Pain is Information: A Tool for Self Development & Better Self Management
I’ve been on this earth for over 48 years now and I have very few regrets. But one of my biggest regrets is not handling or managing my rage and temper better. I’ve learned at a very young age growing up in Taiwanese immigrant household to suppress my emotions. Usually negative ones.
The problem with this is when you suppress it so much, that it all erupts ferociously when you get triggered by a difficult situation. This trigger could be some rude behavior, financial challenge, broken plans or some general frustration that comes with life.
I faced a combination of all these things in 2020 and this temper erupted not once but twice during that time. The problem was that I was not by myself. I was locked in quarantine with my family for 5 months. Losing control with an adult temper is awful to see. I never hit or threatened my family & would never do that. But to my everlasting shame I did display very violent behavior around them by smashing boxes and the wall from my anger.
And the effect of this was to terrify my family to the point that my daughter has a fear of loud noises to this day. I’ve apologized a thousand times and helped her through this but nothing causes me more pain than knowing that I did this to her. And I will never allow this to happen again.
An adult and a real man manages his emotions. And I’ve grown up a lot over the last 2 years. I’ve developed tools & techniques to better manage my emotions and anger. Getting good sleep and meditation help. But a big part is not suppressing bad feelings. When I meet a challenging situation or uncomfortable feeling, I actively acknowledge it verbally. I also write it down in a journal and tell myself “I am feeling angry or sad or humiliated.”
And surprisingly it really works. Acknowledging it helps you consciously absorb and process it instead of ignoring it. Or worse suppressing it. As I’ve learned the hard way, the more you suppress your painful feelings the worse it comes out later. Better to identify and kill it in its early stages. Don’t let it build up. It’s like a debt, the longer you ignore it, the harder it is to resolve later.
Pain is information. It tells you something is wrong and that you need to fix it. So make sure when it happens, you identify it and you face it no matter how much it hurts. If you don’t, I guarantee it will hurt WAY more later.