*Play this song whilst reading. A post this intense deserves a beautiful sound track, you’ll see why*
To some degree or another, we spend much of our lives subconsciously avoiding pain.
We actively pursue pleasure. We reject or avoid any thing, situation, person or place that appears will bring us face to face with that uncomfortable feeling that we seek to avoid.
I’m not talking about the physical pain of stubbing your foot, cutting your hand or being involved in an auto collision. That sort of pain is explainable, manageable even; with the help of a codeine enthused pill.
The type of pain that sees you crying silently. Full of righteous indignation, anger, confusion, sadness, regret; your stomach knotted and twisted with anxiety.
Ahhhh….that sort of pain……
Do you recognise it?
The sort of pain you experience when an experience or person has hurt you. The sort of pain you leave yourself open to; when you’re not in total control of a situation, and you’re reliant on the good-will and integrity of others.
The sort of pain that comes; when your expectations have not been met and your feelings have been hurt at a cellular level. Leaving you distracted, unable to concentrate, eat even. Pain so intense as to feel physical.
Is there an honest person amongst us who will raise their hand and admit to feeling this sort of pain.
Can I get a witness!
Pain. Shame. Rejection.
Dirty words… right?
Yet if you have a beating heart, at some stage you will surely experience all three. So let’s all be dirty and sullied together….
- Don’t you think it’s about time we talked about these universally felt, but universally avoided emotions?
- Don’t you think it’s time to challenge the “I’m ok, your ok” Ideology and got really ‘real’ with each other?
Screw dignity and pride, and looking like you have your shit together…”How are you feeling my friend, how are you really feeling?”.
Yes… own it. Stop running and hiding from yourself and from others…
Misery loves company…
I’m talking about the sort of pain that can see you befriend a bottle of vodka or your self-medication of choice. The sort of pain that you hide behind puerile conversations with well-meaning friends,where instead of relieving your burden, revealing your humanity and speaking your truth, you hold back and become yet sicker still…..
The sort of pain that can see you on crowded dance floors, looking for affection and acceptance, and finding empty sex and a nasty hangover. Pain seeks to relieve itself in the most deceitful of ways….
Can I get a witness. Or has the room gone silent?
What do you know; about this kind of pain?
How much of your life have you spent avoiding it.
Never fully revealing your true nature, feelings or desires to the world or simply another, in the fear that they will be rejected and you will be left in pain or made to look a fool?
Or maybe you always stand near the fire exit, ready to make a quick escape. Do you fear pain so much that you never make yourself vulnerable enough to really experience it. Keeping all things at arms length, ready to bail at the first sign of trouble. Never fully committed to anything or anyone, you take the path of least resistance every time.
You never fully unpack your baggage and your metaphorical backpack is always by the front door..next to your shoes. You’re the master escape artist, the modern day Houdini.
But you’ve never gone all in, legs, arms, heart and lungs. You don’t actually stand for, anything…
There is another way…
Are you willing to sit in this fire as it refines you, and shows you your ugly, needy, lonely, self-seeking, ignorant, arrogant, juvenile and judgemental places?
Are you able to just stand still and let pain wash over and humble you?
Do you know how to endure the growing pains of change. Are you able to bear the huffing, puffing, pushing, resisting and finally the breaking…. as you move through to another layer of self, understanding, acceptance and beauty?
Are you ready for this, or would you rather stay as you are.
Stagnant, half-grown, half-baked and half-alive?
Anything that is not growing is dead…
In the perpetual avoidance of pain, we con ourselves like a card shark running ‘trick of the eye’ games on some seedy side walk. We are not being genuine.
“Keep it happy, keep it level headed, keep it light hearted, we say.” ”Hide the sadness, hide the madness, hide the fear, the doubt, the insecurities, the turmoil.”
Take another drink, another smoke, another pill, pump another weight, buy another t-shirt , pair of shoes,purchase another gadget.
Anything, other than face the fact that you’re in pain….
Can I challenge you to do something courageous?
The next time you feel slain by the type of pain that we all seek to avoid. The sort of emotional pain that leaves you feeling lost, vulnerable, needy, frightened, confused and weak.
Don’t run, don’t hide, and don’t paint on a false face or a fake smile.
Don’t call a friend, don’t read a book, don’t take a toke, make a joke, or pretend like it’s not happening.
Turn around, dig your feet in, then raise your eyes with confidence and look pain straight in the eye. Tell pain that you are not afraid, that your strong enough to withstand all that it may throw at you. Tell pain that you except it as legitimate and necessary part of life, not to be avoided, shunned, ignored or denied, but acknowledged and accepted.
Tell pain that you embrace it, and that whilst you don’t like it, you love it none the less, because you love all of you, even the parts that hurt.
Tell pain that you are indestructible, un-deceivable and will not resist it.
Then simply be.
Sit with it, in it and through it. Cry if you need to, scream if you want to…dance if you can…
Resilient in a special place in your spirit; that is in-fatigable and unable to be broken by anything…not even the most painful….pain.
Maybe you will read this and feel me, but not want to contribute, I know ‘I took it there today’… I couldn’t help it. But I would encourage you to share anything you feel in your heart when you have finished reading this. If you think there is any truth in my words, then please share this post with others via Twitter and Facebookand any other way you can think of. I’d appreciate it.
I don’t expect this post to be popular, pain never is, but it was the highest expression of truth I could bring to MLSM today. You have my heart.
Lets start a conversation
It’s all love.xx
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