Pain As a Path to Purpose - Ep. 62

Purpose is made up of your people, your passions, your perspective/perception, your powers, and your pain. All four of these are crucial to developing your purpose, especially pain - yes, pain. The one we most often do not want to look at, acknowledge, much less try to use to our advantage I will argue is the most important contributing factor to finding our purpose.

Connect with me @jadeteta


Jade:    [01:18] Ok, what’s up everybody? Welcome to today’s show. Today… I’m actually doing something a little bit different today. You may catch me live on Instagram and YouTube and all that kind of stuff. I’m kind of trying out a new platform called Loola, for those of you who are interested. Anyway, I’m going live on – what do they call that, simulcasting? Simulcasting to the different platforms while I do my podcast. So, let’s get started with today’s episode. Today, we’ve been doing… kind of going back and forth and talking about metabolism, last week we talked about internet business, and one of the talks that I’ve been giving – I must’ve given this talk maybe 4 times in the last 2 weeks, actually – is about pain and purpose and how pain is very much a path to our purpose. This is something that I want to talk about a little bit further. I think it just resonates with all of us presently, just because of the present circumstances and everything that’s going on in the world presently. Let’s kind of start the discussion, and the way that I like to visualize this is kind of think of your life as this straight, almost like you’re in a video game. You’re essentially playing this game, and when you come into the world you have your major influences, which are your parents. Part of what happens is you get exposed to all these people, siblings, parents, primarily in the beginning, and they kind of spawn what I would call your seed stories, in a sense.


            [03:07] What that essentially means is we humans, we’re writing stories all the time, about what the world is like, how safe it is, how dangerous it is, how much love is in the world, is there abundance, is there abundance. And most of these stories come from our parents and whether or not they were in a good place in life and feeling fulfilled and feeling safe and feeling balanced; which anyone who’s got a little bit age on them knows that ok, well, you think about it - at least my parents, when they were coming up and they were essentially raising me, my mom I think had my oldest brother at 19. They got married when my mom is 18-19 and my dad was 24, and by the time they had me, they were – my dad I think was 30 and my mom was, at that point, maybe 26. For those of you who have any age on you, you know that’s pretty damn young. You’re not necessarily the most mature or wise individual when you’re in yours 20s, right? You still have a lot of that culture level thing in you, that adolescent mindset in you, and I think it is one thing we forget, because we often times blame and complain and put a lot on our parents forgetting that when they were raising us they were, to a large degree, children in and of themselves. Now, if you’re in your 20s, don’t take offense to this because, you know, I kind of get it; but I’m 46, so looking back now I can see how naïve and ridiculous I may have been in my 20s, and I had a lot to learn. But when you look at your life and you kind of see this lifeline, you can see, alright, well here’s the people that I have been exposed to for better or for worse, the people who were good for me, the people who caused me pain, the people who loved me, the people who bullied me, all of these kind of people. And along the way with interacting with these people, you kind of get these seed stories, what I would call your unique perceptions, the way you see the world. This is a really interesting thing for us humans because we don’t always see – we like to think, perhaps wrongfully, that we have come to all our decisions and all our stories through careful consideration and logic – but more times than not, we’re actually living out these seed stories, things that we picked up when we were young and are even unconscious that we did, stories that were written for us. You can kind of think about this like – think about it this way – if you grew up in a religious household and you’re still religious, or you grew up in a conservative or progressively liberal household and you’re still those things, or never questioned those things, this is part of what I’m speaking about here. We pick up these stories and we don’t always necessarily think about them and rewrite them. So, there’s the people you interact with, there’s the perceptions you have about life, there’s the unique passions and likes that you’ve picked up, the things that you’re interested in.


