Would you believe me if I told you that your pain was purposeful? That there is a reason you feel emotional pain and that reason can lead you to a more purpose-filled and powerful way of being?
Many years ago, I would have thought that was BS.
Many years ago, I would have said that the only reason I was feeling pain was because [blank] and [blank] and [blank] were doing [blank] and [blank] and [blank]. I would have lovingly told you that if so-and-so would stop doing [blank] then I wouldn’t feel so [lost, alone, afraid, insecure, overlooked, unsupported, unheard, angry, unloved, etc] anymore.
I would have blamed every ounce of my pain on someone else, as though they caused it. But not out of malice or spite. Out of pure, legit ignorance and out of pure, legit need. I didn’t have any other intelligence to call upon. I didn’t have any other tools. I didn’t have any other role models to turn to. And I hadn’t learned yet that other people were not the source of my pain – they were just the reminders of it. I hadn’t learned yet that my pain was my superpower and that it would lead me to an incredibly happy, joyful, peaceful, and loving life. I hadn’t learned yet that nothing happens to me and everything happens for me. And, I hadn’t learned yet that the people who did things that made me feel pain were doing me a favor — bringing me a gift — a gift of seeing where I’m still wounded, so that I can heal.
I, like most people, believed that pain was something I should avoid at all costs. And that pain was, well, painful. I had learned that one way to ease the discomfort of my pain was to blame someone else for it and/or beg [blank] person to treat me differently so that I didn’t feel so much pain anymore.
(In the video I share below I share a great example of what blaming our pain looks like, why it’s not helpful to us, and some strategies to change that programming.)
Another tool I used to escape pain — a tactic that was well-developed in me — was to dive into my addictions whenever I needed to calm my anxiety and reduce my pain by numbing and escaping it entirely.
I had never learned healthy ways to comfort and soothe myself. I had never learned healthy ways to nurture myself when I was feeling frightened and overwhelmed by big emotions and feelings. I had never learned that there were ways to soothe oneself without needing someone else or something else outside of me.
I had not learned yet that my pain was purposeful.
I had not learned yet that my pain would guide me to every single place within me THAT WAS READY TO HEAL.
Every. Single. Place. Always.
And I had not learned yet that there were free ways to heal it. And that it was within my power to access them and learn to do it myself.
I had not learned yet that my pain was energy. And that I could change it. Transform it. Release it. Heal it.
I had learned little of anything except how to be dependent on others and how to be in a prison of pain that I could not figure out how to change.
That is, until my dad died unexpectedly back in 2015 and, for the first time in my life, I was forced to face my pain and feel every gut-wrenching ounce of it. It was then that I realized I didn’t want to escape my pain. And it was then, for the first time in my life, that I felt that my pain was purposeful and it was powerful because I realized that my pain was not a reminder of how much I lost, but it was my reminder of how much I loved. And I didn’t want anyone or anything to take it from me — no drink, no cigarette, no person. Nothing.
My pain was highlighting places within me I had never felt before. It was highlighting love. Deep love. Love that was hiding under pain. And for the first time in my life, I was compelled to follow my pain, compelled to feel it, compelled to surrender to its presence. Compelled to use it as the force that would propel me forward on my life’s journey; compelled to use it as the fuel that would power my healing going forward. And I’m so thankful for all that. My healing sped up, and intensified from that point on, in ways I could not have ever imagined. Every addiction fell away from me — every one of them. Simply because I started listening to my pain, allowing it to be my guide, my teacher, and allowing it to lead me to the places within me that were ready to be nurtured, loved, listened to, held, healed, and freed. I started listening to me.
And as a result, I no longer needed all my old, worn-out, fear-based dysfunctional ways of coping with my pain, which mainly included my addictions, withdrawal tactics, and escape mechanisms; I was learning how to be safe feeling pain. I was learning how to do more than just wake each day to survive. I was learning how to thrive, using pain as my guide. What a blessing it has been.
You see, our pain works like a lighthouse in the dark of night, guiding us to the places that are wounded and ready to be seen. The problem is that most people are not yet aware of the power of pain. And they are not equipped with the mindset, tools and strategies that can help them to safely and compassionately confront their own wounds — and heal them. But, this can change for anyone who’s willing to learn new skills, tools, and programming.
In the video below, I share the story of a man showing his pain in ways that many people may resonate with. His display of pain may be familiar to you in some way. If it is, pay attention to the reflection it gives you about you; it simply means there’s meaning there for you — and perhaps opportunities for you to grow as well.
And there’s something really important about our pain that I want you to know for yourself, and remember forever: It is not the absence of pain that makes us “healed” or “whole”; it is our ability to express it in ways that honor the pain—honor the wound, honor ourselves, and honor the other people who are reminding us of it—so that we can all get closer to living the life and love we dream of.
You see, our pain is happening because it’s a part of our soul’s journey to grow. That means it’s purposeful, not just for our life but also for the lives of others as well. When we judge someone for their pain—or shame or damn them—and/or judge ourselves for the times when we feel pain, we are doing more harm than good to one another and to ourselves. #choosecompassion #chooselove
Interestingly, once you begin to heal your pain and you know that it’s purposeful, you will be able to view another person’s expression of pain with curiosity, compassion, and love and you will be able to say to yourself something like, Oh, wow. This person is having the big feels right now. I can tell they are really hurting and/or afraid. Rather than shame them or damn them or try to change them, I will be kind, I will show them compassion, I will send them love. Because I know that pain doesn’t feel good for anyone, and I remember what it feels like to be stuck in a place of blaming others for my pain, needing others to change so that I don’t feel so much pain inside. We are all wounded in certain places and we are all just journeying toward the light. I know their pain has nothing to do with me, so I can bless them and send them love and understanding — even if they’re unable to do the same for me. I understand their pain is purposeful and I pray one day they learn the same.
When you can do this, you are then in your power and you are a part of creating a more peaceful and loving life for yourself and everyone around you.
The last thing I wanted to mention in this post is this: Your pain matters. It is your window into your opportunity to heal and grow. Because of this, it is also your superpower and it can lead you to all the places within you that are ready to live the life you’re destined to live. All you have to do is allow yourself to feel it so that you can release it. I give some good tips on releasing pain here. When the pain releases, so too does the misery it created in your life and experiences. I want to say it’s magic, but it’s not. It’s science. Energy science.
In peace, love, and gratitude,