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Moving from Pain to Gain

Updated on June 22, 2011

For one pleasure, a thousand pains

How many times in my life haven’t I heard my mother say to me, “Don’t let it get you down, look on it as something that makes you stronger.”  I can remember many a time throwing my hands up in the air and crying out beseechingly, “How strong do I have to be?  Bloody Atlas carrying the world on my shoulders!”  Unfortunately, my mother was right.  Each adversity, each trial, each test we face does strengthen us, and with each one we grow a little more.  Whether we manage to move from pain to gain depends solely on us. 
    Some people like to dwell in the pain area for a while.  They play the Victim, evoke the sympathy, get the attention, and feel very sorry for themselves.  I suppose they feel that they have gone through hell, so they deserve to lap up attention and sympathy for a while.  However, sooner or later there has to be a cut off point, a point where you say, “No more feeling sorry for myself.”  A point where you are ready to move on and face a new set of adventures life has for you.  Everybody is unique, so everybody’s cut off point will be different.  What was good for you, isn’t necessary good for someone else.  Staying too long in the Pain Zone isn’t very healthy though.  You can become depressed, overcome with fears of all shapes and descriptions, and lose all your self-esteem.  That of course, will bring you a whole new set of problems.
    The biggest hurdle preventing people from moving on after a failed relationship, is LOVE.  When one partner calls it quits and leaves the relationship, it doesn’t mean that the other partner automatically stops loving them the moment they walk out the door.  They can still love the other person, even though they have been left behind.  To be in love alone is one of the hardest kinds of love to have.  It is heart-wrenching stuff, and if it happens to you, you’ll keep on analysing and re-analysing every little incident to see what you could have done differently, and how you could have prevented your partner from leaving.  You will probably blame yourself for all that happened or went wrong.  Well, initially, that is what you’ll do, and then you’ll probably change to the “Vengeance is mine!” stage.  The more you loved your partner, the more hurt and pain you feel, the bigger the revenge you’ll seek.  Sounds horrible and a little dramatic, but it’s true. 

Why reconciliations don't work

You are very vulnerable at this stage of your life, and this is when many so-called ‘reconciliations’ occur.  The partner that left might suddenly realise that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, or their new partner has dumped them and they want to go somewhere safe to lick their wounds.  They know that you still love them (Crikey!  You’ve kept telling them that over and over again since they left, how could they not know), and they will feel safe and secure with you.  Of course you forget all your planned acts of revenge and take them back with open, loving arms.  Initially the relationship will be good, but unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, after a couple of months, you’re back where you started.  Hurt, depressed, overcome with pain and fear.  How do I know this?  Well, it’s happened to me more than once.  It’s happened to quite a few people I know.  It’s a pattern that we have to break.  There is always the chance that you could be the 1 out of 10 reconciliation that makes it.  However, I strongly believe that for that to happen, all issues that caused the initial break-up have to be completely resolved.  What tends to happen, is that we are so happy to have the ‘love of our life’ back, and we are so grateful not to have to face our future alone, that we pack all the issues into the old kitbag and keep them in storage for later use.  To hang on to the ‘loved one’ we might even let them cross our boundaries, just to keep them happy. 

Making self-affirmations

To move out of the Pain Zone, we have to change our attitude.  Our self-esteem is in tatters, we are feeling worthless and unloved.  A good way to start feeling better about yourself, is to write down the best compliments you’ve ever received.  Even though we are constantly told not to worry about the approval of others, it is natural and quite normal to seek other’s approval and use that as a yardstick for ourselves. 

    These are positive thoughts we use to counter our negative thoughts.  They make us feel good about ourselves and give our lives a positive direction to work towards  Very importantly, they help us to take personal responsibility and stop depending on others for approval, as well as giving us permission to grow.  Self-affirmations help us to let go of negative baggage we carry around in our kitbags, and helps us to move away from people who drain our life-juice out of us.  Think of those people as ‘emotional vampires’.  When you start to visualise, imagine or believe in your success prophecies, they do start to come true.  It’s a case of feel it, believe it – and it’s yours!
    I found that the best way to counter any negative thoughts, was to write my affirmations down and read them every morning when I woke up, and every night just before I went to sleep.  It’s almost like, putting on your suit of armour to protect you from the bombardment of negative thoughts other people will hurl at you all day.  And then at night, it gives you something to focus on in your dreams.  It definitely keeps nightmares and polar bears away!  You have to make sure that the affirmation you write down is positive – can be; might be; I think; can possibly be – all have no place in an affirmation.  You have to be quite clear in your statement.  Short statements are better, as you can recite them to yourself during the day if things get rough.  Don’t worry about people thinking you’re crazy if you’re talking to yourself!  That’s their problem, not yours!
    So, if you have a new date on the horizon, the first one after your relationship ended, you could be nervous and quite anxious.  It’s not easy going back into the dating game after many years out of it.  Don’t let yourself drown in your fears.  Write out a set of affirmations to prepare yourself for the date.
I am attractive.
I am confident.
I am pleasant company.
I am a very interesting and entertaining person.
I am very likeable.

