Our Job is Not to Carry Another’s Pain, But to Let Ours Go

Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

~Buddha quote

Life constantly presents us with difficult situations and I am constantly thinking about how I can better deal with them and not become embroiled in a vicious circle of angst, fear, and hurt and therefore ultimately extending the amount of suffering I subject myself and others to – because it’s just not very nice and I get sick of lying awake at night going over and over things in my mind, with no obvious resolution in sight, very often because there isn’t one.

So, what is it that we can do when faced with seemingly unfair, hurtful, and insensitive events/circumstances, over which it feels like we have absolutely no control and are often blind-sided by them in the first place?

The first thing I’ve decided to try and do is not to take it personally. When we come up against negative circumstances, comments, or actions, we generally assume it is because of something we have done or said, or it is because we believe there is something wrong or lacking in us.

The reality is often quite the opposite. The actions we are encountering are generally about the person or environment that they are coming from – fear, angst, pain, which is ultimately being passed on to others because there is neither the awareness or availability of emotional tools, to deal with the root causes which have driven the situation in the first place – which is hardly surprising, as an emotional education is sadly lacking in our modern-day society.

Secondly, I have decided not to respond in the moment but to step back and force myself to pause, to reflect, and to sleep on it, because if not it will be my ego, my fear, and my pain that responds and two wrongs have never made a right.

Thirdly, I have decided that sometimes life is just unfair, sh*tty and people and circumstances can feel terribly unkind, but that does not mean that I have to be too. Therefore sometimes we just have to sit with this uncomfortable truth and feel uncomfortable about it – interestingly, I have found that after a while that discomfort does become more bearable and more irrelevant to my everyday existence.

And fourthly and finally, for now, I have decided to simply accept whatever it is that is beyond my control, let it go and move on. My days of pushing boulders up hills are over, I simply do not have the motivation nor energy.

Now, that may bring sadness and grief as I let go of my expectations or my relationship with something or someone, but again it does become more bearable with the passing of time, whereas staying in the moment of suffering and constantly replaying the hurt, rejection, and unfairness of it, simply means that I re-live the same pain, time and time again.

And that is the most damaging thing of all, because not only do we then choose to constantly carry our own pain, but we also choose to carry another’s too.

Life is just too short, just let it go and move on.


Nik Davis
Nik Davis
NIK DAVIS is a business transformation expert and has spent 20 years in the corporate world. Her comfort zone is order, logic and applying analytical tools to solve complex problems. She is also a keen observer of life, a writer and eccentric. Nik has recently returned to the world of work after taking a career break to spend time with her family. Upon her return, she found that her perspective had changed, as had the world she was returning to. Nik decided to carve out a new place in that world and mould some of it to fit her too. Nik sees life from quirky angles, shaped by experiences and the vast amount of knowledge we now have access to. She likes to write about her experiences and observations. To ‘tell it how it is’ and to find a more authentic way to live, whether in our professional or personal lives. Nik often talks about finding ‘The Third Way’. It’s a philosophy about life, having a personal life as well as a career, making money and being socially generous, being logical and sensitive, living by the rules of a society but not being afraid to challenge them, inspiring others to feel good but not for your own ego, giving rather than taking. Nik wants to make a difference to this world by getting people to see things differently, to try new ways of working but most of all, to re-discover our true selves and therefore reach our true potential. Nik also has two other persona’s: nikdavis which is where Nik writes about her deeply personal experiences of life. Nik runs a facebook group alongside this website to create a safe place for people to discuss the topics that are raised in her blog. Nik’s second persona is Lilly Isabella and this is where she shares her passion of fashion and design.

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