Every person on Earth has lived through painful experiences. Pain and emotional suffering seem to be unavoidable on this planet, but what purpose do they serve? Is it possible that we actually choose to experience pain and suffering in order to overcome them? If that is so, then how do we overcome our pain and what will life be like without the emotions tied to our past holding us back? Hang on tight, because we're about to go down a quantum rabbit hole, and if you make it all the way to the end, you'll be glad you did.
Evolving through pain
An examination of the spiritual teachers throughout recorded human history shows they all went through periods of intense suffering prior to achieving a state of full enlightenment. Jesus, Buddha, Osiris, Horus, Krishna and many more all have extremely painful experiences and even physical death as part of their recorded histories and legends, yet they overcame these adversities to become greater beings.
"We all have our cross to bear" is a common phrase in western countries with strong Christian influences. What this means is that every person is dragging around large amounts of unresolved pain, but it also hints to us that our own divine nature can transcend this pain, just as Jesus transcended his.
Painful experiences cause us to question our lives and the reality we are experiencing. If we question long and often enough, we may come to the realization that there is much more to us than our physical bodies, our ego minds, and the physical world. These realizations usually only come about because of a disruptive (painful) experience that causes us to question reality as we know it. By contrast, people who have lived lives of relative comfort, ease, wealth and physical gratification are normally not likely to question the nature of reality. Why should they, when everything in the physical world goes their way?
When viewed from this perspective, we can start to understand that painful experiences help us to grow. Don't worry, you probably don't need to experience new pain to stimulate your evolution, because we all have enough pain in our past that we can grow from if we choose to. With this in mind, let us examine the role of pain as a catalyst for evolution, and the issues that arise when we resist and try to cover up the pain from our past.