The worst pain in the world is not physical.
Neither any other kind of suffering.
Humans can overcome ANYTHING. We are built to be resilient.
Our brain is wired in such a way, that it seeks to find solutions to keep the “host” body alive.
However, knowing that you are safe, but the one person that you love the most is suffering and you cannot do anything to help them, is the worst pain.
If you have ever loved to the point that you would sacrifice anything for them, you can understand.
You would rather be tortured, amputated, die, protecting that person.
No need to even process this decision. Instinctively, you would exchange anything you have for their wellbeing.
What if that is out of your control though?
The Stoic inside me is telling me to pour out all emotions, cleanse and move on to acceptance.
The ultimate acceptance: Socrates embraced a death sentence and went by his last “free” day before his trial like it was any other day. No rush.
But what happens when you accept your own death but refuse to allow your loved one’s death?
How do you go by your days, knowing that you get to live but not that one person?
A very important Stoic exercise is projecting the worst-case scenario.
It is a very cruel “trick”, but to be honest, practising it has helped me be emotionally prepared. That means that when things get hard, my mind is ready to focus on solutions, instead of swamped in emotions.
This is why I say dying would be so easy, in exchange for the happiness of that one person.
I have been preparing for years now to be in a worst-case scenario position.
Anything. I would do anything.
But I am not prepared for inaction.
Victor Frankl endured hell, knowing that his loved one is alive at another concentration camp and they would one day be reunited. This is what humans do.
Would he behave differently knowing that it was all pointless?
Most great minds say that the only thing that matters in life at the end of the day, is love. And to be honest, I never had to process this as hard as I am doing right this moment.
However counterintuitive this is for me, I can only go back to the most basic Stoic principle:
Don’t stress over anything that you cannot control. No available solutions? Let it go.
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