I was up at 4am last night; awake with pain for awhile. I realized after a bit I was redirecting the pain. By that I mean physically shifting to alleviate it as much as possible. As I was shifting, I thought about how most of us redirect our emotional pain just like we do our physical pain. We’ve gotten very artful and crafty when it comes to ignoring it.

“Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away.”

I doubt most people think that sentence literally. But we do the ignoring so well that we don’t have to say it. We just live it. We redirect.

I’ve had idiopathic pleuritic chest pains most all of my life. It could be the asthma that hospitalized me as a toddler that still attacks mildly, or it could be some other reason. Idiopathic basically means that symptoms happen for unknown reasons. Seems like my whole life has had an idiopathic-ness about it one way or another.

But that isn’t true. I redirected right there.

The truth is it just “seems” like it. What I did was shift the blame of the pain. It’s kind of like pain caused by nerve damage – the area of pain isn’t necessarily the area of damage. Nerves can redirect the pain. The brain is a powerful thing, isn’t it? Crafty too.

If you’ve read the snippet about how I lived nearly 25 years, until I was completely healed, with depression, then you are aware that I KNOW PAIN. I got very extremely good at redirecting it. Until I admitted…

“I’m shifting it instead of facing that giant head on.”

Why do we do that and what should we do instead?

We all do it for the same reason – each and every one of us. We redirect, we shift, hoping that if we do that enough times the pain will dissipate. Physically that may be true. It does occasionally help with my pleurisy chest pains. But emotional pain? It never dissipates. It just simply gets buried; repressed, sometimes so deep that we continue to have that pain manifest itself in other ways. Unless …

What if there was a way to fix the artful talent of ignoring?

There is.

Art waits on the master artist to finish and fulfill. Let God finish the masterpiece He started in you.

Go to the master artist and ask Him to help you work out that pain as the clay is worked in the potter’s hands. Sound hard? It isn’t. Because it is all in the choice.

Choose not to ignore the pain. You don’t have to ram through it like a freight train. You don’t have to confront everyone whose ever hurt you. You don’t have to find a solution to the crafty art of ignoring. Let God handle all that stuff.

“But my pain is so deep. You don’t understand how badly it hurts. It’s easier to ignore it.”

Sure it is. Much easier. And apparently easier to gloss it over with other things trying to fill the hole the pain left. Always searching. Always looking for a magic cure all while ignoring it mostly successfully.


But I do KNOW PAIN. The kind of pain that grips you so tight that you can’t even see straight. The kind you think you will never recover from in a lifetime. The kind of pain…

that keeps you from full forgiveness.

There is that redirecting again. We shift the hurt to a place where we justify not forgiving. Sometimes we even shift the blame. In the end, when it comes to the forefront of your life, does any of that really matter? The blame game, the filling the hole with superficial happiness, the art of of ignoring – they all serve no purpose… except to prolong the inevitable.

What is the inevitable?

Pain or gain. One of the two is going to happen when it comes bursting out of the holes you buried it in. Either a massive amount of pain will resurface – you can’t hold it down forever – or you can let it be the gain in your life.

Gain healing. Gain total forgiveness. Gain trust. Gain love.

Choose the gain. Just ask God. Then everyday thank God for it. Talk to Him, the Master Artist, about what He’s doing in you. I can tell you this…

God will work out the pain in you just like the potter works the imperfections out of the clay. Sometimes He will use them. Imperfections can be made beautiful for a purpose.

Live Blessed,


Walk the journey with me? That would be cool.


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9 thoughts on “Redirecting Our Pain: The Art of Ignoring

  1. Very good. I can remember being in the counseling room and saying to my counselor “I feel pain here” and I would be touching my neck, or abdomen, or face, or heart region. When we would explore it with God, He would reveal that is was stored pain from my childhood. Better up with God then stored away in me. Blessings xx


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