We can hide from pain. A person told me, "I stayed in a bad relationship because I could hide there. I didn't have to face what got me into it to begin with. I didn't have to face what kept me in it. I hid out so I didn't have the light I needed to get out and live my life."
CG Jung wrote, "There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."
Jung's words hit hard if we've taken time to reflect on our lives. When there's been big growth there's always been birth pains. For the person in a bad relationship, it meant facing this reality and then getting out. For another it might mean taking the chance of entering into relating on an intimate level.
Decisions make the soul. We decide to hide, to come out and live, to make the soul from deliberate choices. Birth pains, life pains, choice pains make us who we are. We are in the making process, unless we choke it off from fear, don't live, don't make the choices that need to be made. Decisions make the soul.