The first step to healing emotional pain is also the hardest, it’s to make space for the hurt. To see it and to feel it.
Our fears and anxieties exist for a reason. They are trying to tell us something. Same with pain in the body. When we experience physical or emotional pain, we are being told “Hey! I need your attention over here. This needs to be addressed”!
The most important part of the body is the part that hurts
I heard a saying recently that really made an impression on me: The most important part of the body is the part that hurts. The pain is speaking to us. It’s begging to be seen and believe me, it will go to great lengths to do so. Have you ever noticed that “healthy” folks are balanced and joyful both in the body and the mind and “unhealthy” folks are full of pain both in the body and the mind as well? This is because the mind and the body are truly and deeply connected.
When I was 12 years old, my dad passed away. For many reasons, I felt that I needed to avoid showing sadness or any other negative emotion at all costs. I felt I needed to be strong for the family I had left. So, I repressed. I didn’t even understand grief. I choked the tears back until I couldn’t. Until I broke down in panic every so often. About 6 months after he left his body, my appendix exploded. Boom. My body came to my mind’s rescue in announcing that something was terribly wrong and one way or another, I would be made to feel it. After nearly losing my life, I had to be still in a cold, sterile room, in the same hospital my dad had died in only months before, and surrender to the emotional pain that had turned into despair.
I understood something wasn’t wrong with me,
something was wrong for me.
Unfortunately, I didn’t connect the dots for another 13 years. My mind and body had been setting off alarms and sending me hurt in all different ways that I didn’t register as signals. Instead, I took those signals to mean something was wrong with me (thanks superego). But it wasn’t until recently that I understood something wasn’t wrong with me, something was wrong for me.
When you’ve never learned to accept physical and emotional pain, to give it the attention it needs, it’s super difficult and scary at first. Who am I kidding, it’s still scary. But you practice and practice and practice and to learn to embrace the scary. You feel and hurt and cry and scream and write and create and share until the pain is no longer yours. You sit with the pain and oh man, it hurts. But it’s okay because you’re safe. You’re in control. And the pain is your friend. The pain is here to help you heal. And then at one point maybe you feel grateful for the pain because it means you’re alive. And even pain is beautiful.
All the love,