What If We Stop Avoiding Our Pain?

I think that most of us believe pain is something to avoid at all costs.

We work so hard to ignore it, skip it, move through it, pretend that we aren’t feeling it. But none of that works. All it does is push it down deep where it festers and grows. We hate to acknowledge it, but when we don’t, we keep it close and prevent it from moving through us.

We do this because we are afraid that our pain is bigger and stronger than we are. We think it might swallow us up entirely. With these fears in our heads, we try to control the emotion instead of allowing it. Like anything else, it needs to be felt in order to clear. Otherwise we keep it around forever.

Sometimes we are also afraid of letting our pain go. If we release it, we are afraid that we will forget the person we lost or the situation that changed us. We believe that we will never get the closure or apology that we deserve. The truth is that our pain has nothing to do with any of this. It does not indicate bad character to reflect on the memory of someone lost to us with love and happiness rather than grief. We don’t forget what we’ve learned by letting the heavy part of the experience go. In fact, the more that we embrace our pain and let it dissipate, the more space and lightness we have to allow in the positivity available in every part of life.

Like anything else in life, the idea here is to move into surrender. Surrender does not mean giving up or failing. It simply means allowing the flow of emotion, of energy, and of life itself. We are so afraid to surrender, but it is what we need most. The more we practice it, the easier it gets – but it’s like a muscle. It needs constant exercise. We must lean into this release with every chance that we get, no matter how frightening and alien it might feel.

Avoiding our pain isn’t going to help us in the end. Numbing our emotions is a quick fix that affects us negatively in the long term. We do ourselves no good by holding on to our grief, anger, distress, fear, whatever it may be. It takes courage and a deep self-knowing to allow it to move through us and clear instead. It’s definitely tough to let ourselves feel pain. We aren’t used to it. The more we try, the better it will feel… even when it hurts.

You are capable of embracing your pain – and all your other emotions, for that matter. This is the key to improving your overall well-being and happiness. When you stop identifying with your emotions and realize that they are not who you are, you take back control over your destiny. You realize that “control” is actually surrender – that feelings are temporary and nothing to fear, so you can face them and then release them. It will feel strange and intimidating at first, but you’ve got this. There are people out there who want to support you through this. I’m supporting you, and I love you.

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