What do You do to Avoid the Pain of Life?

man sits hand in face feeling sad worried painful overthinking
by Dr. Margaret Paul

How do you try to avoid the painful feelings caused by others and events, and what is the result?

We all learned many way of avoiding the existential pain of life when we were growing up, because we could not manage feeling it when we were little. Now, as adults, most people continue to protect in the ways they learned, even though today, adults, we can learn to manage our core pain through Inner Bonding.

Most of our core pain comes from others being unloving to us or to themselves, disconnecting from us and from themselves. We all desire connection with those important to us, and we naturally feel these deeper painful feelings, especially when someone important to us disconnects from us with their own protections – their anger, blame, withdrawal, and so on.

In many relationships this becomes a negative protective circle, each person’s protections triggering the other’s core pain, and each person protecting against feeling these painful feelings with their protective, controlling, avoidant behavior, which guarantees that you will remain disconnected – the very thing you are trying to avoid.


How Do You Protect Against Feeling Your Core Pain?

(You might want to print this out and mark the ones that apply to you.)

__I judge myself, preferring to feel shame and inadequacy rather than loneliness, grief, sadness, heartbreak, and powerlessness over others.

__I get angry, annoyed, blaming, judgmental toward others, defensive, argumentative, explaining myself, withdrawn, resistant, and/or I give myself up rather than feel my authentic painful feelings.

__I turn to addictions – food, alcohol, drugs, sugar, TV, sex, porn, buying things, working, and so on, to numb out my core painful feelings.

__I stay in my head, not allowing myself to feel much, depressing my feelings. I prefer depression to my core pain.

__I make others responsible for my feelings with my neediness, crying, guilting or shaming others into connecting with me so that I can avoid connecting with myself and my painful core feelings.

__I try to be perfect, hoping that then no one will reject me, and I don’t have to feel the pain of another rejecting and disconnecting from me.

__I focus on the past and future, rather than being in the moment with my feelings.

__I read endless books, attend endless workshops, have endless therapy, rather than develop my spiritual connection and learn how to take responsibility for managing my core painful feelings.



How Do You Feel When You Protect Against Your Core Pain?

__I feel bad about myself, insecure, inadequate, like there is always something wrong with me.

__I feel depressed a lot.

__I feel anxious a lot.

__I feel alone and abandoned.

__I feel despair. I don’t think things will ever get better.

__I feel angry and resentful.

__I feel empty inside.

__I feel used or abused.

__I feel victimized.

__I feel disconnected from myself, my guidance, and others.



Is it worth it to protect against your loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief, sadness, sorrow, or helplessness over others?

The truth is that the wounded feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and so on, go on and on when you try to protect yourself, while when you compassionately embrace your core feelings, they move through you.

Next time someone disconnects from you, try embracing your core pain with compassion toward yourself – tenderness, gentleness, kindness, and understanding. Be with the feelings with an intention to learn about what they are telling you about what is happening between you and the other person. Open to your guidance for the loving action toward yourself. Then be willing to release the feelings to spirit, by simply saying, “I’m willing now to release these feelings to spirit, and have them replaced with inner peace and acceptance.”

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