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We all have experienced pain at some point in our lives. It’s inevitable, and part of life. As I write this while singing ‘Exhale’ with Whitney Houston, I can’t help but wonder the difference between pain and suffering. And here’s what I’ve discovered: pain happens when our life circumstances do not match up with our view of how things should be. Suffering is when we feel powerless because of it. And here is one thing that is undeniably true: we are never powerless.
So what can we do when the pain is too much to bear and we feel crushed by the despair?
I don’t think there is a ‘one size fits all’ answer to that. Many people resist the notion that we can change our view of the world in order to stop ourselves from suffering. Sometimes bad things happen and they are so unacceptable that we don’t want to find a better way of feeling about them. We feel resentful. We feel angry. We feel wronged, and depending upon our belief system or “view of the world” we deal with our “curses” in different ways. Some people believe:
- everything in life is predestined, as part of a greater Cosmic Plan
- an outside force (God, the Universe, Source, etc) is directing our lives and causes bad things to happen to teach us lessons
- everything happens by random chance and comes down to bad or good luck
- before we were born we pre-planned the events of our lives to learn certain lessons
- we create our lives through our intentions, emotions, and actions (Law of Attraction)
- everything is someone else’s fault
And as you can imagine, whether we experience pain and/or suffering is largely due to which belief system we have. But here are some helpful tips regardless of what your belief system is:
1. Don’t choose to suffer in silence
Are you someone that keeps your problems to yourself because you were taught you handle your problems by yourself, to sweep them under the rug, pretend that it isn’t that big of a deal, or that how you feel about something is irrelevant because it isn’t going to change anything? How about because you don’t want to “burden” someone or because you feel ashamed for even being in the situation you are in?
We’ve all been there. Seriously. I was there a couple of days ago haha. Hence why I’m writing this while singing Exhale with Whitney Houston.. It was tough to pull myself out of the slump I was in… Like it took the strength of the GAWDS for me to get back to being okay.. But most of us do all that by ourselves, don’t we? We tell people we are alright, send texts with smiley faces, and still laugh at jokes. But on the inside we are D-Y-I-N-G.
Speak up. If you don’t have anyone to talk to about your stuff, feel free to click the link. It will take you to where you can book an Accountability Call with me where I will help you keep yourself from falling off into the abyss. Use it. You are worthy of living, being seen, and being heard. K? Next point.
2. Tell the actual truth
If you actually wanna stop hurting, you’re gonna have to tell the actual truth. It sounds weird to say, but it’s true. You can’t get help if you’re walking around acting like you’re okay and telling people that you’re fine. Because then what happens? Nobody is checking on you to see if you’re okay. And why would they? You told them you were okay… Now you feel even more alone and in pain.
Telling the actual truth also involves not just acting out of your feelings but being able to communicate why. Many of us keep our biggest fears, deepest longings, what sustains us, what breaks us down, our talents, creativity, brilliance, faults, failings, and mistakes, to ourselves out of fear of being ripped apart later due to sharing them. That’s no way to live. We all need to feel like we have someone that we can allow to actually see us.
My call to action is to challenge yourself to show more of what is beneath the surface—the good and the bad. When you are open and honest about your pain you will be surprised by how many other people you meet have either experienced what you have or can otherwise relate to your pain.
Knowing that you are not alone is a huge force for healing. One of the most powerful healing experiences you can give another person is to be the witness for their pain.
(Those of you who have created an identity out of your pain and are constantly reliving in it, please disregard this message and see “Giving Your Pain a Purpose” below.)
3. Give that pain a purpose
Now, whether your default coping strategy is to repress your pain or dwell in it, in either case, you can heal by giving your pain a purpose. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What lessons did you take from the experience?
- Did your pain inspire you to do something you wouldn’t have otherwise done?
- Has the pain pushed you to make a change that bettered your life?
- Is there something meaningful you could do to help others through the same things?
(These are my go-to’s. I’m a freaking Phoenix from the ashes after I get done dusting myself off haha. I pop out books, close deals, launch a new product, and hit the ground running. Doing things that make me feel like I’m back in control and winning is what helps me get back on track and feel “back to normal”. So if you’ve ever seen me sad, then quiet, and then busting out a bunch of projects, that’s what’s happening haha.)
In order for us not to lose our shi..-minds, we’ve got to be able to turn our pain into a blessing. If you don’t have anyone to talk to about your stuff go here. That’s a link to book an Accountability Call with me.. It’s a session where I help you keep yourself from falling off into the abyss. Use it. You are worthy of living, being seen, and being heard. K?
“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”- Albert Einstein
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