Everyone experiences some difficulty, pain and grief in life. A certain amount of unhappiness is a natural part of the process and learning entailed in living. Pain triggers natural defense processes that are meant to protect us. This can easily be seen in the case of the physical pain we experience if we touch something hot. The body instinctively pulls back because it is not good for it. With psychological pain it is often not as easy to see the cause, although the psyche has its own instinctive way of defending itself here, too. Often, however, the defense structures established in childhood (primarily by withdrawal, aggression or submission) become restricting when, in adults, they contribute to a rigid personality based on fear and negative assumptions that limits our ability to grow. It can lead to a crisis if we either do not listen to the message in the pain, or our beliefs do not allow us to change. Although we may dislike this, pain is actually is an opportunity for expansion and renewed life. Nature is forcing us to change--for our own benefit.