21DJC Day 15 – What is the Most Painful Thing You Have Ever Experienced To Date?

This is Day 15 of the 21-Day Journaling Challenge (21DJC) for Nov 2011. View list of tasks: 21DJC Overview.

Hi everyone – Welcome to Day 15 of 21DJC! :) We’re now in the 3rd and final week of our 21-Day Journaling Challenge!

Yesterday’s question was: “What Is Love?“. (Read the responses.)

Here are some beautiful responses from some participants:

“Love is faithful, it is everlasting, it is patient and kind. It’s an appreciation for another person in spite of or because of their faults and problems.” – Peggy

“Love means accepting a person for what they are. Love means that warm, happy feeling you get when you are near, or think about the object of your love. Love means feeling safe, and appreciated.” - Julia Shirey

“Love is feeling part of Something Greater than myself, a feeling of being “home” with myself in the Presence of that Greater Self. Love actually to me is feeling connected to The Source, the Place inside my Highest Self that exists simply because the Spark of Divine breathed me into existence. Love is the feeling of warmth I feel in my heart when I help others, or give freely to others.” – Brett

“Surprisingly, I find it hard to describe love in words or phrases. So move on to feeling and emotion. Upon reading or hearing the word ‘love’ if feel extremely happy and joyful. And I found when I’m happy and joyful. I’m feeling the emotion of love. I can smile towards others, nice to others, content, and at peace.” – Fiat

“Love is a total commitment to the ultimate good of the beloved.
Love is not a mere feeling… it goes beyond that, into wordless devotion.” – Prion

“Love to me right now is nothing more than feeling compassion for fellow humankind or earthlings. It fuels me for what I’m doing and with whom I’m hanging out or having a conversation.” – lotusbleu

“Love, to me, is the bond that connects me to everyone else in the world.” – Jeffrey Q

“Love is confidence; appreciation; acceptance; trust; communication; kindness; sharing. Love means giving second chances and working towards better self, with support and encouragement. Love means being geared up to do what drives you forward and never get tired of them.” – Viole

“Love for me means sharing caring respectful warm heart felt relationships, giving without conditions, spontaneity openness and frankness.” – Bob

“[Love] means to accept others and be accepted for who one really are. It means to stay and stick with somebody in the bad and the good, it’s to give without wanting and spend quality time together. … Love is making a silly random joke to put a smile on another person when everything feels like it will end, love is when you give it all up for another and love is when you feel loved and love in return. :heart: ” – fufu

“This is the first time I read all the comments before posting. So this smile on my face? That’s love. To get to know you and your deepest thoughts. Beautiful people with beautiful souls, thank you. :) ” – Andreea

“Love to me is when you know that you [are] not perfect and you don’t expect perfection from others. First you have to love yourself to love others. Loving others the way you love yourself. … Seeing all of someone’s good qualities as opposed to thinking about all their bad qualities. ” – Vanessa

“To me, love means accepting people as they are, not trying to change them into who you think they should be. Unconditional acceptance without judgment. Knowing when to hang on and when to let go. Unconditional respect without judgment. If understanding is not possible, having a true yearning to understand. Seeing someone’s eyes light up when they see you or vice versa.” - Stella Zorro

“Love to me is like a synonym for care and understanding…
Love is where no lies exist…..the faces of the two should have a spring water like clarity
Love is where no need for unnecessary pushing and fussing exists.” – ASLO

For me… Love is transcendent. Love is the universal link that binds all living beings together.

Love is what sets apart the living beings from the non-living things. Love is what we live for. Love is the reason we are alive. Love is the reason we will continue to live.

Love makes us grow stronger, greater, better, more beautiful, than we would be by ourselves.

Love is greater than anything there is in the world.

Love is what I have for all of you, and love is what keeps me going every day.

I love all of  you.

With that said, let’s now move to today’s question!

21DJC Day 15

Yesterday we talked about love – what it is and what it means to us. Today’s question is about the emotion that’s on the other end of the spectrum – Pain.

What is the Most Painful Thing You Have Ever Experienced To Date?

What is the Most Painful Thing You've Ever Had To Experience To Date?

Think back to all your life experiences to date. Can you point out one incident which has been the most painful to you in the past X years you have been alive? What incident was it? What happened during the incident? And why was it painful to you?

