Why does everything seem to happen to you?
We are often faced with hardship and these moments can overwhelm us to the point where we lose ourselves to the darkness. When this happens, we perpetuate our suffering because we are unable to see beyond it.
We suffer for many reasons. We resist surrendering to the uncomfortable unfolding; we are afraid to face the fears that accompany the pain; we don’t want to look at the underlying reason for the discomfort; we refuse to take responsibility for the part we play in our experiences. Most of the time, we are treating the symptoms and avoiding diving deep to face the truth.
This was very much my experience. I was good at fooling the outside world but I used to fall victim to almost every difficult situation. I was overcome by despair when sh*t hit the fan. I was quick to avoid feeling the emotions that arose, terrified of their intensity. I would ask “why me?” when circumstances got rough. I would wallow in my own grief when times got challenging.
I always smiled, I looked the part, I played the game well while my insides were failing on me. I was suffering because I didn’t realize that I had a choice.
But here’s the thing: we all have a choice.
A mentor of mine once said, “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” This statement could not be more accurate.
We have been taught to rely on a plethora of variables (e.g., medication, drugs, alcohol, sex, money, avoidance…) serving as “quick fixes” to our pain, while often leaving the root of our suffering to exacerbate beneath the surface.
I am done with this. Are you?
The only way out of the darkness is through, and the only way through is to feel, but feeling things doesn’t mean falling victim to every situation.
Feeling comes with an immense amount of responsibility.
Here are five ways that we can move into feeling responsibly:
1) We must be willing to love ourselves through the pain.
The notion of self-love is infiltrating all conversations these days, but to truly embody it and walk the walk is an entirely different story. Loving oneself is a critical part of healing, and it may even have the power to shift molecules. (Check out Dr. Emoto’s study, which suggests that positive thought can transform the human body).
It’s time let go of the negative inner narrative and replace it with love.
2) We must be willing to be present and committed throughout the process.
Feeling is challenging because it brings up discomfort, which causes our fight or flight instincts to arise and waver in our stance. Being present disables us from getting lost in the past and bypassing to the future. Our commitment to ourselves keeps us grounded when the foundation that begins to shake our instinct to run is brought forward.
3) We must be willing to connect to our bodies.
Listening to the body is underrated and probably the most important lesson one can learn—in truth, our bodies don’t lie. They are aligned with nature and are the barometers of our emotions and how disconnected we can become in the process. Our physiology is often mirroring our emotional pain, so listen closely and allow the truth to be revealed.
4) We must be willing to support the parts inside that are terrified.
This process brings up a whole lot of fear, which is why most choose to avoid it. Connecting with our inner child in this process is vitally important, as painful experiences often bring forward one’s underlying fear of abandonment, mistrust, and/or feelings of not enough-ness.
If it’s helpful, envision your five-year-old self as you remind him or her that you are safe and supported within the chaos and terror.
5) We must willing to forgive ourselves for the creation of our experiences.
Judging the self will not serve us in healing the wound—if anything it will only perpetuate the suffering. We must be willing to practice self-forgiveness and find compassion for ourselves especially during this fragile time. This can look like putting hand to heart, closing our eyes, and saying “I forgive myself for judging myself as _________”.
Taking a pill, getting drunk, having sex, spending money, blaming others, wallowing in your suffering and/or turning a blind eye will not heal the pain. It’s time to face it. Let go of the grief, the judgment, the blame, and find stillness within the chaos.
When pain isn’t felt responsibly, the energy that is wanting to be expressed gets trapped inside the body; It becomes stuck, stagnant, toxic, disabling life to flow through and creating the optimal platform in which illness can manifest.
I never felt responsibly and ended up receiving a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovaries last year, while undergoing intense changes and enduring a great amount of physical pain. It’s been an enlightening experience for me, as I have overcome many challenges in the process of facing this illness.
I recently wrote a letter from my womb to the cysts and it was a profoundly healing. I took back my power, while showing my gratitude for the experience, which helped to offer my body the space that it needed to heal.
I share this with you now, inviting you to connect to that place in you that’s hurting. It could be due to an illness, an experience, a particular person, anything, which you associate with pain. I encourage you to write your own letter as you move into feeling responsibly.
I am finally in a place where I understand why you came, why you filled my space with your presence, why you have stayed so long. I acknowledge your unwavering persistence that has been necessary up until this point and I am ready to let you go.
I see that you manifested because of my body’s neglectful ways and my mind’s unseen pain that I wasn’t able to be with. I was negligent in self-caring, self-honoring, self-loving. The energy that moved through me was fueled by hatred and anger and it was my inability to transmute the potency that caused you to appear in my space.
Disconnected from my mind, body and soul throughout my existence, I have been just a piece of the form, a body part to be named, a space for a child to one day grow—I’ve been merely that—nothing more, nothing less. And because I remained so unseen, I allowed stagnant energy to sit in my space, pain to dwell, sadness to feed on my flow, grief to boil within, shame to fester, anger to grow…and all of this fuel has created the optimal environment for you, dear cysts, to sprout on me.
I get it. I get why you’re here. I get why you have taken over my body’s rhythm. Why you’ve fucked up my body’s cycle. Why you’ve screwed with my body’s metabolism. Why you’ve messed up my body’s hormones. I get it. I understand why you triggered the weight gain, the acne, the hair loss, the amenorrhea. I watch my soul pick up all the pieces now, as my body tries to recover and my mind loses itself to the emotional wreckage that has come with your presence. I recognize that the extreme places you have taken this body to have been an integral part of awakening.
Your presence has been the catalyst for the union of my body, mind and spirit and because of you, we have woken up to the truth.
I am the first heart—center of the Divine Feminine—and this being in which I reside has hated this aspect of herself her entire life. Imbued with projected beliefs about women as a child, growing up trying to gain validation and love in every opportunity presented, moving through life with a masculine energy fueling her every decision, feeling a deep mistrust in me through experiences of sexual trauma, she abandoned me and what I represent. She saw me as the ultimate weakness, the ultimate trap for failure, the ultimate stimulus for suffering. Of course, she wasn’t conscious of this…but how could she be? She lived her life treating this body as a vehicle to drag from point A to point B, treating her thoughts as truth, oblivious to her soul’s existence.
There was no union—just a scattered reality, with an immense amount of self-judgments and revulsion, to cultivate the perfect environment in me to feed your existence.
I see it. And so does she. And I can thank you on her behalf for your visit. But now, dear cysts, it is time for you to leave. It is time for this body to heal. It is time for me to reclaim my space, return as the center of all nourishment and femininity, and clear myself fully so that I can support this being the way that I am meant to. Thank you for coming. I bid you farewell and I will be forever grateful for the lessons you have given to me.
Author: Jessica Winterstern
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Author’s own
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