Choices and Pain

I believe that when people go through awful experiences–especially situations where other folks hurt us–we have a choice.

We can choose to let what we went through become an excuse to close our heart in an attempt to protect ourselves from future pain, or we can open our heart to help others who are in pain.

I believe the decision is sometimes consciously made, but often not.

I found that closing my heart only created more pain–for myself and others.

Closing my heart protected my wounds, but opening my heart healed them.

The only logical choice for me was to find the will and courage to open my heart and help others.

While that decision sometimes also led to additional pain, it was the path that brought much greater, lasting joy into my life. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Fortunately, we all have the opportunity to choose that path every day.

With Love,


About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
This entry was posted in Adversity, Challenges, Choices, Compassion, Courage, Dealing with Pain & Grief, Healing, LIfe Lessons, My Beliefs, My Written Works Misc., Non-Fiction Writing I've Done, Observations, Pain & Grief, Suffering and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Choices and Pain

  1. billgncs says:

    good points Russ – when we feel low low down, one of the great things to do is to help someone. It always seems to be a pick-up.

  2. Russ, you are such a wise soul. Thank you for these words. Something to chew on today!

  3. A beautiful post my friend! xoxo

  4. full of wisdom and grace Russ!

    • russtowne says:

      As I read your comment, the sun came out from behind the clouds, literally brightening my day. That’s what I call a powerful comment! Thank you, Diana!

  5. cho wan yau says:

    I don’t think it is an either or but more a gradual process. At the beginning when we have been terribly hurt our natural defences kick in to protect us from further harm. This is perhaps neccessary and healthy. It takes time and soul searching to heal to get to the point where we are strong enough to open up again but a little older and wiser.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for your comment. I agree that it is indeed often a gradual process. I’ve also found that the more I practice at keeping an open heart–especially during those times when my defenses naturally want to close around wounds it experiences–the easier it is for me to heal and to move on with my life. May you always feel at home and welcome here.

  6. Great post and oh so true

  7. Oh if only all…could believe this…. Diane

  8. bulldog says:

    All so true Russ… nothing like helping others to help yourself… great post..

  9. linda says:

    I have experience this Russ, and what you say is so true. Opening up your heart and helping others, is the greatest gift you can give yourself. God bless you my friend.

  10. Pingback: Choices and Pain | Returning to Camissa

  11. lvsrao says:

    Very True. Great Post.

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