“You know that pain and guilt can’t be taken away with the wave of a magic wand! They’re the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away, I need my pain!” Captain Kirk Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Have you ever wondered why we have negative feelings? What are their purpose, what are they trying to impart upon us and do they actually start from a positive intention?
Pain teaches us to avoid certain things, situations and people. As we grow up we learn the consequences of touching hot things, as most of us have felt the agonising pain of a burn. Take a moment to consider if touching a hot thing did not result in a pain stimuli we would still damage our skin and be subject to infection. If our pain reaction did not exist then we would most likely damage ourselves and others through our actions. So one could assume that pain starts out with the positive intention of keeping us safe.
Guilt is part of our moral compass and supports the way in which we navigate our world. Without guilt we may hurt others, commit crimes, lie, cheat and live a corrupt life. Guilt makes us care, it helps us to become a better version of our self and supports us to reflect upon our past mistakes.
However, if pain and guilt become constant, overwhelming and falsely misinterpreted they can both cause negative psychological disturbances, in the form of anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, self-esteem issues and more.
We need pain and guilt in our lives to a certain extent to enable us to learn, to understand and to change. Conversely we don’t need pain and guilt in our lives to punish us, shame us, make us feel inadequate or to make us to scared to live our lives to the full.
“ LIVE LONG AND PROSPER” Spock