needs that arise at every moment so as not to get in the way.
To do this, in order not to divert or stop the natural process that leads to the satisfaction of each need and, therefore, to a state of equilibrium, it is necessary to pay attention to what we fear would happen if we surrender to our feelings.
What appears as fearsome on the horizon, and which we usually avoid, is usually one of these four things:
A loss – as in the first example.
The revelation of an unpleasant truth for us – for example, when the supposedly unpleasant truth is revealed that we can love others beyond the lost person.
When, as unpleasant, we avoid these experiences, what we do is change healthy pain for neurotic suffering.
The terrible difference between the two is that healthy pain is nutritious, it teaches us something; when passing through it, when crossing it, it evolves towards another sensation and, finally, it leaves us, having grown up with it.
Neurotic suffering, on the other hand, can be eternal: it is repetitive and, therefore, it does not teach us anything, it leads us to behave in the same way over and over again; we do not cross it but we stagnate in it.
We could compare healthy pain with a gear inside machinery that, when turning, consumes energy to produce a job; the neurotic suffering, on the other hand, would be a loose gear that turns in false, useless.
For that reason, sometimes, the therapy process is painful, because it does not pursue happiness -or at least not at the beginning- but rather leads us to experience the painful experiences that we have been avoiding and that contain the learning that that same avoidance – we have skipped.
Sigmund Freud himself, at the beginning of psychotherapy, said how great the gain was if, as therapists, we managed to “change the neurotic suffering by common and ordinary suffering”.…