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{From The Archives} Clean Pain…Dirty Pain (And A Realization About Resistance)

Posted Oct 22 2012 11:18am

Clean pain is a pure emotion like sadness or anger.

Dirty pain is the (usually negative) story we tell about the clean pain. It’s what we make the clean pain mean.

Clean pain is pure, real pain generated by a real, hurtful experience and felt in that moment.

Dirty pain is the result of our thoughts about how wrong the hurtful experience is, how it proves we are bad. Dirty pain keeps us stuck.

Much of my unhappiness comes from dirty pain (my thoughts), not from clean pain (my emotions).

Clean pain is fleeting, dirty pain wallows.

I tend to think that if I feel sad or angry, I am blaming someone else for my feelings, and so clean pain often feels dirty even though I know that there is nothing wrong with feeling clean pain over a hurtful experience.

Sometimes I don’t know the difference between clean pain and dirty pain.

In some cases and with some people I find it difficult to distinguish between clean pain and dirty pain.

In some cases and with some people clean pain switches to dirty pain in the blink of an eye.

In some cases and with some people I use dirty pain to cover up my clean pain because my clean pain is sometimes too hard to handle.

It’s hard to admit that I create my own dirty pain.

I used to think that personal responsibility meant ignoring my clean pain and soldiering on anyway. I thought personal responsibility meant denying those emotions.

If I eat too much food when I am sad, I am taking clean pain and making it dirty.

If I am ashamed of my body (dirty pain), I am not taking personal responsibility.

When I allow myself to cry when I am sad or hurt, and to vent when I am frustrated or angry, I am being personally responsible.

When I tell myself that I am silly or wrong when I am sad, hurt, angry or frustrated, I am inviting dirty pain and dirty pain means I am not being personally responsible.

It’s up to me to know who/what sources of information are reliable and which ones are not.

It is up to me to reframe negative messages into positive ones, to not take them in and live them.

It’s okay for me to grieve. It’s okay for me to be sad. It’s also okay for me to be angry.

There is value in telling my story about my pain, whether clean or dirty, but it’s even more valuable to know the difference and to be honest about it.

When I stop trying to control the uncontrollable, I get what I thought I’d get if I were in control.

I am grateful for my wonderful life, but all the gratitude in the world doesn’t matter if I think I am undeserving of all that I have. So, it is my responsibility to know that I deserve it.

In understanding these distinctions, I feel resistance melting away.

Previous posts about resistance:

 

Tell me about clean pain and dirty pain in your life…

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