    Read them twice a day, believe them with all your heart and when the date comes, you’ll ooze confidence and wow the date off their feet.
    Maybe you are wanting a new car or a new job, or even a new relationship.  Write down positive affirmations.
I will get a new car.
I will get the right job for me.
I will start a relationship with the best partner ever.

It’s amazing, but when you start to become more positive you start sending out positive signals, and positive things start happening to you.
Write down some positive self-affirmations for yourself.  Remember to read them every morning and every night, and in fact, any time you feel down.

Euphobia- Fear of hearing good news.


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    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      NJ, thanks for your encouraging words. I do hope that my experiences and how I coped with them will help others and give them strength.

    • profile image

      NJ 7 years ago

      Hi Cindy,

      Out of your own struggles you've managed to be there as an inspiration for other people. I think it must bring a lot of meaning to all that you've been through, and your own journey. Feeling upset about all of the difficult times though, and wondering how strong you need to be is also fine. I think that feeling like a victim helps us to understand that it's time to move on. Ignoring all of the pain though and trying to be brave stops us from working through it and giving it meaning. It's paradoxical, surviving abuse or hard times. There's the pain and the meaning which we can give to it. That you do give it meaning is a testament to your own strength and ability to survive, be there for your children and as a caring mentor for others. It's an achievement and something to be proud of. Not everybody does this, and some (like your ex) perpetuate abuse instead. Good for you.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Madison, thanks for reading my hub and taking the time to comment!

    • Madison22 profile image

      Madison 8 years ago from NYC

      Very good, I really enjoyed reading it. Especially the first few paragraphs...great points, thanks!!

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Thanks Shibashake, I've seen many people try the reconciliation route and invariably it ends in worse pain than before.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 8 years ago

      Very thought provoking. My advisor/professor in college used to be pretty hard on us. He said that he wanted to make it tough so we could weather grad. school better - lol. I think he just wanted to see us suffer :D

      As for love, I definitely agree with you. It is tough to make reconciliations work. For me, I try to move on as soon as I can. Staying busy and getting a transition dude is always helpful :)

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Teresa, Candie and BP - here's a positive affirmation. WE GIRLS ROCK!

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 8 years ago from australia

      yes you can Cindy if anyone can you can

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      I also put up signs like "He sucks for leaving" and "The girl he left me for is fatter than me" This also works! Hugs!

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 8 years ago from The Other Bangor

      You rock, girl. Go get'em.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Sandman, SemPro and DC, I keep telling myself, I am good, I can write, 30 hubs in 30 days is no problem lol

    • dianacharles profile image

      dianacharles 8 years ago from India

      Hey nice hub Cindyvine. Self-affirmations...the power of positive thinking..all really go a long, long way.

    • SEM Pro profile image

      SEM Pro 8 years ago from North America

      Beautifully written CindyVine! Sometimes, we adamantly feel a relationship was meant to be. There may come a time when we've already learned the lessons needed from it, so it was also meant to be over. Much more empowering things are in store for us when we remember to look forward rather than behind us. Affirmations are indeed a healthy reminder. Just because someone else had issues and couldn't appreciate our shining worthiness, is no reason to let our light be snuffed out. Keep shining Girlfriend - there are many of us who truly recognize and appreciate it (even if we're not there to give warm hugs) :)

    • profile image

      TheSandman 8 years ago

      One of the reasons the doctors say my wife keeps beating the odds against Cancer is her positive attitude.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Exactly, BP, that's why you have to first think positive thoughts about yourself!

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 8 years ago from australia

      It is so true what you say here. If you are a wanker you attract wankers. You attract who you are yourself. You have to think positive in life,have goals and dreams or you will simply perish.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Shamel, self-affirmations are great to help you to regain your confidence and be able to move on.

      HSSS, Thanks for dropping by and for cheering me on!

    • HeSaid SheSaid profile image

      HeSaid SheSaid 8 years ago from our favorite love seat

      Now I really like this hub. Your mother was so right. I bet she's glad you finally realize this. It's never easy, but you gave some great advice. I do hope this means you're taking your own. :) Good luck with the HubChallenge!

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 8 years ago

      I find that your techniques here are very effective cindy. I resorted to some of them to move on in the past from bad experiences.