I write a lot about forgiveness and letting go because I believe these tactics are critical to bringing us through our pain. But today I want to write about pain itself, and why we all need to get close to pain.
Getting close to pain is pretty much the last thing anyone wants to do. We humans avoid it in all kinds of clever ways. Perhaps we overindulge in food, drugs and sex. Or we might throw ourselves into the role of parent, friend, family member or employee, and in doing so we ignore who we are. We can also abstain from genuine connection with others for fear of triggering a pain point.
In the long run, how do these coping strategies help us? For the most part, they don’t.
It’s been said that “the only way out is through.” And the best way to discharge pain is to face it. Get close to it. Get comfortable with it. Know it, so you’ll know how to deal with it.
I did this in my marriage by keeping a journal. At the time, I didn’t realize what was happening at a higher level. All I knew was that I was depressed and I needed an outlet. When I was alone, I wrote about my pain. I wrote about feeling hopeless, lonely, misunderstood, lost and trapped in a life and a role I didn’t want. I wrote about all the ways I was disappointed in my marriage and myself.
In hindsight, I realize my journal played an important role in the crucial moment when I told my husband how I felt and agreed to a separation. Had I not previously admitted to myself why I was so unhappy, I might not have recognized the appropriate solution when it was presented to me.
Our feelings are potent indicators of whether or not our needs are being met. Thus, if we want to meet our needs and ultimately feel better, we have to dissect our emotions. We can do this through journaling, meditation or talking to a trusted friend or therapist.
Snuggling up with emotional agony might not be an enjoyable process, but it is only within the discomfort that we can uncover the key to release ourselves from our prison of pain.
Would you like some assistance in navigating your separation? Learn more about what I do or call me to set up a free consultation: 717.686.9116.