“Those Who Identify With Pain Cannot Identify Themselves.”

Some wear their pain as a badge of honor.  It is what defines them, makes them who they are.  In their minds, it is what makes them special.   And for that, they maintain it as a starting point and a destination for their lives. 

After all, they have had difficult lives, impoverished childhoods, been subjected to abuse, forced to degrade themselves to survive, and ultimately have sacrificed their dreams because they have been subsequently cursed or doomed.

Their bad experiences, decisions and subsequent reactions suddenly have an excuse, rationale or alibi, permitting them to relinquish responsibility as their lives shift into neutral, reverse or move haphazardly forward in cruise control.

This is the narrative and they have no idea what they or their lives are supposed to look like.

Pain, however, is not who we are nor does it make us who we are supposed to be.  We are destined to be who we always were supposed to be if we acknowledge, accept and act on it.

Pain is nothing more than stimuli, an external force, which unmasks what is already there.  So, if one is insecure, it showcases weakness.  If one is strong, it provides opportunities to present resilience. 

Unlike the old adage, pain does not make us strong.  We were always strong.  It only allows us to acknowledge our strength just as pain does not build one’s character it only establishes an opportunity to demonstrate it.

Ultimately, the problem is that to identify with something often leads to its permanence. This is one of the main reasons people find themselves locked in cycles of abuse or self-destructive lifestyles. 

It is all they know, and thus, without it, they cannot exist.


Eric Christopher Webb © 2016

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The WordsByWebb blog distributes a weekly quotation and reflection every Tuesday from National Black Authors Tour bestselling author and multi-talented writer Eric Christopher Webb (E.WEBB?!) to inspire, motivate and encourage personal development of its readers. The blog also regularly shares news, updates, new poetry and excerpts of the writer’s latest work.  Webb, a spoken word artist, former Washington News Correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and nationally-syndicated Soul Searching columnist, has also been featured in movies, music videos, commercials and literary documentaries on HBO, BET Weekend’s Evening of Spoken Word, BET’s Rap City, Video Jukebox, The Party Machine, The Learning Channel, Voice of America and XM Radio.  He is  the author of five books, including "The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events," a 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for First Fiction and the National Black Authors Tour bestseller, "Love Letters, Death Threats & Suicide Notes."  He has also contributed to numerous anthologies, journals and magazines. 

To contact, email: ewebbonline@hotmail.com