The last week has been emotionally challenging. As a matter of fact, it brought me to my knees. I’ve been hurting. Deeply. And this is a GOOD THING!
You see, I’m intellectual and a bit of an introvert. Which means, if left to my own devices, I’d spend way too much time inside my own head. I’ve had to consciously apply myself to the practice of presence, living in the moment, and actually living in body and experiencing my feelings. I’ve gotten much better at these things, particularly since having children, practicing yoga and meditating.
Three things happened this past week that hit me emotionally probably more than they “should” have. (I try to avoid “should-ing” on myself.) While I’m not going to address them all here and now, my response tells me that these occurrences were triggers that brought up some old pain that needs to be dealt with. I’ve really been feeling it. And physically. I’m low on energy, yawning a lot, there’s growling in my abdomen and I can feel a tenderness in my chest cavity accompanied by a very literal “knife in the back” sensation. And so I’m trying to deal, trying to process, trying to explore and heal an emotional landscape that no longer serves me and that might well be holding me back from attracting what I want into my life.
When I’m feeling this way — vulnerable, insecure and hurting — I see three possibilities:
- I could be unconscious and reactive about it, failing to self-reflect, and go on about my life without taking the time to feel, experience or heal.
- I could witness the thoughts I’m having and stop myself every time I notice a negative thought around these feelings in order to re-wire my brain. (Nerve cells that no longer fire together no longer wire together and, if I change my thought patterns, I will ultimately affect my feelings and moods.)
- Or I could feel — allow myself to feel deeply, truly experience and process these emotions and release them.
As you might have guessed, I’ll work within the latter two approaches. I’m trying to use my mental strengths to be a better friend and coach to myself. Like most of us, my internal critic is far more harsh than any words I would ever say to a friend, and I’ve long made a practice of lightening up and being kinder and gentler to myself.
I’ll address the feelings and physical symptoms by supporting myself and my best health (so much of which is chemical) through healthy eating, breath work, meditation, physical activity and practicing gratitude.
It almost seems contradictory to prevent myself from thinking certain thoughts while simultaneously allowing my feelings. But the old emotional attachments need to be felt and experienced in the body to be released, and that’s where I’ll break the chain. I won’t allow the feelings to feed the thoughts, and I’ll ensure the thoughts that feed the emotions are nurturing. I’m going to be the change and break the old emotional patterns for once and for all. Ah, growing pains!
2 thoughts on “pain is good, yeah?”
Excellent post. It seems backwards when something hurts so much and you feel it to think that coming back from it will make us better. It’s true though because, to me, If I’m perceiving this correctly, we learn what old scars/issues that we have and can identify and change them as you’re saying here. I know when I feel something hit, it does knock you to your knees and you do this and have children? Holeee cow, I mean to find the time to yourself? That isn’t easy either especially if something happens to hit you when they’re around. That’s very difficult… You do have to feel it thought, identify and learn how to work around old patterns, old thoughts and old beliefs. This is excellent honey, Good for you!
Oh I felt such terrific pain recently…am so lucky that I’ve got the most amazing women on my blg to bounce ideas from…(only women subscribe to my blog…apparently I’m an anomaly…) My latest details such pain that literally brought salt streaming down my cheeks…hasn’t done that for some time… some days, i simply just need to vent…life is sweet however…