Letting The Pain In
“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” –Bernice Johnson Reagon
A friend of mine once told me that everyone has a time in their life which truly tests them and shakes them to their core; this past year was mine. I have faced a serious health problem, lost a significant relationship, moved cities, and had professional challenges. I’ve also lost loved ones, and seen my friends go through the same.
In these situations, I have been through the roller coaster of emotions from denial, despair, anger, and hopelessness. I have felt enduring pain, lost faith and visited the depths of “rock bottom”.
Going through this year has been one of the most challenging times, but it has also been one of the most humbling. I have learned more about myself in this year than in the past ten combined.
When I was going through this past year, most people often told me to feel better, think of other things, and try to move on. I was told to cheer up, think positively, and accept things as they are.
Although I did eventually reach acceptance, my route wasn’t the one I was told to take.
I found that the best way to reach acceptance for me was by honouring my pain, letting myself feel it fully, and having the courage to accept where I was at each day.
In our culture, pain is often viewed as something negative which must be overcome and removed. It is seen as a sign of weakness and frailty.
However, for me, pain is one of the best teachers and guides I’ve ever had.
By experiencing pain, I am better able to acknowledge my emotions, allow their full expression, and feel okay being vulnerable.
By experiencing pain, I gain self confidence and trust in myself as well as in the process of life. It reminds me that challenges are a part of life, and I am better able to accept change and endure whatever comes.
Lastly, by experiencing pain, I am able to practice self love, do what I need to take care of myself, and reach out to others for support. It also teaches me to practice compassion and empathy for other beings experiencing pain in the world around me.
If you’re experiencing a tough time right now in your life, I know how hard it can be. I encourage you to let the pain in.
Ask yourself, how is this painful experience a gift? What is this pain teaching me? What can I learn from it?
Pain has added so much richness to my human experience, and I’ve grown stronger both personally and spiritually because of it. I hope this post helps you do the same.
Experience pain. Lean into it. Grow from it.