don't date vampires unless you're into pain

Today we ask that you know that pain does not make you special.

Consciously, very few people enjoy pain, with the exception of masochists.

But unconsciously, many people believe that pain and suffering make you special.

Religion venerates saints and martyrs who died excruciating deaths for their faith.  Most Christians do not focus on the Resurrection of their Savior, but rather the Crucifixion.

Religions tend to fetishize pain and torture the same way sadomasochistic fetishists do.

And since many people are exposed to these religious images and stories in early childhood, unconsciously as adults they continue to fetishize pain and suffering.

Society often holds up suffering as a sign of virtue.  The overworked parent who works himself into a state of sickness, exhaustion, and an early grave for his children — such a person is a saint, to be venerated.  The dutiful worker who works himself into state of sickness and exhaustion for his own advancement and the advancement of his company — such a person is to be venerated. 

Victims, in general, are to be venerated.  Their suffering makes them more special than others who have not been victimized.

Romance is associated with pain and suffering.  Love is torture, agony.  People fetishize stories about vampires, seeing them as objects of great passion and romance — instead of the parasitic bloodsuckers they are!  And so people get into abusive, painful relationships and think it must be love, since love is pain and suffering.

This is all quite unhealthy.

There is nothing virtuous, romantic, or special about pain, suffering, and victimhood.

Pain is a part of the life experience.  Everyone experiences physical and emotional pain.

But there is nothing special about it.

Animals experience physical and emotional pain.  They do not fetishize it; such a thing would not occur to them.  That’s why animals tend to get over their traumas relatively quickly, compared to humans.  They know how to “shake it off,” and get on with life.

On this planet, only humans fetishize pain and suffering, believing that it imbues them with specialness and nobility.  That is why humans have such a hard time letting go of trauma, and sometimes spend their whole lives in it.  While it is necessary to go through a grieving process around loss, there is a difference between grief as a process, and grief as an identity.

Animals have no concept of martyrdom.  This is a human invention — and a highly destructive one.

If you’re interested in experiencing less suffering in your existence, one good thing to do is to explore the ways in which you have been taught to believe suffering is virtuous, special, noble, and romantic.

Look at the ways you admire or venerate “virtuous sufferers” — in religion, in literature, in film and TV, and in your own life.

Start questioning your beliefs about pain and suffering being romantic, noble, special, and virtuous.

Love should not be painful.  Romantic relationships should feel good, nourishing, and healthy.  Don’t date vampires!  Vampires “suck.”

Life should not be painful.  Sometimes of course there are very painful experiences.  But the predominant feeling around life should not be one of torment.  Life is meant to be enjoyed, and should feel good.  Don’t be a martyr.  Don’t glorify victimhood.

Unless you really know that you’re “into” pain as an experience, it’s good to examine your unconscious beliefs around pain and suffering.