The meme ‘no pain no gain’ caught my eye yesterday.
I would like to share multiple perspectives on this sentence.

‘No pain no gain’ potentially ‘condones’ terrifying ways of making a living if the gain is yours and the pain is ‘others’.
‘No pain no gain’ potentially makes us settle for pain without gain in the hope of future pay off for all of our suffering, without living now.

‘No pain no gain’

Think about it. Whose pain and whose gain one might ask?
The ‘capitalistic mode’ seems to topple us into unequality by the pain of the many (called deplorables) and the gain of the few (called the 1 %).
Do we chose in this capitalistic, orange/profit based mindset to reduce the many to ‘losers below’ and the few to ‘winners at the top’?
A scary part here is when in this mode one really sees life as a pyramid. A pyramid where only the top of the pyramid is valuable. That ‘first place’ is the only place to be. A belief eventually leading to one winner only and 7.4 billion minus one losers…..?

Seen this way winning is not a healthy process anymore but an addiction to a belief that winning is the only way to live. This way it is a survival mode. Survival modes are characterized by rigidity. The ‘only going for the win’ survival mode can be heavily activated by fear-mongering-tv and other PR. ‘Winning no matter what the costs’ is a disconnected psychological state and a defence mode promoted by the ego-centric stage of human development. The ego-centric, rational, me-stage of development is currently very common. In adolescence this is the right stage to be in. It is meant for us to explore autonomy and to integrate our experiences, passion and potential. This stage is necessary to become an integer individual as a base to be ready for evolving into the next stage. The next stage comes with a worldview, a we-centric view. A worldview means that ‘me, myself and I’ does not stand alone anymore but integrates with a new form of plural, a ‘we are in this together’. Human evolution in the 21st century has the potential to go beyond the ‘my group first’ and the ‘me, myself and I first’ into ‘the group and me and the world are in this together’. Into ‘how can we make this whole shebang work out for you and me and all of us’? A few growing pains while going evolving into any next stage of development is acceptable. Getting stuck in the me-phase and avoiding to grow up into maturity is not. Let’s assist each other in this important joining of ‘me + you = us’. The whole of us is more than the separated parts. We will all gain, not in the old fashioned lineair way but the integral and integer way.

‘No pain no gain’….

Hmmm, is that so?
What I see is:
• It takes a little muscle ache to train our muscles and become physically strong.
• It takes getting a bit tired when training to be fit enough to hike an extra mile as compared to what we were able to walk the week before.
• It is a bit harder to hike in the mountainsthan staying on familiar flatland.
• It takes some emotional stretching to get the hang of flexible resilience as a person and as humanity.

Life does not have to be painful every minute of every day. That’s torture.
We need time and space to recuperate, to rest and integrate. We need a safe base and we need to create that for ourselves and for others. This means finding ways to share liveable land, drinkable water, food growing opportunities and peaceful co-operative living on a global scale. To evolve beyond kolonalisation and war. Beyond corporisation and branding the world.

‘No pain no gain’…

Yes, and then there is the ‘painful’ courage of feeling what arises in every moment, even if it is undesired. To not dissociate, not disconnect. To not revert to leaving anything essential to be unseen, unspoken, unmet. To find that in the longer run there is nothing to be gained by denying pain and fear, vulnerability and softness. Because it will leave us frozen or burned-out.

‘No pain no gain’…

And a last perspective for today:
going for the material gain of profit without going for the meaningful gain of experiential wisdom to me is a painfully ‘bare’ kind of living. Gaining wisdom by moving with and through painful experiences is a fiery, passionate way of Living fully Alive. When we want to gain wisdom and use our potential fully we need to include ‘undesired’ parts too. Undesired parts are just unknowns waiting to be met, touched, explored. To be integrated. Undesired experiences only get painful when not processed but frozen into place and time instead, posing inner barriers. Fortunately these inner contractions can be unfrozen, like walls of ice melting in the warm touch of awareness….

Do you have big or small questions, big or small pains and gains calling for awareness and Integral mentoring?
drs. Marielle de Natris has studied and worked in the field of psychology since 1976 and aims to prevent all kinds of burn-out and other crisis the integral way. She mentors those longing for in-depth professional and personal development in full integrity and is the author of ‘Conscious Interconnection’.