• Barnaby King

Top 3 Reasons You're Still in Pain

(Hard truths from legit science that may piss you off...or change your life.)

This may sound crazy, but I love you. It’s true. If we were to meet and you were to explain your pain to me-- how it bothers you, infects your life, keeps you from pursuing your dreams or how it holds you back in some way, I would have a visceral, strong desire to help you. To support you out of the drudgery and misery that is chronic pain.

AND I would also know that, despite my own wishes for you to live a life unburdened by pain, I wouldn’t be able to help unless you first accepted these three basic understandings.

Yes, they go against convention. Yes, they are obvious, but rarely spoken about. AND YES, they will challenge you.

Do you accept the challenge?

If so then read on. . .

1. Pain is not your enemy.

In fact, your pain is inside you, coming from within you. And every biological process coming from you is, in some way, twisted as it may seem, designed to ensure your survival.

Even (or especially) pain. Pain actually serves the function of protecting you.

Once you consider your pain in this way you start to change your relationship with it and also your approach to it.

When your view changes, you can help but change your actions. Even if slowly over time.

Think of pain as what it is: nothing more than a sensation.

Understanding pain in this way allows you to stop fighting against your own body, stop chasing cures outside of you and start looking inward toward the source.

It’s your job to not be cowed by your reactionary nervous system, and instead to listen, as you would to an upset child or animal you loved, and try to decipher their needs.


2. You’re only focusing on the pain itself.

Sadguru put it best: The human mind does not do subtraction or division, only addition and multiplication.

Focus on something and you get more of that. This is psychological phenomenon that has been documented.

Pain is tricky on this one because it is biologically designed to grab your attention.

Pain is demanding. It is a call for you to take action, to do something or stop doing something: Get help, bandage a wound, heal emotional wounds, leave that dead-end relationship, stand up for yourself, stop trying to be everything for everyone, everyday for godsake!

But when you only focus on the sensation, the symptom, you miss the underlying cause.

So instead start focusing on what you WANT. It’s not as easy as it sounds. But if you do this it will change you.


I saved the hardest for last. . . so if you’re still with me you may actually be able to hear this one.

3. You’re playing the victim

Please know I say this with so much deep respect for you, for your experience. I know you are a capable adult with talents and unique skills. But pain is one of the great common denominators.

Every human on this planet is susceptible to feeling abused by their own body when pain is a regular occurrence.

The “why me?” Feelling is so very very very understandable and in no way reflects on your character.

In fact, the science tells us that pain and depression often beget each other and both deplete are cognitive functioning, our ability to think ahead, think broadly and be optimistic.

Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that we are not as all powerful as we believe ourselves to be and that our brains can wreak havoc on our reality. How you feel is not “who you are,” but rather “how you are functioning” in that moment.

Victimhood is insidious and extremely deft. It creeps up with a nice warm blanket, which it gently lays over our shoulders with a pat pat pat and a welcoming invitation to settle in.

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