Listen to your pain

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Listen to your soul

Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.


“Pain does not define us-it refines us”-Jonathan Bailey, The Eternal Journey


Disappointed. Embarrassed. Booed.  Chastised. Verbally abused.

These are not the words that you would expect to be associated with the captain of a football team as famous as Manchester United (Man Utd). Yet, this was the reality faced by Harry Maguire who not only lost the Man Utd captaincy, but was recently poised to be transferred to West Ham United, a less successful team.

How do you respond when your dreams are shattered in front of your very eyes? What is it like one day to be the world’s most expensive defender and, then, a few years later to be ridiculed by your own fans? This has to be emotionally damaging.

As I was advised a few weeks ago, Maguire probably also needs to lean into his pain.  Growth happens in times of affliction. Mourning my father’s passing has been quite unpredictable. Good days. Bad days. Laughter in the morning. Tears in the night. Let me add this, though: I recently realized that writing these blogs has been cathartic for me. Thanks for being a listening and supportive audience. Your presence is a gift.

Bailey’s words above are deep. Depending on our response to adversity, pain can either define us or refine us. The choice is clearly ours. Another spiritual writer, Trevor Hudson, in his book Hope Beyond Your Tears put it this way: “Pain must be processed if it is to become a positive, constructive experience. Pain needs to find a voice and be expressed.”

I am learning that tears can be healthy. To cry is to be human. It is a sign of a functioning heart. Grief can produce empathy and so it becomes a way to love others. We can embrace it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.  


Give pain a voice. Don’t suppress it, express it.  

If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Michelle Marcus

    Thank you Tyrone. Every word is so true. Pain is the link I believe to seek help. If you have a toothache, depending on the gravity of it, medical help will be required. I love the idea of leaning into the pain as it is the only way to deal with it. I understand your pain and can relate to some extent.

  2. J. Tyrone Marcus

    Thanks, Michelle. I guess the old saying is true: “No pain, no gain.”

  3. Maria Davis-Toussaint

    Thanks Tyrone for this, I remember when my father passed, the pain was so really everyday, then I understand and was thankful for the time that God had given me with him, all the time he helped me up, carried me and even punished me. I know he loved me and was very proud of the woman I had grown into, he saw my life changed and how important my walk with God was, I was able to share God’s word with him and love him. Know Tyrone that the lost will always be a part of your live but know that his love for you was alo real. You are loved always my brother

  4. J. Tyrone Marcus

    These are very kind and compassionate words, Maria. Thank you very much.

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