This post has been in my back pocket for a while now, but I think it’s the right time to publish it as the holidays can trigger painful emotions for a lot of people….
Enjoy the read and feel free to share if it resonates with you!
If you had asked me 6 months ago how I cope with pain I would have told you I do just fine. Its factual and simply a part of life. Experiencing a loss is devastating but eventually we move on. The world will continue to turn. There’s no sense in dwelling in the sadness. Next chapter.
But it’s not as easy as understanding and accepting that pain is inevitable. I think the biggest aspect of understanding suffering is truly feeling its effect. Sinking into those emotions and with time, releasing them. I’ll be honest… this is something that I’m really, really, really bad at. I try to skip the ‘sinking into’ phase and head straight into the release. I used to become painfully uncomfortable when someone cried. Heat flashes would rip up and down my body and I would send every ounce of positive vibe to that person so that they could pull it together and quit leaking. My mind would race with thoughts of how I could calm that person down. I’d tell them: “It’s OK. Everything will be all right. You’re strong and you can get through this”. I used to say this to our kids every time they’d start crying: “It’s ok sweetheart. You’re all right. You’ll be OK, no need to cry. You can stop crying now”.
I shifted my thinking once I delved into mindfulness. Instead of trying to calm someone who’s upset, what if I said nothing? What if I just held the space for them to release whatever they needed to release? Leaking is OK. Sobbing is fine. Life can throw you a shit ball every once and a while and it sucks. There’s no tiptoeing around it. It’s awful to see someone you love experience pain- especially if it’s your child. But pain is part of the ebb and flow of our world. Even as I write this I’m barrelling into thoughts of silver linings that can come from suffering- but that’s not what I want to share with you. Not now. I want to encourage you to acknowledge the pain and be available in this moment, for yourself or whoever is suffering. It’s a powerful experience when you’re able to hold that space for someone… to resist the urge to comfort and instead to breathe through the pain.
Right now I’m going to make a commitment to myself that I will stop repressing pain and start releasing it. One way to do this is through visualization. I’m visualizing the pain leaving my body and there consequently being space available. Space to feel the next feeling.
Could you imagine if an entire generation was able to feel their feelings? I think that would be the ultimate breakthrough. I think that’s what being mighty is all about.