(Painful can be defined as anything that makes you feel sad, upset, sorrowful, depressed, pained.)

Put on your reflection cap and let your thoughts flow. Below is an empty form which you can use to write your answers to the question. Treat it as your private 21DJC journaling “room”, if you will. You will be seeing this form every day, for the 21 days of the challenge. There’s a button for you to keep track of your word count too, if you’re interested.

(Note you will not see the form below if you’re viewing this in your email client. Visit the actual post online to see the form.)

What is the Most Painful Thing You Have Ever Experienced To Date?

Your Task Today:

  1. Reflect and answer today’s question. There’s no word limit – whether minimum or maximum. Write as few or as many words as you want. It’s all up to what you want to express!
  2. Share your answer. After you are done writing, copy and paste your answer in the comments area and post it there.
  3. Check out other participants’ answers. Other participants will be sharing their answers too, so feel free to read and reply to their answers. This is a group course, so let’s support each other in these 21 days.
Look forward to reading your answers! :D

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« 21DJC Day 14 – What Is Love?

21DJC Day 16 – What Makes You Happy? »

165 Responses | Share Your Results!

  1. Ivona says:

    I’ve been blessed,and I really haven’t been trough painful stuff.Luckily,everyone close to me is healthy. I haven’t yet had any painful romance.
    The only pain I’ve been trough is the pain I myself caused, by feeling bad about myself. There was a period where I have been quite unhappy, and I used to cry very often.That was in 3rd grade, I was 17.
    But looking at a big picture I am happy :)

    Like: Thumb up +1

  2. Kimberly says:

    I try not to focus on the past too much anymore, for there is a lot of pain involved. This is a very tough question for me, but I will try and share.

    When I was five, I almost lost my father to a brain aneurysm. It was so painful to me I still remember how terrified I was that he was going to die. He went through an eight hour operation to remove five aneurysms, and they wouldn’t let me in to see him after because they said I was too young. My parents say I went crazy at the babysitter’s when she told me I couldn’t see my father, that I ran out to the balcony and screamed at her until she called my mother to take me to the hospital. I made that poor babysitter cry… but I got to see my dad. I almost lost him that day when his heart stopped from the trauma, but the doctors saved his life. To this day, I have always been extremely protective of my family and I will always put them first.

    Then, when I was fourteen, our house was taken from us by the bank. I remember leaving our home for the last time… I didn’t want to go, but we had no choice. I learned what it was like to live in a van for two months. We got to see a lot of the country though, so there is a bright side to that memory.

    But my most current, painful memory is having to separate myself from my mother, who I will always love but can no longer be around. Her alcoholism has ripped a hole in my family, and I am hated for marrying someone I love. I have been verbally attacked countless times, called horrible names and belittled at every opportunity throughout the last four years. I have cried a lot of tears because of this while I tried to mend our relationship over and over, but in the end things only have only gotten worse. I have realized I have to let go. It is the only option I have left.

    Like: Thumb up +6

  3. Alban Brice says:

    Being unemployed for 1 year was the most painful thing I’d experience to date.

    I considered it as a failure.

    Now, I considered it as the most beneficial to my personal development.

    Like: Thumb up +7

  4. lotusbleu says:

    Most painful thing to date is betrayal = the realization of misplaced trust + the disappointment in human nature & human vulnerability + the inability to trust subsequently + the inability of letting go of past hurt + the inability to forgive & forget.

    Like: Thumb up +2

  5. Celes says:

    Just a quick note that today’s task is about bringing awareness to the (both negative and positive) incidents in our life, acknowledging them, and being appreciative of what we do have. It doesn’t mean that we’re unhappy if we have incidents we feel pain about – pain is one of the many emotions we experience as humans and it’s important to acknowledge that and be aware of it.

    If any of you find it too painful to recollect a memory or to share it with others here, it’s fine and you don’t have to do it. There is no obligation here to share; you should only do it if it comes from the heart. One thing to note though is that to the extent where we still experience lingering emotions about something, it suggests we have not fully moved on from it. The point of this platform is to create a safe environment where all of us can share our painful experiences openly and authentically, and support each other in our growth, and hopefully trigger the start of a long, gentle recovery journey.

