Pain in life is guaranteed. We all experience it, and as much as possible, avoid it.
Whether it’s mentally, physically or emotionally, we are all dealing with pain in our lives. Now, sweet spiritual ones, before you press send on your hate mail, this is not some “negative” blog rant- it’s an exploration of truth. Authenticity is my gig and fake positivity isn’t part of that. So please, humour me.
In my experience, loss and struggle are a part of life, a part of being human. And pretending its all peaches and cream doesn’t change that for shit. What I find interesting though, is that actually being vulnerable enough to feel our pain seems to be the challenge, not the feelings themselves. It really is hard to thoroughly investigate all of the prickly, pointy edges that pain offers. Because who wants to stay with something that makes your stomach churn?
It’s much easier to avoid the ‘bad’ feelings, than to make friends with them.
Think about the last time you exercised. At any point along the road did your mind try to tell you that you were bound to snap your ankle, get murdered, forget how to use your legs and face-plant in front of that cutie? I’ll bet it did.
And what did you do? Did you stop running? Maybe you did. And that’s ok. But for the example let’s say you didn’t stop, that you chose to push through. Despite what your scared brain was telling you, there was a part of you that knew that you were OK, so you kept running.
So why is it that we struggle so much to do this when it comes to the dreaded E word? Emotions are not life threatening. They cannot hurt us in any physical way. And if we would simply allow ourselves to experience them as they are meant to be, TEMPORARY, they wouldn’t probably hang around so long.
And yet it seems as soon as we are faced with a difficult emotion and lose signal on good time radio and fall right into fear FM, we immediately want to switch off. We’ll eat, drink, or fight until we don’t feel it anymore.
The tragedy is that because we have such a hard time being still in these moments, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to find something new.
What if instead of reaching for the brownie/bourbon/one night stand, we actively looked for the comfort hiding in the discomfort? That when we find ourselves in that sticky place, we were somehow able to remind ourselves that the uncomfortable feeling is just a small part of our experience, and it will eventually pass. And, if we are interested enough to take a look around that inside of it was a jewel of wisdom way more useful than a hangover.
I believe that there is a place inside every uncomfortable emotion that offers it’s solution, where if we so choose, we have an opportunity to make our pain productive and not destructive. And if you can master it, you can open yourself up to a new learning experience rather than falling victim to the feeling.
So the next time you feel yourself falling into a “negative” emotion spiral, try staying there for a moment, and asking what there is to be seen. I guarantee it will change your life.