Psychology

Mandy Kloppers

Pleasure and Pain

 

English: Happy and Sad face are together.
English: Happy and Sad face are together. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you hard on yourself? It’s time to remind yourself that there is always a good reason for the things that you do. If you are telling yourself that you’ve got things wrong, or if you are wondering why on earth you did something, know that you did the best you could and stop giving yourself a hard time about.

Whatever you have done in the past or whatever choices you have made, remind yourself that everything has been done in an effort to give yourself the best possible outcome. All of us follow the same motivation of pleasure and pain-we aim to seek pleasure and avoid pain. When you understand how we do this, you will be able to make sense of all that you do and all that you have done and to make new informed choices.

As children, we seek to win love and approval from those we depend on such as our parents. If we got hurt, we quickly learned to avoid whatever hurt us. Sometimes we were hurt by those we trusted most. As a result, we learn not to trust and to stay away from closeness. If we were repeatedly criticised, we tried not to do the things which provoked the criticism. We did what ever worked to survive with the least pain. We also look for ways to bring pleasure into our lives, if it felt good we followed it.

As adults we often end up very muddled about what actually does give us pleasure and pain. We do things which we mistakenly believe will bring pleasure to us, such as spending money, drinking alcohol and eating but we do them to excess and end up creating pain. We begin to confuse the source of pleasure and pain.

What do you consider causes pleasure or pain in your life? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate. What ideas do you carry  from your childhood which are no longer relevant? Know that you have been doing the best that you can.’The choices you are making will tend to form consistent patterns of behaviour. Look back at your repetitive behaviours and figure out whether they really do give you the pleasure you desire. Are you chasing something in all the wrong places? Often we self sabotage and create more pain for ourselves.

Take risks, be bold, ask for what you want. Note that it is it is enough just to be you and that to be respectful, honest and open will always bring you the best possible outcome – more pleasure and less pain.

Mandy X

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