Have you noticed how when we’re upset, when we cry, even when we have a very good reason for it, people jump in to soothe us and stop us crying.
‘There. there, it’ll be alright, don’t cry, it’s all okay.’
The soothing and comforting are great, denying us the right to cry, not so much.
When we feel pain, we need to let it out, to express it, to release it, whether we do that through crying, raging, sobbing uncontrollably, screaming at the sky, laughing inappropriately. Whatever we need to to, we need to do it.
But other people get discomfited by expressions of pain and grief and they want it to stop, because they don’t like feeling uncomfortable. We want the crying to stop for our own reasons, nothing to do with the one crying.
This was really brought home to me recently when Amelia was recovering from her surgery, in pain from her wounds and still feeling the effects of the anaesthesia. She spent several nights and days whimpering and crying.
And it made me feel awful.
So, I kept trying to shut her up. ‘Please stop crying, baby, please stop. Do you want a treat, a drink, what can I get you to stop you crying? How do I make you feel better?’
And I realised how selfish that was. Of course, I didn’t want her to be in pain but I wanted her to stop crying because her crying made me feel so bad. I was feeling guilty, helpless in the face of her pain and suffering and my inability to make it better for her.
Our pain is real and its our pain. It has a lesson, a message for us. Of course, physical pain needs to be investigated and can be managed with medication. I’m all for lessening pain as long as we know why its there and taking steps to heal the origin of it.
But pain needs to be borne, we grow as we go through it, we learn and become more than we were before.
Pain can be a growth steroid, moving us faster into a new place of being.
But we have to own the discomfort, the uncertainty and ugliness of our pain, where its coming from, the situation that caused our pain first and we must express that pain however feels best to us, to get it out of our body, our mind and our spirit.
And if you’re fortunate, you’ll find someone who will sit with you through that, a witness, a supporter who stays with you while you work through your pain. Not a fixer, someone who wants to solve everything for you or paper over the cracks and pretend everything’s okay.
Our pain is valid – whatever the circumstance – even if we caused it ourselves through our own actions – we feel how we feel. You have a right to your own feelings and a need to express them however you can.
So express them, regardless of what other people say, whether it makes them uncomfortable.
Maybe you being so honest and open with your feelings will give them permission to feel their feelings too.
But you are only responsible for yourself and how you feel. If other people around you are discomfited by you openly displaying your emotions, that’s their problem, not yours,
Kindness to others comes after Kindness to yourself. Always start within.
So I shut up and sat beside Amelia, holding her close and letting her know how much I loved her while she told me how much she hurt. And I cried for her, I cried for myself, I think I cried for the whole damn world.
And today, she’s feeling a little better and I’m so happy to see her recovery start to show itself. But never again will I try to silence her expression of her pain.
And I’ll not let anyone stop me expressing my own pain, most especially not myself. Because that part of me that always worries about what other people might think? I’m telling her, Fuck em, if I’m feeling it, I’m expressing it.
And remember, feelings are transitory, they come and go. Whatever you’re feeling is real but it won’t last. This too shall pass. Whether good or bad, nothing last forever.
Feel it now, let it go and be totally authentic. Because that’s who you are, all of you and you can’t connect with other people if you’ve disconnected from yourself.
PS. If you’ve been stuck, feeling like you’ve been living the same day over and over and its no fun anymore, if you’ve fought weight issues, depression, anxiety, addiction, or simply a feeling of general dissatisfaction with how your life is unfolding for you, and you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked. It’s natural to feel that a solution is almost impossible.
That’s part of what keeps the problem in place.
But real lasting change is possible.
Think how it would feel achieving your goals with far less resistance, whether it’s dropping excess weight, gaining freedom from depression and anxiety, being a rockstar in your business or career, or excelling in your personal relationships. You can do it, you have no fears about staying stuck and not moving forward anymore.
See yourself fully present and grounded, living with total fulfillment and satisfaction with how life is unfolding for you, with no regrets, as you carve your own path forward, moving forward always forward, no looking back .
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