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This was such a thoughtful exploration of different types of suffering and the courage it takes to lean into "clean pain" for the sake of growth. I appreciate you delineating stupid, avoidant suffering versus conscious suffering and the way working with our triggers consciously accelerates healing. Love the point that avoidance/distraction is not inherently "bad"- it serves a purpose for nervous system regulation. Discerning when it crosses over into enabling dysfunction takes self-awareness.

I also relate deeply to your journey of avoiding core pain for years before hitting a breaking point where denial dissolved. That "stripping everything away" to find solid inner ground resonates profoundly. Out of the ashes of my own collapsed dreams, I feel a renewed sense of personal power and self-trust instead of needing external validation or rescue. Your reframing about choosing empowering narratives that assign meaning to the pain was impactful. I'm still sorting through what story allows me to extract purpose while avoiding self-flagellation.

Ultimately, while we cannot control what happens TO us, we retain power over the meaning we assign it. All experiences can refine us when viewed as teachers rather than tormentors. I admire your ability to share openly about lessons won through conscious suffering without any sugar-coating. It paints a realistic picture of the personal growth path. Thank you for these thoughtful reflections and motivation to lean fully into the present journey, wherever it leads. Sending fortitude and faith your way.

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Thank you for reading and commenting! "Extracting purpose while avoiding self-flagellation" is definitely tricky. But yes I very much agree that all experiences can refine us, once we get through processing the pain. It can be hard to see them that way until the pain is processed tho.

Yeah I'm not much for sugar-coating, which is an asset in some situations, less so in others. ๐Ÿ˜†

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Feb 20ยทedited Feb 20Liked by Emma Love Arbogast

Emma, first of all thank you for taking the time to read my piece and comment on it. I responded to you, but stupidly erased your comment, Im not sure how. Fortunately I have it, but if I post it, it looks like its my comment and not yours. Would it be possible for you to repost it? I wold appreciate it very much. And now that I found out your substack, I will check it out. :) Have a great day. This was your comment in case you do want to repost it:

If someone is a friend, their wellbeing is your business. Telling them the truth of what you saw is protecting their wellbeing, not forcing them to do anything. It doesn't take away anyone's free will and passing along information is not the same as casting judgement on anyone. Of course it's complicated, but that complication is theirs to sort out--all you are doing is passing along info. That info gives the cheated party a choice that their partner was taking away from them--the choice to leave if they don't like what is happening. Without knowing the truth, they don't have that choice.

Since you are not monogamous, put it in another context. If a friend of yours realized you were being financially scammed, would you want them to just "mind their own business"? I personally care more about protecting my friend than protecting the privacy of the person who is hurting them.

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I reposted my comment on that post - I'll wait and you can move/copy your replies to that thread, and then i'll respond to them ๐Ÿ˜

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