How Pain Gets Triggered and How to Eliminate It

Posted on: November 15th, 2017 in mindset by Pat Mesiti | 15 Comments

Pain according to Jane Fuller

Recently I came across a truly inspirational quote from British film producer, Jane Fuller – ‘Pain can only be triggered by another if there is pain inside you’. Jane is indeed a woman of many talents. As well as running an award-winning film production company in London, she writes for British news sites. But her quote struck me as being particularly true. If you are already angry it is very easy for other people to upset or annoy you. For example, you may have a health concern and are waiting on medical tests, stressed and worried you are liable to fly off the handle over the smallest thing. If someone is late, you explode. If your partner breaks a cup you let lose. You are only reacting with pain because there is already pain inside you. When the test results come back and you get the all clear you return to your usual sunny self!

Pain triggers

However, it is worth considering that we also have deeper long-term hurts that sit within our core: fractured connections with family, broken relationships with partners. We have buried these hurts, but sometimes something happens that causes them to resurface. For example, when a romantic relationship ends you might find yourself mourning the loss of your partner, but also the loss of previous partners. You are effectively grieving a number of broken relationships. Or you may find yourself working with a dogmatic and uncompromising individual who reminds you of your father and suddenly you are grappling with feelings of anger towards that parent all over again. Pain can only be triggered by another person if there is already pain inside you.

Why we carry pain

Why do we all carry residual pain? The answer is pretty simple. We carry pain because we haven’t been able to forgive people who have hurt us. Jane Fuller writes that ‘forgiveness truly is the key to freedom with any issue in life’. You may or may not believe in the Bible, but it very clearly directs us to forgive. The Lord’s prayer goes “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” You might think the Bible gives us this commandment because God wants us all to be good folks. That is true, but we are also told to forgive so we don’t have to drag around our anger, bitterness and disappointment. That is heavy baggage to carry through life! You aren’t going to get very far if you are weighed down by all that rubbish. But if you forgive you get to leave all your hurt, disappointment, anger and outrage by the roadside. Another part of the Bible also says of Christianity, ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light’.

Pain and forgiveness

I know that it is not always easy to forgive. Some people have suffered terrible injustices. They have been abused as children, betrayed by spouses and cheated out of fortunes. But I will let you into a secret. No injustice can have a permanent effect on you unless you hold onto the hurt. Please, leave the people who have hurt you behind. Simply grant them forgiveness and move on. You may have to accept that they are flawed and damaged. They are simply bad, perhaps even evil people. They have hurt and disappointed you but they have done what they have done. It can’t be undone – forgive them and leave them behind.

Forgiveness is so healing and healthy. You will feel happier and lighter after you forgive. Guilt, anger, shame and regrets are heavy burdens. If you have these feelings, you don’t have a monkey on your back, it’s more like a 100kg sumo wrestler. Leave this sumo wrestler behind and you will finally be able to enjoy today. If you harbour a grievance you are living in the past and reliving past hurts. Let the past go so you can enjoy what today has to offer. By letting go of hurts you release energy and let your soul fly!

Letting go of pain

Jane Fuller, who wrote that pain can only be triggered by another if there is pain inside you, had some great tips on forgiving. She suggests that meditation helps release the hold pain has on our thought patterns. Yes, meditation is great, but you know that I will go further and say prayer is even better. You get to call on God to help you forgive. Hey, we need all the help we can get!

Jane also believes that spending time in nature is a form of healing. Try walking on a beach or in a park. Writing or journaling is another excellent way of processing emotions.

I follow the advice of the lyrics of that song – try a little kindness. Commit random acts of kindness every day. Try to be good, indulgent even to all people, even strangers. Do not beep your car horn if someone is slow changing lanes, open a door for a mother struggling with a pram. Send your love out into the world, otherwise you will find that anger and exasperation eat you up.

Ms Fuller also suggests sending loving energy into your past. If it is not too painful, remember how you felt when you were most broken and tell that past version of yourself that you are strong and will care for them. You might want to consider joining a support group or even seeking trauma counselling from a registered psychologist if you have an exceptionally painful past to deal with.

Forgiving ourselves

Sometimes the main person we need to forgive is our self. We are all capable of being stupid, greedy, self-indulgent, vain and plain bad. Do not spend your whole life beating yourself up. Show and feel true remorse then start learning from your mistakes and become a better person. Jane Fuller wants us all to put our hands on our hearts and say “I forgive myself and I accept myself exactly as I am”.

The one quote I return to again and again is from Nelson Mandela who was unjustly imprisoned in a South African jail for 27 years. I will end by citing what Mr Mandela wrote in his biography:

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.


Pat Mesiti is a best-selling author, coach and educator in the area of personal development. Having built some of Australia’s largest people-driven organisations, Pat understands the power of harnessing human potential. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s great business minds and has sold over millions of copies of his books and materials.


  1. Brian Rodrigues says:

    Awesome article. Thanks Pat.

