The 4 Cyclic Phases to Your True Character
Pain — >hurt — >heal — >growth.
When we go through certain difficulties in life, it can seem as though it’s the end of the world. From the get-go, we doubt our tendencies and fear what it may cost us emotionally and mentally to derive what’s at the end of the rope for us. We doubt our strength and resilience whether they are enough for us to scale through and as a result, most times, we remain stuck in the rut.
What we forget in the midst of these analyses is that those arduous situations aren’t always very unfamiliar to us. We’ve probably been through so much already in our lives that going through the next hard situation should not really faze us as much. Because we are supposed to be well-equipped from previous experiences.
Yet they do.
Because as human beings we’re innately inclined to enjoy the good things and privileges in life, without much suffering. When we are getting what we want, we are up and doing, gingered up. But when we don’t, we feel defeated before even going through the ordeal and hence, recline.
Now, because life happenings are unfamiliar and at the same time inevitable, that means that we’re naturally resilient, strong, and capable of going through whatever life throws at us.
From losing a loved one to getting disappointed, to having a heartbreak, feeling betrayed, feeling stuck in life no matter how hard we try, to getting fired, to being struck with one sickness or another.
All are a very excruciating, heart-wrenching process to go through- mentally, emotionally, physically, and so on.
But I’ve discovered that there are stages that one must go through to get through these ordeals.
Let’s start with pain — and the hurt that follows.
Pain is an uncomfortable feeling that you can have in almost any aspect of your life. It can be derived from several reasons or situations, inclusive of the ones highlighted above.
Most times it’s hard to ignore. Other times, it seems like you can waive it off. And few other times, you want to deal with it rather than to let it continue and hence, cause you something else.
When you’re ready to deal with pain, it comes with the acknowledgment that you feel it. And that it hurts too. When you’ve ascertained that, it’s time to find out what led to your feeling of pain and where too. Next, you must be willing to overcome that pain and make conscious efforts to heal from it.
Which brings me to my next point
Healing is when you’ve decided to tend to the wound you were inflicted due to the situation or other unfortunate eventualities. This also starts with the acknowledgment that you have the injury, you feel the pain, you’re really hurt, and you want to figure a way out to heal it.
When going through the process of healing, it also requires you to ask yourself some questions as well. What led me to this point? What can I do to get out of it?.
The process of healing is tricky, first, because we tend to adopt several techniques that are uncalled for and second because we tend to fall back to the pain loop/stage when it all falls into shambles. This is why we must be careful about how we choose to heal when we want to.
To heal appropriately, you need to practice self-compassion the most because of the tendencies to fall off the wagon. You need to accept all your flaws and incapacitation as part of the process — which is very difficult too. You need to open up yourself to the possibility of feeling more pain coming from having to confront it and then leave it.
You must possess strong willpower and declarations to supersede this stage. These also include adopting healthy habits, hobbies, or routines that will enable you to process and relieve yourself at the same time.
And when you do, you’re ready for
Growth comes from adopting an attitude, affirmations, beliefs, values, and other systems you’ve acquired during the healing stage to pull through with it. You know you have grown when you remember the pain and it doesn’t marvel you as much as it used to. When you look through the hurtful and healing stage and all you do is shake your head and pat yourself at the back for how strong you were during those tormenting times.
Growth is when you lift your head up high ready for what next life has to offer knowing that you’ve been imbibed with the strength, courage, and character from the sufferings you went through to pursue them.
Growth also comes with confirming that nothing in life is definite. That life is ebbs and flow of goodies alongside suffering that will surely rear its ugly head up again — perhaps, in other ways.
But you know you’re grown and ready to tackle this head-on because you’re aware that it’s all familiar with only a slight difference in situations and outcomes.
We can’t fully avoid what life throws at us. No matter what we go through like my mum would always say, someone else would have gone through them — and worst even — which means that there’s always a story out there to learn from, a person out there to help you through with it when push comes to shove.
Truth is, we all feel pain from time to time no matter the type or degree. Yes, it varies in extent, but pain is still pain and hurt is hurt.
We all don’t need to lose a loved one to feel the pain betrayal brings forth or need to fall sick to acknowledge the hurt being stuck in a stagnant loop feels. Any burdensome situation presents with it a degree of pain in which everyone has different methods of interpreting and processing.
This is not meant to undermine nor overstate anyone’s experience.
When you feel pain, as hard as it may be, acknowledge it. Sit with it. Feel it. Make a decision to exceed it. This is what will bring out the purpose to which you are in it.
It’s in so doing that you are forced to find a way to heal — not mask it — not seal it — nor conceal it. And most definitely not band-aiding it — Healing it.
During the process of healing, you need all the strength. You can call up a loved one, someone you trust to help you out by advising you or seek other forms of resolution by researching a way out of it. It is solely your responsibility to heal and find a way that is appropriate for you and that situation.
Beware though; you would possibly be needing a shoulder to cry on, a God to cry to, something to let off that steam — but healthily though— to avoid slipping back into the first stage of pain — and hurt, because it’s very easy at this particular point in time.
The reason being that you’re vulnerable so you are tempted to go back to the mess because it feels safer and comfortable. This is when you tell yourself that you’re hurting and do crazy stuff as a result. But it’s total deceit. You asked for healing and possibly growth and that’s what you’re going to get. It doesn’t require you to fall back into the same old habit to confirm to yourself that you’ve outgrown it and will conquer through.
It simply and sadly shows that you haven’t.
But then, it’s normal when that happens, as self-compassion at this stage is highly emphasized to scale through the back and forth with.
When you eventually get here, growth, according to Brianna Wiest in Stop Trying to be Who You Were Before Got Hurt — reiterates that we need to rise up, dust ourselves, and move on. Moving on in this case is not requiring you to go back to your old self to test if you have. It is picking yourself up, after having learned your lessons and devising tangible ways that would not put you back into this same cycle with the same situation. That is acknowledging your pain and growing up from its teachings.
In her words; — self-reformation is only natural; in the same way, our bodies shed skin cells and hair follicles, our minds shed identities of who we were when others were telling us who to be. If you don’t radically transform yourself, you’re not healing, you’re simply recovering, which means mending the hurt without learning the lesson. It might mean you’re over what happened but also you haven’t fundamentally changed the beliefs and behaviors that got you where you were.
Next time, you’re more aware and alert and can easily decipher what you are about getting into or have found yourself in, and choose the best course for it.
It’s humane to go through stuff, but it’s super humane to overcome with them with all the extras we’ve built and created with that we tend to ignore or smolder. Skills such as the spirit of resilience, willpower, determination, mental stamina, physical strength and sturdiness, and spiritual beckoning to tap from.
All at our disposal.
Like Flannery O’Connor also said; there will eventually come a time, a moment of grace where you’re left to decide whether you’ll take action to transcend your circumstances or succumb to them once again.
So when next that difficult situation tries to throw you off balance, shine these armors above towards it, and make it run for its not-so-dear ‘life’ and take the reins.
This is how you make lemonades out of lemons, turn pain into purpose, and how true character is formed.
You can do this, you got this.