The Gifts We Gain From Pain

    by Karolina Boldt

    Do you know that sinking feeling when you’re tumbling down the rabbithole of pain?

    Like, “Uh-oh, here we go again… I’ve been here before, I hate how it feels.
    Seriously? I’m sick and tired of facing this. I’ve got no time for that! I’m busy becoming a better version of myself, making a difference, giving back, developing my gifts and just do human stuff!”

    Well, here’s a friendly reminder for you: pain is deeply human stuff.

    The human experience is painful.

    When we come here we arrive kicking and screaming, shocked by the cold that surrounds us all of a sudden. Blinded by the too-brightness of the world. Scared by the noise and chaos around us.

    And it goes on from there. For many, life resembles a war zone.

    Constantly fighting to get love, attention, and all the nourishment we need for body, mind and soul.

    Later we also fight for good grades and certifications. For some relationships – or against them.

    We try to fit in because we’ve been taught that it’s important for our happiness, success, and our survival even.

    We also fight to find some space or permission to stand out and be all the things we neglected on the quest to blend in.

    Self-neglect is painful as hell!

    We then fight our fear of rejection. We want to be accepted, we want to be a good person.

    We are desperate to belong – and we do weird and harmful things to achieve that, like lying to ourselves and others, or doing things we’d rather not do.

    All in the name of human connection.

    The human experience is painful.

    And most of us (myself included) hate pain. But: Pain is the most loyal companion on this journey of life. The one fixed variable in the equation. Always.

    image source

    And pain is a catalyst. A motivator. Your most reliable benefactor. A litmus test for “aliveness”. Heck, you can even be so happy it hurts!

    Pain isn’t negative. If pain were a deity or planet, it’d be a hybrid of Saturn (stern, disciplined, slowly grinding, tenant and relentless) and Pluto (intense, cathartic, dark, hypnotic, kinky, powerful).

    Imagine the fertility of that mix!

    Imagine – only for a short moment – that you would not shrink and not be quick to wish away pain if it arose? You’d lean into it instead.

    Pain is medicine.

    Poured into the cracks and holes in a human heart, it first hurts very bad, and then it mends and heals whatever trauma or fear it’s touched. Like an antiseptic.

    If you’re determined and patient enough, and if you muster the strength to actually feel your pain for as long as it takes and in its full intensity, it will change you. Like an alchemical procedure.

    The lead of your trauma is turned into the gold of wisdom and inner strength.

    Your experience – the survival of what you thought would kill you – is your Philosopher’s Stone. If you tell your story, it’ll taste like medicine to those who are open to receive it. And like poison to those who are busy denying and suppressing their pain. That’s okay, too.

    Never force-feed medicine to someone. Force creates more resistance.

    One superpower of your Philosopher’s Stone is compassion. If you’ve been thoroughly immersed in pain, you’ve gained first-hand experience of the terror and intensity.

    And the relief after you made it through, still alive. With a feeling of being more whole inside. The world looked brighter and your experience of it had more depth to it ever since. There was peace. Serenity.

    And a deep compassion for those who suffer.

    Alchemizing pain is powerful.

    Let me remind you what alchemizing pain means: Feel it. Stay with it. Listen what it has to say.

    Alchemizing pain gives you wisdom, strength, compassion. And an unshakeable faith in life. In the possibility of healing. And in yourself.

    Furthermore, and this is an especially beautiful “side-effect” of the process, you gain faith in something that’s way bigger and wiser than you. Something that guides you, and that carried you through the pain so that you could rise from the ashes. Like a phoenix.

    Pain is the lower octave of love.

    If for some reason you’ve guarded your heart very heavily, pain often is the only way you’ll allow your heart to be touched. Once you start alchemizing your pain, you move into love again.

    So, next time you feel pain, listen to it. Feel it. Embrace it. Allow its medicine to heal you.

    You are love.

    You are loved.




    If this essay resonates with you, please join our WITCH email list by using the forms on this website so we can stay in touch.


    About the Author:

    Karolina Boldt is a Coach, Healer, and Writer. She has a Ninja-warrior survival record (e,g. final-stage cancer), and can often be found in the thick of deep transformational work, which made her gain quite some expertise in breakdowns and breakthroughs. She has a deep love for crystals and sigils, and she can’t live without chocolate. You can connect with her via her website Disobey With Grace or Instagram.


    featured image via Unsplash



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