  2. Trish says:

    That’s so empowering ❤️

  3. Rodney osborne says:

    Great blog Pat. Holding on to pain will cause greater wasted pain, the title of my new book. Forgiveness is so very important and we do need all the help we can get to do this. It is helpful to forgive if we know we have been forgiven ourselves.

  4. C says:

    Hi Pat,
    Thank you for this blog. Although I understand and agree with your blog, and many times reading other similar blogs or books on this topic of forgiveness frees us, I can see within myself that forgiving others is a process and a journey that sometimes takes many small steps and sometimes years to let go of the pain and anger on the wrongs done. However I feel that in my situation I have no more pain and no more anger towards my sister in law who encouraged my 15year old daughter (only child) to leave me and live with her when her father passed away 8 eight years ago, so that she could have access to my daughters estate funds of over $3m. In order to spent funds at her will and for her own personal use.

    However, I still can’t forgive her. It’s taken eight years to rebuild and reconnect properly with my daughter again, she is now 23yrs old, and a very strong minded independent girl, who has been heavily influenced by her fathers family non religious and very care free ways. However, I can see that each year, my daughter is balancing herself out again, into the person she was becoming prior to 15 years old, whilst losing close friends from her inner circle, realising slowly her aunts life values are not working for her, and this world isn’t as easy to live in as she thought it would be.

    The impact my sister in law had on me by taking custody off me was not only unbelievable, but soul destroying. I lost my house financially, my home, my family unit with my only child, my professional job, and my normal functioning life all due to the anger and severe pain I carried for eight years. My daughter lived with her aunt until 18 yrs old then she moved into her own apartment which they bought for her with her estate funds. I was completely shut out of my daughters life until she was 20yrs old.

    However, even though today, I am still renting a small apartment, just secured a corporate professional job again, starting to save again and rebuild myself and my life, I feel a sense of freedom and am happier with the minimum I have, because I know my daughter is free from her aunt now (financially and emotionally) and is figuring out the very long hard way how this cruel world operates.

    In summary, I have forgiven my daughter for choosing to live with her aunt, leaving me and our family home, as she was grieving her dad. But I can’t yet forgive my sister in law, even though I feel at peace with where I have ended up in my journey today.

    I pray every day and that gets me through.

    Thank you for the blog, it helps to reinforce the key message bit by bit on the huge topic of forgiveness. And I pray that one day soon I fully understand the freedom of forgiving someone brings.

    Hope you are well and happy Pat.


  5. Lyneece North says:

    Thamk u Pat for sharing this today 🎁🎈💞💝💖

  6. Susan Kennedy says:

    beautiful words and I love the ‘spread a little kindness’ part. Being kind to self is the warmest gift you can give to yourself and to others, thanks for the share Pat , Susan

  7. Reen says:

    This peice is highly educative and comforting. Stress or depression is actually feeding on humanity this time around without knowing it. We need to move on by not getting stuck. Accept the bad experience encountered, learn from it and make progress. Forgive yourself and those that have harmed you to move on. Getting stuck should never be an option. “Life is what you make it.” Everyone has had their lows and highs; these actions become your mirrors from which you build your strength. Most of our challenges make us strong.
    Great article.

  8. Vicky says:

    Hi Pat,
    I would just like to thank You so very much for sending this email to me.
    It is so awesome.
    May God bless You & your family richly

  9. Helen says:

    Thank you for sharing.

    Truly inspirational, though a challenging concept for some…

    I’ve just returned from a 9 day trekking adventure & personal challenge in the sacred mountains of Japan’s Kumano Kodo region…

    Days of strolling in nature amongst magnificent & endless trees, natural greenery, mountain streams & hot spas..
    Endless shrines & temples devoted to the worship & praise of trees & the timeless wonders of nature.

    5 & 6am starts to join in with Buddhist sacred purification ceremonies that selflessly pray for peace & forgiveness for the victims of both natural disasters but also acts of violence & terrorism worldwide.

    What a humbling experience.

    Days of tree bathing to loose myself in fathomless personal introspection.

    What an education!

    Back on home soil awaiting a domestic connection, the students were obviously ready as an indigenous artist & teacher appeared to share educational, cultural & dream time stories of our timeless connection to nature along with beautiful illustrations of spiit tree and scar tree art works whilst sipping on delicious green tea…

    The universal lesson certainly appears to be to make the time to take the time out to reconnect with the infinite magnificence of nature.

    I rediscovered my passion!!!

  10. Jennifer langford says:

    Perfect I needed that

  11. Kuve Bradley says:

    This is so true we are all releasing some form of pain. I work with peoples releasing pain and emotional blocks everyday.
    Thank you for the reminder even myself I have to look and forgive.
    Looking forward to the weekend.

    Kuve Jansky Bradley
    The Energy Mediator

  12. Jayne Saunders says:

    As usual the universe in its synchronicity has sent this to me at a time when I need this reminder the most.

    thanks Pat for being there when we need you xx

  13. Libby Gardiner says:

    Forgiveness is so empowering – give it to God and let him deal with it.

  14. Maria says:

    Meaningful for me today

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