    Like: Thumb up +11

    • One thing I have learned in this life is that if we do not acknowledge and face the negative that happens we will never be able to truly understand and enjoy the positive events that happen. One can not exist without the other. Each painful experience has, once I was able to step back and examine it, given me something in my life that I have learned. It may have taken me years but the lesson was still there, still understood, still learned, and still improved upon the life I am working toward each and every day. :) Thanks for this blog, it has made me explore some things I had chose not to….. :clap:

      Like: Thumb up +7

  6. Fiat says:

    I have several painful experience in the past, and have try to ‘release’ it. I see no point to try to remember it and bring it back (Sorry Celes, seems that I can’t participate much in this journal :rolleyes: ).

    But, in order to release the painful experience, I have to contemplate and talk to myself, why is it painful. What happened? What is the reason? Sometimes it’s a small, meaningless incident but what makes it so painful?

    I find that whatever incident that did not inline with my value is painful, and the pains inflict more emotional damage when the incident / person(s) hit my value point blank. (such as being honest and accused of something I didn’t do, it’s simple incident but inflict a lot of pain).

    I’m grateful for Celes’s sharing regarding handling bully and the background fact goes with it. I can feel the pain when I’m powerless, that’s when someone hit my value and at that time I can’t do nothing.

    Like: Thumb up +2

  7. Matt says:

    What is the most painful thing I have experienced in my life?

    This is hard for me to answer. I feel that most of my inner pain and turmoil is self created. I haven’t gone through terrible losses like many other people in the world have. I have never been forced to go hungry, I have never had a serious medical ilness, I have never lived under an oppressive government, I was don’t feel I was ever physicaly or mentally abused, I have never fought in a war, I have never experienced a serious natural disaster.

    The painful experiences I deal with and have delt with are things I and some others might call “first world problems.” These are things like:

    - “I have a job that helps me to afford food, shelter, and medical care but I feel so unfulfilled.”

    - “All of my loved ones are in good health but I don’t have the realtionship I want with them so I am sad.”

    - “I don’t have any real evidence to prove it but I think other people don’t like me so I feel bad.”

    - “I’m young, healthy, and live in the United States but I have not acheived XYZ so I feel so disapointed with myself.”

    - “I’m lonely. I wish I had somebody to talk to.”

    Modern society has taken care of most “real” problems. For thousands of years people lived without electricity, in real danger from the elements, with uncertainty about the amount of food that could be acquired each season, with poor medical treatment, and with the real posibility that an army could march over the hill and take everything they have including their lives. Many people in the world may still live like this. Most of my problems are just inner angst. Problems that are just phantoms in my own head. When I recognize this though sometimes I feel ashamed for being so ungrateful for what I have and all my opportunites. So then my inner pain just self perpetuates and things spiral downwards and I end up creating career, money, health, and relationship problems for myself.

    I guess my most painful thing I have ever experienced is just self sabotage. It’s just inner grief and sadness, created by myself and nobody else, that is difficult for me to address the root cause of and deal with.

    Like: Thumb up +5

    • Bob says:

      Hi Matt,

      Sounds like you need something to fire you up. I looked at your website recently draw everyday, there are great beginnings, good structure and simple positive idea. I would like to learn drawing and I am sure there are many people who would as well.

      You can’t pick your relatives but you can choose your friends. Some relatives want to define us from their perspective of life and they don’t always share the same values and goals. Even if you change radically your perspective their attitude might be similar, but the difference will be for you is that you will have built your character. Some of my relations are only happy if I remain in certain position because it makes them feel stronger.

      Look forward to hearing more about your website.


      Like: Thumb up +3

      • Matt says:

        Thanks Bob. I appreciate it.

        Yes I definitely do need to continue working on my website. I always feel good about myself whenever I am making an progress at all on my personal projects. I have just started a new project on it that I am very excited about. It should be done in a couple weeks.