            [06:07] I know for me, when I was young, I mean, my interests have not really changed. I was interested in sports, and then that went into health and fitness, which went into nutrition, which went into biochemistry, which went into a love for medicine. And eventually I kind of got to this choice point of healer vs. teacher for my purpose, and I’ve mainly chose teacher, but these passions are unique to us as individuals. So, they definitely come along in this life journey, and we know that passions can be a little bit fickle, but if we’re paying close attention to our passions, they often times do guide us or point us in a direction of potential purpose. Then along the way, we also develop some skills, some, what I would call our superpowers. We develop these superpowers, these talents, these things that we’re really good at. This sort of starts to shape how we are as humans, sort of starts to create this unique spiritual fingerprint, this unique essence that we bring to the world when we interact with other people, and when we interact with our creative process, and what we do for work. I sort of break this down - for those of you who heard me talk about this before - I kind of break this down into the Ps. You know, I’m always talking in acronyms and metaphors. They just help me teach and keep my mindset straight. So, when we’re talking about purpose, to me, it’s made up of these different Ps. Your people, your unique perspective/perception, your passions, and your powers. And then the final P, which this episode of the podcast is about, is the pain. Pain, to me, is the most important aspect of developing purpose. It’s also the most tricky because it’s the thing that we humans do not want to look at, pay attention to, or consider. It’s this thing where we’re like, we don’t want to look at our pain, and we deal with pain in a very dysfunctional way. I actually have a funny little anecdote that I use to explain how we use and attack emotional pain in a ridiculous way as humans, and I’ll go through that anecdote really quickly. It goes like this: imagine you are in the kitchen and you’re cutting vegetables, and your knife slips and you cut your finger. Right away, what are you going to do? This is a very instinctual reaction. You grab your finger like, ahh! You catch yourself for a minute, you cover it, and then you tentatively what? You tentatively look at it – tentatively – and you see how deep it is, how bad is it bleeding, am I going to need stitches, what am I going to need to do to take care of myself? Now, once you do that, at that point, you wash it, you bandage it, if you need to go get stitches, you go get stitches.


[09:04] You take care of it, right? Then, over the next week you pay attention to it. You clean the bandage, maybe you’re putting antibiotic ointment on it, you’re being gingerly and caring with your finger that you cut. If you’re smart, the next time you go to cut vegetables, you brain registers that pain, that slip-up, that cut, and tells you hey, be a little bit more careful here. Or maybe you’re one of these people who’s even smarter than that – you go out to YouTube or Google and Google how to cut vegetables, or better knife skills, how to keep from cutting yourself when you’re cutting vegetables, this kind of stuff. So, in a very real, common sensical way, when we have a physical injury, we follow this process. Now, we do almost the exact opposite when we get emotional pain, emotional injuries, when we get heartbroken, or we suffer, or we have hurt or grief or loss or rejection. We actually act in one of 3 dysfunctional ways, and I’ll keep going with this metaphor of the physical finger because it demonstrates what we do and how ridiculous it is what we do as humans. Imagine now, you’re cutting your finger – you cut your finger, cut your thumb, you slice it open, and instead of covering it and doing all the things that I said before, you run out of the house, you run across the street to your neighbor, you knock on their door, they open the door and you shove your finger in their face angrily and start screaming ow, ow! And then you run across the street to the other neighbor, knock on their door, shove your thumb in their face screaming ow. A car goes by, you run up that car, stop them in the street, and stick your finger in their face screaming ow. Now, this sounds ridiculous, but I think you can see where some people spend their whole lives, after being injured in some way emotionally, and blaming and complaining and angrily shoving their finger in people’s face expecting them to solve their emotional pain. Now, another way that this happens with emotional pain is the following. Imagine cutting your thumb and then just sitting there staring at it as it bleeds everywhere, and just whimpering, crying, just staring helplessly at your thumb while it bleeds everywhere, doing nothing; not covering it, not taking care of it, not trying to mend it, not trying to protect yourself, but just sitting there feeling completely dejected and helpless and whimpering and whining and wallowing in the injury. Now again, it seems ridiculous when you think about it from a physical injury, but don’t you know people like this too, that things have happened to them in their lives? Which, by the way, as humans, things happen to all of us. Suffering is inevitable. It’s an inevitable part of our lives. But we all know people who live their lives like this. Something happens, and then they are this moody, dejected, wallowing, whining person from that moment forward.


