Exploring Possibilities: Those Who Hurt Us, In Many Ways Helps Us
Most of us know the story of Ramayan. If we were asked which character in Ramayan do we hate the most, in most likelihood lots of us will name Kaikaeyi, even more than the main villain Raavan. She was the one who was responsible for Ram’s exit from Ayodhya.
Many may not agree with me if I say that she loved Ram the most. King Dashrath had three queens, Kaushalya(she was (kushal) in day to day activities), Sumitra(she was soft and friendly) and Kaikeyi(the sharpest of all). If we read Ramayan profoundly, we will observe that Kaikey was the initial guru of Ram and his brothers.
If we talk of Lord Ram, he loved and respected her despite her stubbornness of asking Ram for exile. Entire Ayodhya , be it the Kinsmen or the plebiscite, were all hurt when Ram left. But do you realize that Ram wouldn’t have become Lord Ram if he wouldn’t have conquered the mighty Raavan. That wouldn’t have been possible if Ram would have become King of Ayodhya. Kaikeyi actually paved the route for greatness for Ram. Henceforth the pain that hurt Ram became a reason for his extreme success.
June 7, 1893, Gandhi was evicted from a train in South Africa’s Pietermaritzburg station because the compartment he was in was reserved for “whites only”. Just imagine the amount of pain, both physical and emotional, that was imparted to Gandhi. He was badly hurt. He gestated this pain and converted that into a battle of freedom for his countrymen. It was this pain which became a triggering reason for conversion of Gandhi into Mahatma Gandhi.
Let us now talk about our own body. Do we realize that the pain that hurts us keeps us in the right shape? If I ask you, which parts of the body do not feel pain? Answer is the nails and the hairs. Just see what all we do to them. It is cut in various shapes and forms. They are subjected to so many external applications, which do more harm than good to them. Imagine if there was no pain in our heart, eyes, hands, legs or other organs of our body.
We humans in the name of fashion or due to identity crisis, could or would have changed the entire physiology of self. So if we are in a balanced shape, it’s not due to our so-called intellect, it's due to the pain that hurts.
Our pain which hurts us actually becomes a door to new possibilities too. It’s not only these extraordinary examples from lives of famous people, where we find the examples of “that which hurts us, actually helps us”. It is so natural and we have several examples from nature. Animals used the concept of pain to teach and make their young ones grow. Eagles generally roost and nest in high places, such as the tallest tree in the forest.
Young eagles learn how to fly from their parents and by practicing near their nest. One of the main ways they practice is by spreading their wings and jumping to a nearby branch. This jump from the tallest tree is a scary practice, sends fear, only when they undergo this pain of fear they learn how to fly.
We human beings take this pain and take it to their mind and create memories out of it. This way we convert pain into suffering. In examples of Ram and Gandhi, they did have pain that hurt them, but did not let that become their suffering. They transformed themselves, and in the process and as a consequence they created history.
This reminds me of an old commercial of the laundry product from Hindustan Lever “surf”, where an intelligent lady by name of Sheela ji used to say “Daag acche hain”(dark spots are good). If we transpose this analogy to the subject in discussion, I will say “pain is good”. What that helps us actually hurts us and all that helps us, many a time hurts us...
So ladies and gentlemen, a table spoon of salt in a glass can destroy the taste of the water in that glass, but cannot have the same impact in a lake of water. So, if we look at life in a bigger perspective as a whole, it will help us to suffer less and transform more from the events that have hurt us....and we will explore further possibilities....all the best...
(The author is a Certified Designed Thinking Master practitioner and Clifton Certified Strength Finder Coach, Corporate Trainer and a Leadership coach. He is based in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, India.)