        Like: Thumb up +1

    • Jitender says:

      Hey dear you are not alone. We, all of us love to hear from you, talk to you so you don’t have to feel lonely. And one more thing you have to start loving yourself. That is the key to take off all the pain. ;)

      Like: Thumb up +1

      • Matt says:

        Thanks bud

        Yes self love it very important. One of the 30DLBL exercises is creating a long list of reasons why you love myself. I think I need to update mine :D

        Like: Thumb up +1

  8. Laurel says:

    The most painful thing I’ve ever had to experience in my life is the period of depression I went through when I was 15. The depression literally hurt me, physically, from the inside out. I fell into the depression because at my school, the students were treated like criminals. There was no respect and no education, and I felt oppressed because I was required by law to be there.

    During this dark period in my life, the only thing that kept me going was pride. I didn’t want to lose to an institution I respected so little, so I fought back and got myself out of that place.

    Now, when I look back, I think the experience has been valuable to me. Being able to recover from feeling so hopeless was the hardest thing I have ever done. It helps me value every moment because I remember the time when I thought I would never be happy again

    Like: Thumb up +2

  9. Peggy says:

    My daughter’s rape.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  10. Glenn says:

    The most painful thing I’ve ever had to experience to date.

    There’s just one experience that really sticks in my mind here, and that would be when my mum passed away as a result of a brain tumor and her problems leading up to then. A very personal story, and one that may end up taking a while to read here. But I’m ok about sharing this now. Apologies if it’s a bit too much for any of you to read.

    It was roughly two weeks before Christmas back in 1995 it began, but let me go back to the start. Earlier that year my mum had been diagnosed with cancer. From what they had told us, part of it was in her throat, and yet it had also spread to her back. Before discovering the cancer, she would suffer from this serious back pain. It must have been caused by the cancer. Up until roughly a year or before being diagnosed, she had also smoked, although quit after having to go into hospital for something else.

    Once diagnosed with cancer, the doctor put her on chaemotherapy. As a result of that, as is normally the case with chaemotherapy, she lost her hair. The chaemo knocked her around quite a lot, but she appeared to be ok. Apparently the first dose they gave her was too much, and because of that she was in hospital for a while after high on the morphine they were giving her. It was tough, but towards the end of the year she was off the chaemo and given the all clear. Apparently the cancer had all been removed according to the tests.

    Getting back to where I had started above, a couple of weeks before Christmas 1995. My mum’s hair had just started growing back, so things were looking good. Although she began falling over a few times and we couldn’t figure out why. Then there was one weekend when things got really bad. She became really forgetful and accused me of not doing a couple of things that I had already done, and my dad too. But she’d just forgotten. It was a really difficult to understand why and there were other things she did that were strange also, like cooking some mince that we’d bought to feed the cat. That weekend one of our budgies (birds) died too. Normally my mum would be really upset and cry whenever a pet died. But this time she didn’t care and told someone on the phone about it as if it were no big deal. That alone really shook me up, and I just knew something serious was wrong.

    My dad took her to be checked the next day, and as it turned out she had a brain tumor. They told us the chaemo must have caused the cancer to spread to the brain. I know for a fact now that cancer does not spread from the throat to the brain, so I’m quite certain it was the chaemo itself that caused it. Meaning at the time the doctors either had no idea what they were talking about or lied to us about it. So she went back into the hospital. From that point on things just got worse and there was nothing we could do.

    Since the brain tumor was pushing on her brain and even more so as it got bigger, this affected her in all different ways. Slowly she became unable to speak. I think the last time I heard her say anything was on Christmas day. We’d brought her home from the hospital in a wheel chair and she managed to say something to my cousin at her sister’s house, essentially telling my cousin she was ok. It was a really difficult time, and just seeing her sitting in the wheelchair unable to communicate was very hard. With the tumor affecting how her brain functioned and controlled her bodily functions, there were times she would be laying on the bed in the hospital and one of her arms would go in the air and stay there for no reason.

    Being only 23 and previously never having lost anyone close to me, I wasn’t coping too well. More frustrated than anything. The most difficult part was knowing that we would lose her soon, but not having a chance to properly say goodbye. The worse she became, the less she was able to communicate or understand. Eventually they moved her into another room at the hospital on her own. On January 2, 1996 around lunch time my dad was home from work for a break. We were about to go and visit her when the phone rang. It was the hospital letting us know she’d passed away. I think by that point we were glad it was over, although it affected my dad a lot worse than me. I thought back to when we had seen her the night before. Although at the point she had practically no ability to do anything, she somehow managed to hold my hand really tightly.