[12:02] We often times go, you know, sometimes we feel sorry for them, but most of the time with people like that, we feel pity for them, don’t we? That is another dysfunctional way we handle emotions. Now, the third way we handle emotional pain and hurt is the following – we, let’s say, cut our finger and we quickly stick it behind our back and act like it didn’t happen at all. We’re just like ope, that didn’t happen, I’m not even going to pay attention to it, I’m not even going to look at my thumb. Meanwhile, the thumb’s behind our back bleeding all over the place, and we just get to this place where we’re like I’m not going to look at my thumb, I don’t need my thumb. In fact, I don’t need my hand. I don’t even need that arm again; I’ll just ignore it. I’ll just get by without it. This is another way that people handle emotional hurts and emotional wounds. So, my point here is, is when we think about purpose, and we think about this idea of our people, and our perceptions, and our passions, and our superpowers, and our pain, what I’m presenting here is essentially saying, in order for us to realize purpose, fulfillment, joy as humans, we have to integrate these things. We have to own these things. We can’t do this blaming and complaining, shoving our thumb in everyone’s face screaming ow, expecting them to fix it; we can’t do this wallowing and whining in our pain, like just sitting there staring at our thumb crying; and we can’t do this do this avoiding and hiding type of thing either. We have to confront our pain. And from my perspective, this is very much like, if you don’t confront it, if you continue to blame and complain, if you continue to whine and wallow, if you continue to avoid and hide, then what happens is you don’t get the lessons that are required for you to realize your deep purpose. The way I look at this, and the way I’ve been describing it with friends and family for the last little bit is the idea of where we were kids – I don’t know all of you, but when I was a kid coming up, it was, you know, I had Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, and then the first Super Mario Bros. came out – and you’d play this game and you’d get to the end of a level, and there’d be like some dragon or giant turtle there or something, and you’d have to figure out the right sequence of events to kill this dragon or this turtle. You’d have to like spin around twice, jump in the air, shoot two fireballs, and then do like a split or something, I don’t know. There was this particular sequence of events that you had to figure out to figure out this dragon’s weakness so you could pass to the next level. Well, this is very much the way I see our pain in life. I see it as almost like these dragons, like we’re playing this Super Mario video game and we have to confront these dragons, and I consider it almost like what if everything that you’ve been giving, all the things that you’ve been blaming, complaining, wallowing, whining, avoiding, and hiding about are all the things that are required for you to realize your purpose?


[15:02] What if you’ve already been given everything? Like, what if you’ve been given all the ingredients to make the perfect meal, and you refuse to use some of the ingredients? The point is that your people, and your passions, and your superpowers, and your unique perspective, and most essentially, your unique pain gives you that spiritual fingerprint that is 1000% you and only you. It makes you you. It gives you the color and the texture, and all of the things that make you magical in a sense. So, by avoiding these things, pretending we don’t have pain, not confronting our pain, not using the people we have, and by this example, I would say let’s say you have a difficult relationship with your brother, or your mom, or you tend to run into the same patterns with your significant others and romantic partners; and you do this thing, which you’re just like, well, there’s just all these toxic people around. To me, when you say that there’s toxic people, like these people are just toxic – and hear me out here because I’m probably going to trigger a bunch of people when I say this – but to me, how different is that than just sticking your finger in everyone’s face and screaming ow, ow, ow? It’s almost like saying it’s your fault, it’s not mine. My whole thing is, even if it is someone else’s fault, it’s for you to deal with. Even if you’re in the kitchen and someone comes in, and you’re cutting vegetables and they come in and pull out a knife and slice your finger and then run out of the room, you can’t – it’s not wise to chase after that person screaming ow, ow, ow, as if they’re going to come back and be like, oh, sorry I cut you, let me now fix it. for you. You still have to fix it. There’s still lessons that you could learn from that. In a sense, what I’m saying is if you keep running into the same patterns, if you’re not using your people and your perspectives and your passions and your powers and your pain to grow, then you, to me, are voluntarily not owning the very things that could take you to the next level in your life. This is also very much like the hero’s journey that everyone loves. We all love the hero’s journey story, where someone’s going along in life, something horrible happens, shakes them out of their complacency or their typical life, and everything changes in an instant; you know, these lightning strike moments in our lives. And then, there is this suffering and this struggle, and they are caught up in this vortex of pain and uncertainty and change, and they’re trying to get back to balance, and we’re watching this in the movies or in the shows, or watching from the sidelines of people in our lives, and we’re hoping they figure it out, and they get sucked into this vortex of struggle. And at some point, they develop an insight, or they should. They should develop an insight of like, here’s what maybe this is trying to teach me, or here’s the lesson in this. From there, from that insight, if they are brave enough to take action… which you always – every time you see one of these movies it’s like there’s always uncertainty and trepidation, and like I don’t want to take the action – but when they take the action, everything then starts to change and they are able to escape this struggle, suffering vortex.


