In sports we believe "No pain, no gain". There is a purpose to the pain. It removes what hinders and strengthens what is essential. The removal of what hinders is often the most painful. I call this the unlearning pain. It's the humiliation of letting go of what we have learned that is habitual or valued that now is in the way of progress. 

I remember when I began to study the martial art of Hapkido, my instructor asked about my former training. When I told him I had none, he smiled and said "Great!" because I had far less to unlearn to gain the purity of his teaching. The pain of learning was just as intense as unlearning because of what I had to go through to discipline impulses, thoughts, and fear. I also had to gain mental, emotional, and physical flexibility to reach the heights I needed to excel. 

In everyday life it is much the same. We have wounds and injuries of all types, yet we have rarely been taught the wisdom required to see purpose, meaning, and value of life with pain. 

Pain separates us from what we hold tightly in order to purify. So what falls back together should be more genuine if guided by wisdom. 

 

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