Accepting Pain: The Pain Behind the Brightest Smile

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

I was thinking now about something: behind the brightest smiles, the saddest souls can hide. That’s not to say that people who have nice smiles are unhappy, but only the trickery behind it. It means that sometimes our masks are so good that we start identifying with them and think “I’m fine, everyone loves me, my life is beautiful, I have so much to be grateful for and other people have so much less than me, so I MUST be happy”.

The Pain Behind the Brightest Smile

I used to think this a lot, and that was itself an experience that felt really bad. Besides the fact that my life did not make me happy, I had the guilt of not enjoying what other people are maybe only dreaming of. I had a loving girlfriend who didn’t matter that much for me, I had a steady job in a corporation, which for an immigrant is not that common, and I had enough money to go on a beautiful holiday in exotic countries. But at one point, I felt empty.

I felt like I could not enjoy my time off, my weekends, I was always fighting with my family and my girlfriend, and I had pushed all my friends away because they never cared about me. I was in a state of constant fear because the only good thing in my life was my relationship, as toxic as it was, and if I could only get through this rough patch, I will get there and everything will change.

That is exactly what I was thinking and now I realized that it was not wrong, just unevolved. I didn’t know any better, so when my fear finally attracted the one thing I feared the most, my breakup; I was forced to do something. My pain was greater than what I had ever experienced, and I felt in my heart that I needed help. A few weeks before this life-altering event.

Accepting Pain

had received a gift from someone, an advice to buy David Hawkins’s book, Letting Go. I wanted to start it but I said that it would be better after we break up, me and my ex. I always knew in my heart that it’s going to happen, and after that, I started reading it. It took some time to understand that the only reason why I was suffering was my resisti to the pain.

See, two years ago I started this long-distance relationship and I was really in love with her, she was absolute perfection. I remember asking her “where have you been until now, because I’ve been looking for you?” and we’d just stay there, loving each other.

It was happiness as I have never experienced it before. At that time, I knew that long-distance relationships never work and that I had to do something different, so I put this idea in my head that we are soul mates.

That idea was the one thing I could not let go, or maybe it’s better to say that I didn’t want to. Now it all makes sense why my unevolved self had to think this. I always dreaded the idea of being single, and this way I assured myself that even if I come across the worst feelings in the world, I was never to be single again.

The very idea was based on fear, and therefore it started eating me from inside. I am not saying that she’s not my soul mate, because she may as well be, but that’s not my decision.

I understand now that I have to be single, that I AM single and that I will enjoy being single. So I started doing what single people do, and I decided to ignore the mind. Every time the thoughts come about my regret, my pain, relationship, ex or memories, I ignore the thoughts and go straight to the pain.

Then I realized that pain is actually something physical that I can usually feel in my chest or like a nod in my throat. After I identify it, I just stay with it until it goes away. That’s the simple method that David teaches and I found it extremely helpful in dealing with life itself, but especially in times of acute crisis, as he names it.

Another thing that I learned is to stop judging people because everyone is now a master of hiding their feelings.

Usually, arrogance or price hides fear and self-doubt, and people are hurting just as I was hurting, without even realizing. I cannot say that I am out of this experience yet, and it might still come back to hurt me even more than it has (and there were times when I really wanted to die), but I have this feeling that it was so necessary.

Also, I’ve been given the greatest gift of my life, because this way I discovered how to connect to the God within me and how accepting something does not mean giving up, it just means moving on from things that are not meant to be to something that there is.


Tudor Paunescu

Born and raised in a small city in Romania but, living in London for the past 4 years, Tudor has managed to turn the challenging times he's been experiencing into something he likes to call Being Free. He started writing as a new way of sharing his own experiences.

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