[18:20] However, if they do any of the other things – blame, complain, wallow, whine, hide, avoid – they stay stuck and mired in this struggle. In fact, doesn’t it seem like whenever you blame, complain, avoid, hide, wallow, and whine, that the same things continue to happen to you over and over again? It’s almost like, Super Mario dies and has to face the same dragon again. Go back to level one, start all over. You go back, you fail, you have to go back to level one again. So, in a sense, many people are voluntarily, in my mind, keeping themselves from their purpose and their meaning and their personal growth and development because they refuse to look and integrate all the elements of their lives. They have to use this, like they are sort of a unique ingredient, they are a unique sort of meal plan and menu, like we are unique food. In a sense, we are to our fellow humans. We bring a unique energy, we feed – we have the ability to feed other humans; and when I say feed other humans, what I mean – it means to teach our lessons. To me, one of the things that I often times say is we’re here for 3 reasons and 3 reasons only – to learn, to teach, and to love. To me, this struggle that we get thrown in with our own pain is where we learn. That’s where we learn. That’s where we develop these insights. That’s where we come close and start seeing that pain in a path to our purpose as individuals. Then, once we settle one that purpose, to me, that is what purpose is. Purpose is essentially the humble recognition that you have a unique gift to give to the world, something unique to teach in a unique way, that your voice is tuned to certain people who can only hear you. And by you out there teaching your lessons, you can help your fellow human. It’s the way we give back, it’s the way we make a difference, it’s the way we matter as humans. Now, consider the fact that we – all of us humans, I believe – crave that. But what we want to do often times is we want to forget that that struggle is the very thing that teaches us the lessons that are the very thing that go into our purpose. Without that pain, we could never actually do the things and teach the way that we need to. That, to me, is what I mean by pain is the path to purpose. The final thing I’ll say in this episode is the following, as sort of like a homework assignment for all of us, because we all fall into this. I know that you as a human have deep suffering and struggle and pain.


[21:04] I know it because you’re human. You know looking at me. I know Jade’s got his dysfunction and his pain and his struggles. We all do. None of us get out of that. However, what a lot of us do, we’ll avoid taking ownership of it. How many of us, in our lives, have had someone in our lives who bullied us, or treated us unfairly, or hurt us in some way where we just go it’s their fault; there’s nothing I can do; it’s them; I’m just going to get them out of my life. To me, those people are practice. Those people are lessons. The pain they bring are the very thing that can point you to your purpose. So, the thing is, I’m not saying don’t have boundaries, because there is times where you do need to eliminate people from your life. However, if you keep running into the same patterns again and again with different people, then it’s not those people; it’s you. That’s how you know. That’s how you know. Then, the fix there is to essentially say ok, well Jade, what do I do from then if I see these patterns coming up again and again, the same things happening with different people; I now know it is about me. How do I do this? You essentially go back and you look at who are the people and the perceptions and perspective that I am these seed stories, from the time I was young, that have caused me to be the way I am, caused me to do the things that I do to get me in the same situations once again, and you have to begin to confront those things. If you go back and look deeply at your pain points, which I’ll share a little bit of mine as the finality of this just so you can get a sense of this. And keep in mind, when it comes to pain, pain is really interesting because it’s all very relative. Some of us have pain that others would laugh at. Actually, one of my pain points you all will laugh at because it’s unique to me, but it was deeply wounding to me as silly as it is. So, one of my pain points – I’m the youngest of 4. My older brother Keoni, who I love, and forgive me Keoni if you’re watching this – but Keoni would tease the hell out of me when I was a little boy. Now, he’s what, 4 years older than me, so my big brother, and from Keoni’s perspective as a kid – I figured this out later – he’s just having fun; he finds me humorous, he likes teasing me. I feel bullied and sort of tortured in a sense. That’s how I internalized it. Now, it didn’t matter that he thought it was funny. I thought it was torture. My parents thought it was funny too, that’s why they didn’t necessarily do anything about it; yet, this was a big, deep wound point for me. Now, at some point, what happened was I grew up as an angry kid partly as a result of this, and I blamed a lot of that anger on my brother Keoni. In fact, I couldn’t stand him for a long time because I was resentful, I was angry. And it wasn’t until my mid-20s, when me and him got in a literal fistfight, mainly because I was being an asshole and started it and did that, that I finally saw that wait a second, I’ve been treating my brother Keoni like he’s an 8 year old picking on a 4 year old.


