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The Pain Isn’t Going Away, So I Might As Well Put It to Work

·381 words·2 mins

I wrote this post on a day when I was having a hard time. It was nothing major — at least nothing major and recent.

The reality is that burnout can take an awfully long time to recover from. Much longer than you would realize. It’s especially true if you have a lot of obligations, if you stay busy. And that’s my life. I run a small business. Don’t have coverage to step in and give me a break. Someone has to mind the metaphorical store. (And if your small business is a store, then someone has to mind the literal store, I suppose.)

And anyway… the big hurts are things that don’t go away easily, right? Maybe they don’t go away ever. I used to think of self-work and self-improvement as being more goal directed. You have a flaw or a deep pain. You go in — somehow — with various therapeutic tools and you remove the flaw. Or the pain.

And then you’re different afterwards. You are a person without those issues.

But at this point, after having done tons of work, I’m more of the camp that there are some things that never really go away. You learn to live with them instead.

And as I look around at lots of my peers, we all have some kind of baggage. Some sort of trauma. Whether it’s minor, major, multi — very few folks get through life without picking up a pain or what I would have previously considered a “flaw.”

I’m not sure they’re flaws anymore. Quirks maybe? It feels unnecessarily judgmental to even call them “weaknesses” at this point. Vulnerabilities? The connotation on that term is almost noble.

Look, the reality is that almost no one is at their factory settings if you live long enough.

And today my pain caught up with me. It sat next to me while I typed this post for you.

And in the past I wouldn’t have been able to write this or publish it maybe. I would have felt like I couldn’t work until the pain went away. That a flawed person has no business communicating with the public, even via quick little blog posts.

But the pain isn’t going away. So I might as well put it to work.


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