April 5

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The Real Causes of Personal Pain and Confusion

By Greg Baer

April 5, 2019

Stress Management

Most of us have been injured emotionally literally thousands of times.  We can't even remember the most important ones, the real causes of personal pain and confusion. Those occurred when we were very young. So we believe in any given moment that we're responding to the present event or person before us. However, that is almost never true. The present event may remind us of some past pain. But the majority of our response is almost always motivated by past painful events. We're perpetually confused by the behavior of ourselves and others because we don't understand this. Then we consistently repeat unproductive behaviors.

PTSD Metaphor

For example, today I was mixing concrete in the backyard. This requires the addition of water to bags of cement, gravel, and sand. I reached out to turn on the breaker in the shed to allow power to flow to the water pump. As soon as I touched it, I received a moderately painful electric shock. Instantly, this was followed by an involuntary and rapid withdrawal of my hand from the breaker handle. I think I'll call an electrician to figure out the problem.

Two hours later, I prepared to wash up in the bathroom.  When I reached for the light switch, I involuntarily hesitated. Then I remembered the shock I had received not long before. I smiled that I had become hyper-sensitized to the risk of using any electrical switch. This was, to a certain degree, a form of PTSD. My involuntary hesitation happened because I had been injured by a light switch for perhaps half a second.

This metaphor proves to have a second useful component. Because of the pain of the electric current running up my arm, my movement away from the pain was quite rapid. I moved much faster than I would ordinarily move. In life, similarly, pain can often make us move quickly. We are deeply invested in anything that will reduce pain. But protecting ourselves from pain does not create happiness. As we protect ourselves, we get a very brief illusion of safety.  That safety, however, is not to be confused with happiness.

What You Can Do

Learn about the real causes of personal pain and confusion, along with the real reasons you have relationship problems. Most important, learn to actually eliminate these conditions. Listen to Real Love and PCSD and transform your life.

Don't know where to start?

Start here:

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