    At the time I was more angry than sad that they hadn’t detected it sooner, such as when they had given her the all clear a couple of months earlier. They scanned the rest of her body, but not her brain. Even if they had detected it then, there probably wouldn’t have been much that could have been done based on the doctor’s obvious lack of knowledge at the time. If only I knew then what I know now about nutrition and how our diet is the root cause of such diseases as cancer, I truly believe I could have saved my mum without chaemotherapy by putting her on a strict organic raw food diet, such as that recommened by Dr Robert Morse or other similar healers.

    Following on from there, my dad missed my mum so much that it seemed he almost gave up on himself and sadly passed away close to four and a half years later. He’d had a problem with his heart for a while, and it was the combination of that, catching pneumonia and an infection that got him. Thankfully in his case he knew his chances weren’t so good, so before they sedated him in the hope of getting his blood pressure back to normal, I had a chance to say my last goodbyes to him. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get him back to normal and we lost him a couple of days later.

    In a way, those whole 5 years were quite difficult for me, even though I had some good times with my dad when it was just the two of us. It affected me in other ways too. Just before losing my mum, I’d released my first CD with another guy. We had 4 tracks each on this CD, and it could have been the beginning of a decent music career for me. Following on from there I did a couple of tracks for compilations, but essentially feel that I may have lost faith in my own abilities from the time of losing my mum onwards. And it took me a while to get back on track.

    Like: Thumb up +4

    • Taffi says:

      Thats rough

      Like: Thumb up +4

    • May says:

      That is very rough :(

      I am sorry to read about your loss. This is a great lesson to learn how we should all take care of our bodies and live healthy.

      Like: Thumb up +3

    • Anu says:

      I can understand and empathize with your loss and frustrations. But I hope you do not brood over the things you could have done differently to help your mom. Instead think of all the good memories of your mom, and the people you can help now, with your knowledge of nutrition and health.

      Like: Thumb up +4

      • Glenn says:

        Thanks Anu, and no I don’t brood over things. It’s just an occasional thought I’ve had at times when I’ve learned something new about detoxification and healing. And the good memories are always there. Sometimes I have dreams about my parents and it’s like they had never left.

        Like: Thumb up +2

        • Jitender says:

          I am sorry for your loss.

          Like: Thumb up +2

        • Celes says:

          Hey Glenn, I’m really proud of you and how far you’ve come in the past 15, 16 years. I’m glad that PE somehow brought (all of) us together. It feels great being acquainted with all of you amazing souls.

          Like: Thumb up +2

    • Kamal says:

      Glenn, sorry to hear this. No one can take place of mother / father in this world.

      A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.

      Like: Thumb up +2

    • nicole says:

      :hug: Thanks for sharing Glenn. Like you, I too have lost my mother to cancer. I was 16 and it wasnt easy at all. We can always question the ‘whys’ and ‘what could have beens’, but it just was the way it was.

      I’m still learning how to deal with loss and finding my way in life without a mother’s unconditional love, but one thing i’m ever grateful for is that at least we got to spend a lovely 16 years together. :heart:

      Being appreciative, letting go and channeling positive energy (like this blog) into our lives helps! I’m sure you’ve already doing all of those & more too :)

      Like: Thumb up +4

      • Glenn says:

        Hi Nicole, I’m so sorry to hear that, and I just read your journal entry here too. It must have been really difficult just being a teenager at the time?

        But you’re right, we need to be grateful for that time we had together. I definitely am too.

        Like: Thumb up +2

    • swap says:

      That really brought tears to my eyes.

      I myself am undergoing a lot of pain currently because of wife’s infidelity.
      But my suffering seems like a cakewalk compared to what you must have gone through at such an early age.

      Wish you all the Best for your life.

      Like: Thumb up +1

  11. Pat Fuller says:

    Losing my mother was the most painful thing I’ve ever had to experience. She was my confidant and best friend. I am thankful that she lived to be 85 years old. Many of those years were difficult for us and we were not best friends. But the last 20 were really good and even though she has been gone for four years, I think I will never get over missing her.

