Well, this post has been in incubation for quite some time. I hemmed and I hawed about when, or if, I should post this. It isn’t bad or good, it’s honesty. It’s vulnerability. It’s courage. It’s an unmasked look into what is reality. It’s freedom.
If you know me at all this will come as no shock to you that I tend to see things black and white (those who know me will get a little chuckle out of that…..no pun intended LOL!). I like to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and don’t mess with the in between. I have definitely learned how to show grace in any given situation and how to view things from another’s perspective, but for the most part I see things pretty straight forward. Depending on how you perceive it, it can be a blessing and a curse.
Believe it or not, I actually like me. I like that I have crazy curly hair that seems to take a bagillion years to grow and I would love for it to be super long, not Rapunzel long like in Tangled, but a lot longer than it is currently. I like that I am fun to be around (except when I am hangry, run for the hills! haha). I love to see others laugh even if it is at my expense! I love that I am artistic and creative. I like that I can make people feel comfortable and at ease when they are around me. I like that people can feel free to be themselves around me (no need to put up a front, because I will generally sniff that out like an English Setter fresh on the hunt!). I like that I have the ability to see a need and desire to help in any way I can to fulfill that need. There is something so beautiful to me in helping someone succeed or accomplish whatever it is that they were doing. There is more that I could convey, but you get the gentle gist that I like who I am, who I have become and who I am still becoming.
I assure you that me describing how I view myself comes from a healthy confidence. I know who God made me and it is ok to embrace the wonderful ways that make me, me!
There is one thing though, that I have realized in the past few months is, that I don’t like to feel. Yes, you heard that correctly. I can see you now with your furrowed brow, that puzzled look on your face and your head tilted slightly as if to say, “did she really just say that,” yep, I sure did.
So let me start by saying this, I feel ALL kinds of things to varying degrees, pain, joy, happiness, sadness, grief, loneliness, heartache, etc. There are some things I would obviously love to feel more than others, but let’s face it, life happens and we gotta feel all the feels.
I am sure at some point in your life you have felt one of these feelings. I am going to go on a wild guess and say that you don’t particularly like the “negative” emotions that tend to come your way. Well, that makes two of us…..or should I say more honestly, “it used to make two of us.”
You see as odd as it may sound I have learned to welcome deep pain. The kind of deep pain that hurts so intensely that you feel like your physical heart is going to shatter upon the glass floor of your soul and your body is aching in agony….yeah, THAT kind of pain.
I used to run from this kind of pain. I wouldn’t even let myself feel the pain because it was just too heavy, too raw, to real. But it was in the quivering moment I inquisitively opened myself up to feel the pain, to become acquainted with it, to let it take its bloody course through my veins, I realized it was in and of itself, the anecdote for what ailed me. (yes, as I opened the door to feel the pain there were floods of tears whilst I rested in the fetal position for hours…just keepin’ it real!)
Pain brings with it the announcement that something is amiss, something isn’t quite right and it needs to be mended and made whole. If we continue to dismiss the pain, pretend it doesn’t exist or modify our behavior or actions to accommodate our avoidance of said pain, we are ultimately delaying the healing process with a great potential for the pain to fester.
Pain has this lovely way of continually trying to get attention and make itself known. If we continue to avoid and ignore it, it will find its way out some other way. Sometimes it is through overwhelming sadness, anger, depression, avoidance, un-forgiveness and anxiety, to name a few.
Pain is an invitation. It invites us to ask questions, to process, to grow, to learn and eventually to heal.
Pain is not a dwelling place, but a place to pass through to find healing. It is something that we can welcome, even when it is hard and seems to never want to relent. I know pain can seem to come often and stay longer than we had hoped, but don’t give up there is light at the end of the tunnel!!
Give yourself permission to feel the pain.
When pain comes, take time to process through the pain.
Do not let others shame you into thinking that you cannot or should not feel the pain you are feeling. You don’t have to “get over it” at another’s demand.
If you feel that you are stuck in the pain, ask for help. Go to a trusted and reliable friend or a professional counselor/therapist, but for goodness sake please don’t go through the pain alone.
Embracing pain shows courage and vulnerability.
I want to leave you with this poem I wrote awhile back:
Dour is the infinite hour
Of gaping holes and bleeding thoughts.
A fierce tsunami rips through the sorrowed soul
Thrashing the heart with its ceaseless torrent.
Come swiftly, come strong, don’t delay in your pursuit.
I feel you close now, I am bleeding with truth.
I inhale, I hold my breath, I feel the sweet release.
There, there it is.
The pain that sounded the alarm is now giving…..
I exhale, life.
Be strong and courageous today!