Pain is a Process; Honor It. ~ Christine Gutierrez

Via elephant journal
on Aug 10, 2012
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(Sketch: Andréa Balt)

Hello there friends,

I am writing to you today about something that I think—and I hope—will be helpful.

It’s about the real deal: the “behind the scenes-raw-painful-part” of healing.

The real deal about true healing is that honestly, it’s messy. It’s the “cleaning your boogers with your dress-crying all day-moody-messy-angry at the world-betrayed and alone” type of healing.

With all of this “New Age” stuff, the world has become a bit obsessed with positive thinking, reframing, and affirmations.

While those all are wonderful and necessary, it’s just as necessary—and in fact, dare I say more necessary—to first, just be pissed.

That might mean being hurt, and going up and down with emotions for a year or more.

For example, consider what happens when someone passes away. Mourning the loss of a person we love is a process— and we all seem to accept that.

If someone’s father or mother dies, we seem to just accept that it’s natural, normal and okay to be sad.

Why then, can’t we feel the same about anything that our soul is sad about?

What makes one form or cause of sadness more honored than another form of sadness?

We all have soul lessons—some that we will never be able to put our fingers on.

So maybe that one time that kid in fifth grade called you fat or ugly. Maybe it really hurt you, and maybe it stuck with you more than you would like it to. Maybe you think it’s silly and you should be over it, but maybe you’re really not.

Because, maybe—just maybe—your soul needs to mourn it in its own way, in its own time.

Maybe it’s just that serious, like the death of a parent.

So honor that pain, whatever the cause of it is. Just honor it, in all its intense glory.

Let’s allow ourselves to treat all our pain as pain—no excuse, no story—just honor it.

I believe New Age teachings, spirituality and pop psychology became trendy in a time where traditional psychology was focused too much on just the process of healing and not on practical advice and tools.

But nothing in excess is good for too long.

The world of New Age and pop psychology is no different.

The human psyche is complicated, and life is mysterious. Though we may try to break it down and understand it, it is still mysterious—and that’s the beauty of it.

Healing is mysterious too.

We can continue to try to figure things out, but let’s bring nature back to healing; let’s allow healing to happen naturally, allowing it to be its unique self and do its unique healing dance.

No matter how good we may get at tracking a storm, the beauty of nature is that she does her own thing. Sometimes it hurts, but it is what it is.

This to me is the true art of healing:  to allow the healing to be what it is.

I know it’s tempting to put a positive affirmation over it, run away from the loneliness, the darkness and your fears. But you can’t. It’s a process.

I will repeat:  It is a process, my dear.

Just like mourning a death, it takes time to heal.

Just stop. Soak it in. It’s okay. Don’t do anything else.

Stop reading, stop everything and just allow yourself to be really pissed and mad that your life might not be where you want it to be—actually it isn’t where you want it to be. Get mad that you lost your dad, get pissed that your best friend is being selfish, be hurt that you thought the dating mind games were over and they aren’t.

Whatever it is, go there. Accept that it hurts; that you thought it was going to end up differently. Accept that you aren’t thrilled at what your life may look like. Maybe some of the pieces are there—maybe none—or maybe they’re all there, but you still don’t feel joy.

Either way, be with it; honor it.

And remember:  The more you accept and acknowledge how badly something really sucks, the faster you can realize why your soul needed to learn this particular lesson. Be with the sucky feelings; they too shall pass.

You got this. I love you. You are beautiful. You are seen. You are heard. You are so worthy of love—because you, my sweet child—are love.

Until next time, many blessings and much love.


Christine Gutierrez, M.A., MHC, is a  psychotherapist, life coach and writer. Christine brings an innovative and fresh approach to healing as a modern day psychotherapist with a soulful twist on celebrating the complexities of the human mind,  the body’s wisdom, and the truths of our inner spirit. Christine is also the founder of the lifestyle brand Cosmic Life Inc. where she provides one on one coaching, group goddess gatherings, speaking engagements, workshops, and writing all geared towards healing the mind, body, and soul. To find out more, check out and sign up for the free newsletter to receive updates, information and inspiration. Follow Christine on Twitter: @CosmicChristine


Editor:  April Dawn Ricchuito

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8 Responses to “Pain is a Process; Honor It. ~ Christine Gutierrez”

  1. David says:

    “But should you fail to keep your kingdom
    And, like your father before you, come
    Where thought accuses and feeling mocks,
    Believe your pain: praise the scorching rocks
    For their desiccation of your lust,
    Thank the bitter treatment of the tide
    For its dissolution of your pride,
    That the whirlwind may arrange your will
    And the deluge release it to find
    The spring in the desert, the fruitful
    Island in the sea, where flesh and mind
    Are delivered from mistrust.”

    W.H. Auden, “The Sea and the Mirror”

  2. healthyblossom says:

    <3 That was beautiful

  3. […] Pain is a Process; Honor It. ~ Christine Gutierrez […]

  4. Your post describes what my healing journey has been like. Affirmations and being positive are good and you still have to process the hurt, anger and tears of healing from abuse to heal.

  5. Bryn Padell says:

    I admire this! Anyone can read ana rticle from anywhere and still feel elmpty. It means SO MUCH MORE when it comes from someone who has actually been hurt all her life and feels pain and anger. Thank you, Christine! I know how crushed youve been the last few years with your failed relationships with your 4 exes, but you got this sweetie! One day youll find a man who will love you. Somebody will love you as long as you love yourself! Dont beat yourself up because you were left by all of just wasnt meant to be. Youll find happiness one day. Stay strong girl!

  6. […] side of the human heart was so completely overwhelming that it kept me hidden under my sheets until I felt it safe to come out again. Photo via by […]

  7. Sandie says:

    It’s about time someone spoke if honoring emotions as they are without trying to throw happy on it… Etc keep it real be real – good time happen- celebrate… Bad time happen… Grieve … It’s all

    Okay- throwing happy on what sucks is just denial reframed LOL