[24:17] Meanwhile, now, I’m 24, he’s 28,and we’re grown adults, and I’m still – I’m now the one who’s being the asshole. Keoni hasn’t been that young kid teasing me for years, but my seed story about him teasing me, and torturing me, and doing this followed me all the way into my 20s. Now, how many people do you know that this follows them all the way into their 80s? Most people. Most people live these stories out their entire lives. To me, this is the idea of escaping adolescence in a sense. We have to escape our own narcissism and our own thoughts about it’s everyone out there, and we have to learn as humans that I have to take ownership of my own dysfunction even if it’s not my fault. Even if I really am the true victim, the only saving grace I have is my own. I have to cover my finger, I have to mend to it, I have to take care of it. I have to be the one to do this. I can’t expect my parents to apologize, or to figure it out, or to know. Like, Keoni didn’t understand how I internalized that. And this anger stayed with me, by the way. I found it following me. Most of my guy friends, when I talk to them, I’m like how many fights have you been in, physical fist fights in your life; and they’re like, I don’t know, maybe 1 when I was in the 3rd grade, or none. Then, I’m thinking to myself I’ve been in at least 20. I’ve bounced. I found ways of fighting and being angry until I had to rewrite that story. So, the point of this is your purpose comes out of that. Now, I teach in the realm of this whole thing, to teach overcoming our pain and our grief and our anger and our rejection and our resentfulness, and becoming better, more loving humans, to learn first, to teach, and then to love. So, to me, our pain is our path to purpose. So, your homework, my homework, what I will present to you is essentially go back – if you’re one of these people who you’re feeling like, I do feel like my purpose alludes me, and I do feel like I have these patterns that come up over and over again with the same people, and even different people the same way – then I would say go back and find your pain point. It’s like me being teased as a kid, or the way your parents talked to you maybe, or that first heartbreak, or the illness that you had, or the bullying that you went under, and then ask yourself how can I use that; how can I take ownership of that. And I’ll give you a hint here, and this is where I’ll leave this particular podcast. One of the hints that I can give you here is this idea that when you’re having pain in life, the number one way to heal that pain, in my mind, and you’ve probably heard this before, but it is the most powerful way, is look, find that pain in others, and try to soothe it in them.


[27:06] To me, this is the beginning of purpose. Purpose is really about how we – what we leave for others. This is the whole idea of leaving your love. Like, I have a tattoo on my back here, it says relinquam amor, which basically means leave your love. What I mean by that is, I don’t necessarily mean – it’s not a romantic thing to me at all – it’s essentially just saying I have a purpose. I am uniquely suited in some ways to teach. Just like some of you could be now teaching me because you’re uniquely suited to teach certain things or called to do that. To me, it’s about that. It’s about don’t expect life to fix things for you. Expect to fix it for yourself, and then fully heal by trying to heal others. That’s what purpose is. That’s the difference, and many people, purpose alludes them their entire lives because they’re running around with their thumb in people’s faces screaming ow, expecting other people to solve their pain and to fix it for them; or looking for a romantic relationship to fix it for them; or waiting for their parents to apologize to fix it for them; or waiting for everybody in line to sort of do this to them. So, to me, this is beginning of the process. I’m going to end there. Hopefully – by the way, I am live, but I can’t see all of you who are on live. It was just kind of something I was playing with today, but hit me up in my DMs if you like this, and you like me doing these podcasts live. I will see you next time.


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