Just a note before you start to read this blog. Please note that anything that I am writing about, I am sharing with you because, in some way, shape, or form, this topic has touched my life and shaped who I am as a result of my challenges. I share this with you, in the hope that your road will feel more normalized and know there is no shame in humbly acknowledging when changes need to be made.
Pain comes to us in many forms. Perhaps we were first introduced to pain when we witnessed a parent or a grandparent go through something painful when we were children. Your first experience of emotional pain may have been when you were a teenager, falling in love for the first time and having your heart broken. There are so many facets of pain that we experience during our life. It is very important that we rid ourselves of emotions that will not serve our growth. With that being said, please understand when I say that pain can help us gain strength if it is used in the context of growth. We have a choice as to how we will use our pain.
Many time’s in our lives, we ride the waves of emotional pain. Emotional pain is something that we tend to collect from our young years and if we are not careful, we continue to add to the existing pain and hold it close to us, like a shield as we grow older. Over time, we will see the pain morph from sadness to anger. If we are careless with our pain, it can be used as an inner-generational weapon, spreading it to our unsuspecting children or other people that we hold close. Our reaction to pain is generally not to embrace what we are feeling, we tend to want to get away from the pain. We put it on the back burner and store it in the far recesses of our minds. The truth of the matter is that we must unpack the pain. We can’t carry it with us and be healthy. Here are a few tips for unpacking our emotional pain.
ACKNOWLEDGE your pain. Don’t run from it. It is important that your emotions do not run you, you must have the upper hand. I often suggest, after you have identified the pain, to spend a few minutes a day with it, until there is not much more left than a distant memory. Writing to your pain is one way to deeply look at its context, to really examine it. Looking at the pain, familiarizing yourself with the emotions that are attached to it, sit with it. Give it permission to show up, give it permission to leave until you sit with it again. If you call it forth and you really give it the time that it needs to be addressed, eventually, you will find peace in letting go.
TRUST that you can use your pain for growth. You may ask, “how can you possibly use pain for the purposes of growth?” The answer is that you take the painful experience and you promise yourself that you would never hurt someone the way that you have been hurt. You can allow your pain to harden you emotionally or you can use it to find love in unexpected places. You can use your experience to practice empathy towards another that may have felt the same kind of pain you felt. So much growth is possible if you simply make a decision on how you want to use your pain.
Until now, perhaps you may have thought that you can't do much about the pain that has been bestowed upon you or you may think that you can not do anything about the pain that you have given to others. Believe me when I tell you there is a CHOICE. Take your emotional power back and if necessary choose differently. Choose peace. You deserve peace.
Bernadette (the most human of humans)