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Tomilola Shitta
7 min readAug 2, 2020


Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing.

You might be tired of hearing the quote "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger", let me break it to you, pain is inevitable. The pain of yesterday is the strength of today.

But, it's not just physical pain. Research has shown that the disparity between physical pain and psychological pain in our brains is not much of a difference.

Yes, it hurts badly, life is short. Every phase of our lives, we are always looking for ways to have that fulfilling journey without pain. Without pain, there would be no suffering, without suffering there would be no lessons from hard circumstances. Point-blank, you will suffer.

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My favourite quote that links up pain and suffering, and love, in contrast, is by Woody Allen. He said :

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore to be happy one must love or love to suffer. Or suffer from too much happiness.

That might sound like poetic love prose and at the same time, it could be funny as hell, but give it a deep thought, you’ll then realize that suffering is inevitable.

Pain and suffering are like two sides coin. While pain is inevitable, suffering is optional because we suffer when we don’t control ourselves, our emotions, and the circumstances we find ourselves in. After all, we are humans. We lose control of a lot of things because we are inherently bound to make mistakes.

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Right now, look deep into yourself, you're going through something. You might be that guy that's always having that positive mindset, see, let's cut the crap, you're dealing with a pain that's hurting you on the inside. One thing you can't hide is when you're crippled inside.

There are levels to this pain thing — depending on how bad it has broken you and how you're holding up with it, but keep your heads up, you're not alone.

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There are billions of people out there facing tonnes of what you’re going through. If you hear stories of other people you’d really feel for them. Imagine being a victim in one of these scenarios:

  • Losing a loved one.
  • Getting divorced.
  • Not knowing you’d be diagnosed with cancer the next day.
  • Being rejected because of physical disabilities.
  • Raising kids as a single parent.
  • Being unemployed for years.
  • Being caught up in a national crisis.

I could go on and on to give examples of different depths of pains people go through. If you’re not caught up in these kinds of circumstances, you’ve got luck on your side. Pains like these are like being in a baptism of fire or being in a vessel filled with worms.

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To a greater extent, I could call it a fate worse than death or entanglement with suffering. Nevertheless, you should have in mind that tough situations build strong people.

Be Ready For Adversity

We live in a world where people see every glimpse of adversity as an injustice on purpose, every challenge as a failure, every inconvenience as an irritation, and every disagreement as a betrayal. This is a sickness.

No matter where you go, there is a thousand-and-one-pound load of adversity and bundles of failure waiting for you. The point isn't to get away from it, the point is to find how you'll enjoy dealing with it.

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Adversity is the first part to truth.

Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.

You can’t continuously meet with good fortunes in life without meeting with some sort of adversity and misfortune. You just can’t. Because there’s no such thing as a lack of adversity. It doesn’t exist.

With a positive attitude, you can gracefully overcome adversity because, in moments of adversity and change, we discover who we are and what we're made of.

It’s not really the pain, it’s who it came from

Human relationships are very complicated. People break other people, hurt people hurt people. In the journey of life, you'd meet backstabbing, manipulative, insecure, narcissistic, abusive, and mentally disordered people who will add so much pain to your life.

People like these want other people to feel the pain they are going through. Physically or emotionally. I guess they could mean to want others to suffer like them. On the flip side, we’ve all been hurt by others and we’ve hurt other people too, maybe unconsciously. This is evident in the way kids treat each other.

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When we fall into situations like these, the best way out is to let go. Revenge is not the solution. If you find yourself a good human being, causing someone else misery or suffering (whether you think they deserve it or not) might not put the smile on your face which you hoped for. Forgive and forget not revenge and regret.

Pain Is Strength, Pleasure Is Not

Grammatically, the opposite of pain is pleasure which means any action that causes enjoyment.

Pleasure is exceptional, but it’s a very bad idea to prioritize yourself around pleasure. Ask a sex addict, alcohol addict, or Internet addict about their journey on the course of finding pleasure. They are more like to have an unsuccessful attempt to quit and they’re usually bound to lose control.

The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.

Pain gives us the insight to slow down when we are wounded, or when we need help. Pain is what reminds us that we are still alive, that we have the opportunity to change, to overcome, and to conquer whatever we’re going through.

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You can end the pain, but only if you start embracing the strength that comes with it. Find the strength to keep you alive, and it’ll help you fight your way out of the dark by leading you toward a source of inspiration.

The Cure For The Pain Is In The Pain

The only way to overcome the pain is to learn how to live with it. Oftentimes, pain stands as a door-opener to better things. Pain can be a benefit if we allow ourselves to fully feel it and accept it. Ride in the pain until you are strong enough to find inspiration.

Sit with the pain until it passes, and you will be calmer for the next one.

Let the pain be a motivation for you to climb to the top and overcome. Charge your mind, grasp your emotions, and let your pain strengthen you to do better. Learn from your pain and let it skyrocket you to the next level of your life.

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Life would rarely work your way. But you have to find strength and motivation from pain – and, when you do, amazing things can happen.

Tough situations build strong people.

Finally, You'd Die

Pain and death are part of life. To reject them is to reject life itself.

Yeah, you’re going to die someday. You’re probably going die in your sleep, collapse on a stairway, a slump in a subway, die of cancer, fall from a storey building, or any kind of way people die. Don’t act surprised, every human is naturally inherent to die someday. You can’t live forever. Death is a form of adversity that you must be ready for.

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People fear death even more than pain. It is strange that they fear death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah, I guess it is a friend. — Jim Morrison

So all the pains you’re going through are going to be over someday even if you overcome them or not. One day, you’d be in your grave — your resting place. Death is not the greatest loss in life, the greatest loss in life is what dies inside us while we live.

You too are going to die, and that’s because you too were fortunate to have lived.

Final Take

Great things never come from comfort zones. Like Oprah Winfrey said, "You need to start turning your pain into wisdom". Every failure is a gift and every pain is an opportunity. Embrace your suffering, take responsibilities for every one of your actions. Pain is part of the process. Embrace it!

Life is essentially an endless series of problem. The solution to a problem is merely the creation of another.

This article was inspired by a book I read by Mark Manson, "The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck". A masterpiece that changed my thinking.

An action-packed piece and brilliant guide to living a good life. I urge you to read this fascinating book.