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • One thing my Momma told me before she got real sick was that in life there is always death, it is the only guarantee in life that we have and that when it was her turn she wanted me to remember the good times that we had, the laughter, and forget all the bad. In this remembrance I can smile at her photographs….I still miss her, especially on bad days, but I know that if I listen to my heart, I can still hear the words she would have told me were we to be talking. :) :hug:

      Like: Thumb up +2

  12. Asni says:

    My most painful experience to date is my parents’ divorce.

    At that time I was six and my two sisters were 5 years old and 1 month old, respectively. I was terrified of having to stay with a stepmother.

    My mum did got custody of us and it was then that I know what a mother’s love is all about. I know then what a mother is capable of and I always say a prayer for my mum every day to this day, even though she’s no longer around.

    In those days, there was no such thing as alimony payment or any allowance for the children. My mother grew up during the Japanese occupation and had very little education, if any. When she was married to my father she was a full time housewife, devoting her heart and soul to him. So, you can imagine, what sort of job can she do to provide for herself and three girls! I remember her washing people’s clothes, cooking food to be sold at a hawker stall, working as a waitress and wait on tables, etc.

    Mum hardly smile and she was heart-broken. She carried on because she had three girls to feed and provide for. I had to be the mummy and the daddy to my two sisters. I had to grow up fast.

    It was the darkest period in my life ever. Growing up without a father is sad. I’ve since forgiven him, but I do sometimes wonder what it feels like as a child to sit on his lap or to walk around holding hands with him, etc. Both my dad and mum had since passed on.

    What lesson can I learn from this experience?

    * That I should treasure my marriage and honor the commitment that two people made with each other when they enter into this life long contract. Marriage is not for a day, a month, or a year.

    * Nurture my marriage and communicate with each other with due respect and love, always.

    * Children are precious and their well-being should always be placed first and foremost. It’s just not about you anymore.

    * This early experience in my life has left me stronger and more independent.

    * Things happen for a reason. They are meant to teach you something. Just realize that and appreciate the lesson being taught.

    From my dad’s second marriage, he left me with two step-sisters. They are the most warm, kind and loving women who I’ve met and known in this world. I now have two additional people to love and be loved in return. :heart:

    Like: Thumb up +7

  13. Andreea says:

    My first 20 years were painful because I was born with a rare disease and as a kid and teenager people were always staring and asking what happened to me. I began to think something is terribly wrong with me, that I’m disabled, that I’m unworthy. I ended up pretty damaged. Besides, my parents had to sell the house in order to pay for my surgeries and treatment and we never had our place again. Living with strangers, in rent, under other people’s rules and restrictions was rough. Add physical pain to all that and you’ll know that my daily life was a pain. But breaking up with my boyfriend was the final blow. That nearly killed me. Although I must admit it was a good thing after all, it made me change my life completely. And I’m glad we went seperate ways before hating each other. But not having him in my life is still the most painful experience.

    Like: Thumb up +3

    • nicole says:

      you sound like a strong person. keep going! :hug:

      Like: Thumb up +2

      • Andreea says:

        thanks Nicole, you are strong too! your mother helped you become the person you are today and that way, a part of her will always carry on within your heart. besides, you’ve got yourself another guardian angel up there :) :hug:

        Like: Thumb up +1

  14. May says:

    There are too many painful things that we all experience in life. I’m not sure what it is for me…I’ve had my fair share of physical and emotional pain. Personally, I don’t want to recall those memories because it’ll probably affect my “monotone” mood as of right now.

    Painful things…hrmm…beatings, fighting physically with someone (a guy too…), experiencing painful words, family rejecting me, having to give up on my hobby (<- that was pretty heart wrenching for me), going through stupid friendship problems, being lied to horribly, not being able to do anything…having to pass up so many opportunities, etc etc…I consider all of those my painful experiences (sorry for the run on by the way). I honestly don't think I can pick just ONE.

    Good day to all *tips hat*

    Like: Thumb up +2

  15. iImprove2 says:

    The most painful experience for me to date is the feeling of not being allowed something because I didn’t do something right, it makes me feel sad and disappointed.

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Jitender says:

      Now you know you haven’t done anything right. So you can start all over again by not doing those wrong things.

      Like: Thumb up +1


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