Dilution of Pain
One of the biggest traumas that lead to chronic pain is rape. Such a disturbing experience may lead to chaotic lives of the victims, or to the transformation of the victims into new beings. As bitter as these experiences maybe they have great lessons for all of us to lead more productive lives and get over our pains, regardless of their sources.
One of the stories that I recall is the story of a university student who was raped by a fellow student. The initial reaction of the victimized student was to leave the university and seclude herself from life. She only had her bitter memory to remember. That led her to depression and thinking of suicide occasionally. She was escaping from life. It is the stage of the growth of pain.
The abused woman had depleted her energy. Her connectedness with the world was so poor that she lived in a “rigidity gap”. She recognized the trouble of continuing to live the way she did. Somehow, her passionate friends convinced her to resume her university and get a degree. She did. Post-graduation she started a business geared towards making comfortable athletic shoes for women because she realized that athletic shoes were designed for the comfort of men. What made her successful is that she found a way to release her pain by helping other women by donating money, or by campaigning for women to be strong. Not only that helped her business, but increased her intensity to empower women. The release phase has helped the woman to re-organize her life and transform the lives of other women as well.
The victimized lady realized that the delight of empowering woman was greater than her personal pain.
The antidote for personal pain is finding a way to release the personal pain and then finding a grand goal bigger than oneself to work on. The eraser or diluter of pain is a greater cause than personal pain.
Not all victimized women reached this release and self-organizing phases. Some of them committed suicide, or their health deteriorated and passed away young. So, the question that clouded my mind is why the same experience take us to diverse trajectories?
Reviewing the story of the victimized woman we find that she went into four phases. 1- The growth of her pain. 2- the conservation of her pain. 3- the release of her pain. 4. Self-organizing that lead her to lead a productive life. This is similar to the panarchy model of the adaptive cycle that is applied for nature and social lives. The adaptive cycle of pain is fractal and so is pain. More, the adaptive cycle has three dimensions that lead it to go through these four phases. These dimensions are: resilience, connectedness and wealth or (capital). Emotional pain resulting from rape may likewise have the same three dimensions: emotional wealth, emotional resilience and emotional connectedness.
Emotional Resilience means bouncing back from a stressful experience and not allowing it disturb our internal motivation. The emotional resilience of the victim and of the society may synchronize and work together or in opposing directions. It is in the latter case that the victim withdraws from life. Social resilience is the timely capacity of individuals and groups–family, community, country, and enterprise–to be more generative during times of stability and to adapt, reorganize, and grow in response to disruption.
Social Emotional Wealth refers to the emotional support the society extends to the needy victims. Will society help the victims passionately to resume their lives, or force them to seclude themselves in isolation? In the case of the raped woman mentioned above, the society was very passionate and supported her cause and business. In other cases, the society wasn’t and that led to disastrous results. Social emotions include embarrassment, guilt, shame, empathy, pride, envy and few others.
Social emotions ease effective social relationships through two primary pathways: they provide incentives to engage in social interactions and they increase the prospect that people will follow to societal norms that are essential for group living.
Social emotional wealth led to the Arab Spring following the pain of a poor man that set himself on fire. Pain can spread like fire in a forest when the is enough social emotions to turn an individual pain into a social pain.
Social Emotional Interconnectedness- Social emotions lead to increased and more productive interconnectedness and healthy relationships. The greater the healthy social emotions are, the greater empathy and support the victim shall get. In times of pain, social support will help the victims find the grand goal that is bigger than their pain.
I am concluding here that if the panarchy model applies to social societies it also extends to pain and that the pain of the individual is scaled to be the pain of the family, of the community, of the society, of the country of the region and of the world. It is a fractal pain that has the same adaptive cycle as nature and societies have.
Without the great comments of many commenters on my previous buzz “Removing Hurting Memory Stains” here on beBee and LinkedIn this buzz wouldn’t have been written. I extend my thanks to all of you. The exchange of comments between me and both Cyndi Wilkins and Joyce Bowen have spurred me to share, hopefully, not terribly chaotic thoughts here. Cyndi this buzz is a follow up buzz on your most recent one” The Apollo Paradigm”.
Simple Laws with Counter Effects
1 year ago · 3 min. reading time
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