I recently had a client say to me, “it’s so much better if I just don’t think about it.” I knew exactly what she meant – sometimes we experience great pains that hurt to even think about, and it seems to be easier to not think about it, than to face it. Ever been there?
The truth is, the only way to heal is to feel. Sometimes we need to keep our eyes above the waves and not look at the pain we’re experiencing just to get through a very raw moment, and I totally support that; the middle of a business meeting is not the opportune moment to get in touch with your emotions. But, if we want those emotions to stop threatening to bubble up at inconvenient times – we have to eventually let them out.
The only way to take the sting out of pain is to shine light on it – to give it a voice, to let it be heard. It can’t threaten you with bubbling up if you let it come out. I have painted, written in my journal, choreographed a dance, written poetry, even personified the emotion – anything to get what I’m feeling out of me; to diminish its strength, to make it less scary, to really see what I’m working with and allow it to be seen, felt, and heard. Allow it to be part of the story instead of pretending it doesn’t exist, and see what magic pours out of you.
The thing we often take for granted is how much of a teacher pain can be, if we let it. It shows us what we want from life and from other people, it shows us what’s important to us, and what we’re not ready for. It asks if we’re willing to get back up and try again, even though it might be back to visit us. Through pain we discover our strength, courage, willingness, devotion, and desire. No other emotion brings such clarity.
Don’t get me wrong - it totally sucks. It sucks to be in emotional pain – there is very little escape and it can be so consuming that it affects every part of your life. But what if the pain you’re experiencing is an invitation to peel away a layer of yourself, and get to know yourself on a deeper level? What if pain is guiding you to the next level of your life – and this is the price of admission? What if what is beyond this is more beautiful than you could even imagine, but wouldn’t be appreciated without this experience? The key is to feel the pain, learn from the pain, and then (perhaps the hardest part), be willing to open up and try again.
Wishing you a week of bravery and willingness to listen.
With love and gratitude,